Cross Country November 2021

Cross Country is the world’s leading voice for hang gliding, paragliding and paramotoring pilots. Ten times a year, our magazine content reflects our obsession with flying, and we express it by packing each issue with the most imaginative, inspirational photography and writing we can lay our hands on.

United Kingdom
XC Media
10 Issues

in this issue

2 min
keeping it simple

The dreams of the first pilots were simple. They just wanted to get in the air and float, to defy gravity for a few seconds before landing. Talking to Steve Pearson for this issue’s article about Wills Wing I was reminded of that. The early pioneers were just using the materials they had to make lightweight wings that could help them fly. It was that simple. From experimental bunny-hops on bamboo gliders in 1971 to Larry Tudor flying 303 miles (487km) on a Wills Wing HP-AT in 1990 took less than a generation. A similar thing can be said for paragliding: from first ram-air parachute flights in 1978 to the first 500km flight in 2008. Looking around in the landing field at the Coupe Icare in September I was struck by how…

1 min

Bruno Lavit is a French photographer based in Grenoble who loves action sports and landscape equally. As a hiker and trail-runner he has covered races like the Echappée Belle (“one of the hardest ones”). He’s been an official photographer for the Coupe Icare since 2013 – see p62 Burkhard Martens has been flying since he was 17, his whole adult life “inseparable” from paragliding. A school owner for years, he wrote the bestseller Thermal Flying in 2005. Translated into nine languages, it has recently been significantly updated in English. He goes back to basics – see Soaring, p34 Serge Shakuto is an action-sports photographer from Russia. Based in Moscow he photographs everything from surfing to skydiving to paragliding. This issue he photographed and interviewed his friend Egor Posokhin, Russia’s new acro champion…

4 min
veso ovcharov wins xcontest 2021

Veso Ovcharov is the winner of the XContest 2021 online XC competition, which closed at the end of September. He topped the overall rankings in paragliding with a total score of 2,788 points. France’s Timo Leonetti was second and Switzerland’s Dominic Rohner was third. The XContest season runs from 1 October to 30 September and more than 20,000 pilots enter their flights. Only a pilot’s top six best flights count towards their overall score. Congratulations to Veso and all the winners of the different categories. Here’s a rundown of who won what in the 2020/21 season. Paragliding Open (EN A-CCC), 19,742 pilots 1. Veso Ovcharov (BG, Ozone Enzo 3): 2,788 2. Timo Leonetti (FR, Gin Leopard and Ozone Enzo 3): 2,652 3. Domini Rohner (CH, Ozone Enzo 3): 2,527 All Veso’s flights were open-distance and made from tow…

3 min
naked pilot egor posokhin

I grew up in Norilsk, Siberia. It’s north of the Arctic Circle. It’s a mining town and you can only get there by plane. There’s nothing around for 1,000km. In winter the wind often hits 160km/h. It is polar day, polar night, Aurora Borealis, bears, reindeers, wolves, snow in July. It’s like another planet. I worked in the mine for seven years. Nickel and copper ore. The mine is three times longer than the Moscow subway and multi-level, starting from -300m to -1,150m. The work is dangerous and almost every month people are seriously injured or killed. There are landslides, water bursts, explosions. Work doesn’t stop for a second. One shift stops, another comes on. Norilsk is at the foot of the Putorana Plateau. It’s one of the most unique and inaccessible…

4 min
insider’s guide: canungra

Canungra is a small town nestled in the foothills of the Scenic Rim area, southeast Queensland. One pub, a campground, supermarket and a dozen cafes serve 1,200 locals and thousands of tourists every year. It is also home to the Canungra Hang Gliding Club and is arguably the best and most consistent flying arena in Australia. In the sub-tropical climate flying takes place all year round. XContest has 21 flights over 50km from a Canungra site one day in July this year (the middle of our winter). In spring and summer it goes off – think taking off at 7.30am and landing 300km later at sunset. The sites There are two main sites, plus a couple of lessvisited sites. Beechmont faces southeast into the prevailing easterly flow which blows for the warm two-thirds of…

1 min
acro world tour 2021

Théo de Blic cleaned up at the Acro World Tour after winning the second leg of the circuit in Albania in September. Théo won the solo category and also the synchro gold medal with synchro partner Horacio Llorens. It is the fourth FAI Acro World Championship title he has won. Because of Covid the Acro World Tour consisted of only two rounds this year. The first was Acromax in Italy in July and the second was the Llogora Air Games in Albania in September. Throughout he was flying the Glitch, the acro wing he developed in partnership with Nova. “It is impossible to talk about my win without talking about Nova,” he said. “When I joined the company in 2019 we did not have a competition acro wing and we had to…