“I just love the feeling of freedom above the flats here.”
Seiko Fukuoka is a well known figure on the international paragliding scene. First as an acro pilot, and then as a competition and PWC pilot. In November she set a new women’s world record by flying 338km from Quixada in north east Brazil.
Photographer and writer Felix Wolk was there at the time and, shortly after her record flight, sat down with her to ask her about it.
The resulting interview is an insight into a maverick pilot, one who didn’t fit in to the normal scene, but found her calling in the wild world of the early days of acro.
Although she was still flying under supervision in a Japanese school, she started practicing acro straightaway. Several times the radio screamed: “Rescue! Rescue!” Seiko remembers, amused. She gave her instructors a hard time, she says. “They were angry non stop,” she says, “but they didn’t see I had control.”
Control she certainly had: and her step away from acro and onto the competition ladder revealed she could transfer her skills simply and easily. “She is now a world class all-round pilot,” says Felix. A true insight into the mind of a champion.
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