Cross Country Magazine has hit 30! Yep, we’re 30-years-old.
The magazine was set up by Sherry Thevenot in France in early 1988 as an “International Hang Gliding Review” and the first issue was put together on her kitchen table in Fontaine-les-Dijon. Sherry published four issues that year – spring, summer, autumn and winter, in French, English and Japanese. The first issue set the tone for what was to come and captured the nature of the sport.
Sherry’s husband Gerard Thevenot reported from Australia on the “Southern hemisphere’s first World Hang Gliding Championships”, held in Bright, Victoria. He reported: “The Americans came with probably the strongest team ever united”; the Brazilians “lacked experience”; the Brits “surprisingly collapsed”. Lots of trees meant, “one Brazilian competitor concluded a flight with a prolonged study of koala bear behaviour.” Australia’s Rick Duncan won.
The most eye-opening article was a profile of Joe Bostik. Laura Daltry interviewed this world-record setting Czech pilot who had defected from the then Czechoslovakia to the USA in 1982. “Bostik left behind his family, country, language, culture and secure future as an architect” to move to the USA. Once there, “obsessive focus” saw him climb to the top of the flying game.
Laura wrote: “Like many defectors with family still in the country, he declines to elaborate on how he defected, beyond saying ‘I wanted to be free’. But with no visa, little money, and only a small daypack he made his way across four borders to Germany, where he spent nine months living in a boarding house on a few dollars a day. Flying, he explains, was everything: ‘I just enjoy being free.'”
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