The records keep falling this season. From a 325km triangle by Thomas Walder one day, to a 300km triangle on an EN B the next, to a 463km flight in Texas, the numbers get bigger as the plans get ever more ambitious.
In issue 154 of Cross Country we take a straightforward look at defined XC. There is, as one of our experts puts it, “nothing more satisfying than taking off, going somewhere, and then landing back where you started.”
We look at this high art and examine how to start planning you cross country flying so you take control, fly further and get more out of every day. From 20km out-and-returns to personal bests and epic flights, we have it covered.
One lot that know exactly what they’re doing are Team France. Spring in France saw some of France’s best pilots criss-crossing the country flying big flights and setting records. Andy Pag travelled to the Paragliding World Cup in May to interview pilots and uncover the magic ingredient behind Equipe de France – and his name is Didier Mathurin.
On the other side of the world in a world of laid-back coffee shacks and endless thermals, Jorge Atramiz and friends kick their way out of traveller hangout Panajachel in Guatemala to climb two of the country’s highest volcanoes – and fly off them. Join him and his buddies on this excellent adventure.
Feeling inspired by Guatemala we head round the world to take a look at some of our favourite flying lodges. These places are steps from launch and offer the perfect place for a brilliant flying vacation without any hassle. Just book in and take off.
Flying is magic and we love everything about it. Hugh Miller knows how to spin a good tale, and this one takes us across 200km of English countryside towards Wales. Hop on and come for a ride, the air is lovely.
THE FINISHED ARTICLE
The Sigma 9 is all about the finish says our reviewer Pat Dower who headed to Advance HQ in Switzerland to get a very personal introduction to this new hotly-anticipated Sports class glider.
FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCT
In a world where ‘B’ can mean many things Marcus King takes on Icaro’s new Instinct TE and gets to grips with their unique Trim Speed Optimiser. Aimed at new XC pilots this B knows exactly what it wants to be.
Allen Weynberg gets to an early morning cloudbase in totally tropical Queensland, Australia.
We’ve also got a cracking interview with Thomas Walder by Kelly Farina. Thomas flew the world’s first 300km FAI triangle earlier this year – 325km in Austria. Kelly’s known him for years, so when the question, “Thomas Who?!” rolled in, Kelly knew exactly how to answer it.
First came Thomas, then came Bernhard Pessl. The day after the big 325km triangle had rocked the paragliding world, Bernie came along and flew a 300km on his EN B. Rock on.
“There’s an app for that…” With the technology world in a state of flux in paragliding – high-end and all-in or DIY and iPhone? – former World Champion and longtime Cross Country columnist Bruce Goldsmith tries out flying with his iPhone. iEasy.
It’s an El Nino year – but what does that mean for paragliding and hang gliding? Meteorologist and Red Bull X-Alps pilot Honza Rejmanek has the answer.
Andy Pag takes a spin in the ultimate fairground attraction – the G-Force Trainer. He likes it, but does his lunch stay down?
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