Archive for April, 2013

1031 km, as the crow flies, is the distance of the 2013 route of the xAlps. This is a lot of terrain to cover and hard to navigate by foot. Many people question how would one conquer this task, and how would one complete it. When spectators, such as non paragliding pilots try to answer this question,most of them might think of hiring guides. Some might even think that, given a chance and ability, it might be easier to paraglide across the high mountain passes rather than hike them. This might be correct if you are at the right place at the right time to take advantage of good weather conditions and flying possibilities. These variables and the present physical/mental condition of the athletes, make the xAlps such a popular and interesting race for anyone to follow, whether you are a participant/athlete in the race, a paraglider pilot or only a spectator. Every athlete has a live tracking device with them and the athletes can be followed throughout the race live at www.RedBullxAlps.com. In 2011 the race had over 2 million visitors on the website following it. It is very interesting understanding the perspective of the performer/athlete and also the perspective of the viewer/observer. The observer is entertained by watching the tactics of the athletes and tries to figure out the decision making of these performers. As it often is, the observer seems to know best what the performer should do! We hear it all the time. In sports, competitions, watching a movie or a play, the commentators and spectators feel they know better what the performer should be doing. And quite often the observer might have a better idea of what is going on and see the overall picture, and how to proceed with it. At the same time however, an observer is often surprised by the performers decision as the observer does not always know what is going on in the performers mind, their entire “game plan” and also the physical and mental condition or background knowledge of the performer. To assist an athlete/performer with the overall picture of how the event should be played, we use coaches/leaders. A good coach/leader helps to eliminate or reduce overall difficulties or problems, work on different tactics and is a liaison with feedback from supporters

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of what the performer is doing. The use of coaches in the sports industry is very much accepted and they play a huge part in all sports. The equivalent in the business world, would be a mentor. If you think about, a good manager should be the coach/leader, however, we see it all the time, the manager is also performing and can have a hard time seeing the overall picture. Even in our private or family life we could use a coach, who simply can be a couple of friends to talk to. For my preparations in the race, I always try to step out of the current situation I am in, and try to watch my actions from the outside. Sometimes I envision myself sitting in front of a TV, watching the event play itself out, and try to analyze this situation as an observer, coach, commentator or spectator, and in that position think about what the right decision will be for the next step. Trying to evaluate oneself like this, will only work to a certain extent. The xAlps race is not only about the pilot/athlete. It is about a team working together to achieve a common goal – getting the pilot to Monaco. I have to say that I am very fortunate to do the xAlps with my partner Penny, as she is a very good coach and motivator and the best of all is that we both have so much fun while preparing for the xAlps and then racing. In the 2013 xAlps, a team will now be allowed to have 2 supporters, which could, or might, make things much harder, as we know that too many chefs spoil the broth. But if you have the right team players, you quadruple the benefit. Penny and I are very excited that we found the best 2nd supporter/coach we could ask for. Mik Broschart is a long time friend, has a lot of connections, knowledge of the race and the sport, highly motivated, got the time and got the support from his family (thanks again Kristine) to make Team Canada complete.  

This was our 16th annual Easter flying meet at Panorama Mountain Resort. The weather was exceptional and so were the number of participants. 36 pilots came with their friends and families to enjoy what Panorama Resort had to offer.

“Sunny and Hot” was the weather everyday, which was perfect to fly and ski. Virtually, there was no chance to sit down and relax, as there was so much to do. This year Dave Gorzitza won the trophy, Max and Katia on tandem came in second and Nathan Livingston was 3rd. On Saturday we had 6 pilots (Frank Kernick, Derek Yuill, Chris Wilson, Mike Waddington, Nathan Livingston and myself) getting high above Panorama (3500 m) and then flying out to the Valley. Nathan flew home to Wilmer, I flew to Mt. Swansea and to my place and the others landed at the Lakeside Pub beach. The highlight of the meet was the visit from Dannie Wolf and Stewart Midwinter. It was so great to see both

of them come and join us for dinner. This year we dedicated the Easter Meet to Dannie Wolf who had a towing accident last year and is currently in a

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wheel chair. Thanks again to everybody who donated cash or auction items and could raise $2200 (The Lakeside meet bought the auction items for $500 to use at the Lakeside meet) for Dannie. Last but not least, we also like to thank Panorama Resort and their awesome staff for hosting our unique event. Click here to get to the Easter Meet Photo Album Tandem with the kids Flight from Panorama to Invermere

Spring started early this year.Here are a couple video clips of our local flying site (Mt. Swansea) and some cool view’s of the icy lake.


Flight with camera in the wing

Flight with extended camera