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NEW RECORD: RAFA DOES IT AGAIN!!!

Ozone team pilot, Rafael Saladini (Enzo 3) has set a new straight distance (declared goal) world record at home in Brazil. He reports:

“Oct 15th – We’ve been here for 20 days declaring everyday the same point and had only two waves with reasonable wind and enough humidity. Tacima is always a mental challenge. At 6:40am, I was towed to 400m AGL from our “aeropasto” near Tacima – just enough altitude to reach the ridge 2km behind where the old foot launch is located.

As the forecast was not so good, I launched with two main goals: I had a chase cam attached to get some shots and we decided to check a runaway in Lagoa Nova. I did a bit of soaring and at around 7am I began my unexpected +11 hour journey through the atmosphere.

Before reaching Lagoa Nova, I had to make a pendulum and grab the chase cam to make sure I would not have surprises in case of a hard landing. I cut the line and left the mount inside my harness. When I arrived over the runaway, I was 250m AGL and was searching for a safe place to land. But life sometimes delivers unexpected surprises. A strong cycle just took me straight to cloudbase, and after that my mindset changed completely. I decided to fly as far as I could and finally try to break the declared goal.

Since 2007, after my South American record of 397km, I never flew alone anymore. Team flying is my favorite way to explore Brazilian Sertão. Share the sky and world records with my friends are among the best experiences I ever had. But this time I decided to do it otherwise. Fly by myself again the whole day. Meditate in deep silence for more than 11h. A pure connection with the pulse of the atmosphere, when nothing else matters, only the present moment and the next thermal.

Conditions were far from great, with only moderate wind and many blue holes. The only way to try to compensate was full bar the whole time and an agressive attitude, exposing myself for an early landing much more than we usually do when team flying. It worked until 3:30pm. After that the sky turned blue and was very difficult to navigate fast and precise.

Late afternoon, when I was already tired, that’s when team flying makes a difference, especially when we have blue sky. I committed some mistakes in the last two hours that cost me some precious kilometers. But I managed to break the straight distance to a declared goal world record, declaring and flying 530km and reaching a final distance of 555km, landing in a dirty road in the heart of Ceará. The current record is from Guy Anderson and Harry Bloxham, 510.8km in 2019. Lets see if FAI will ratify.

Certainly it was the best paragliding experience I ever had alone in my life. I’m really stoked!! 555km is the third longest flight in Paragliding History. The current straight distance world record is 582km (tow), and the previous one was 564km (foot launch). Both from our team, and I am really really really grateful and honored to be a part of all of them”

For track log click here

Congrats Rafa and cheers from all the Ozone Team.

500 KMS ACROSS NORWAY WITH ANTOINE GIRARD

Ozone Team Pilot, Antoine Girard, has just returned from his latest adventure in Norway: 500 kms of vol-biv flying through magnificent terrain:

“Covid has wiped out all the bivouac flight plans for the year, but should we give up? There are a lot of great things to do close to home. We headed for the crossing of Norway. Around 500km in a straight line but a course of more than 650km. With Julien Dusserre, we waited for the opening of the border to jump on the first plane. Certainly a little late for the season (August 1) but we had no choice.

We are in northern Europe, the sun is weak as are the thermals and the distance of the flights, quite the opposite of the rain in the country!We left from Evje in the north of Kristiansand to reach Trondeim in the north. We had 15 days which represents 33km of travel on the line per day to get to the end. It doesn’t seem like much but with the flight conditions, bad weather etc. it’s a challenge ! We know it and we decide right away not to do it in a pure ethical way, that is to say that we are not going to walk too much on the road and if it does not fly! We will advance by bus, hitchhiking or other to finish the 33km daily unless we are ahead of the timing. On the other hand we will try to remain in complete autonomy food and overnight which imposes on us bags of 30kg.

We did a large part of the crossing with Johannes Helleland, a native Norwegian and helicopter pilot, he knows his country inside out! In the end, he is like our guide for the 10 days spent together. A very precious help.We flown 250km and 50km walk which represents almost 70% progress on the line without motorized means. Above all, transport enabled us to be at the best place for the next day.On flyable days, we flew between 5 and 65km. Each 30km flight is a success. You have to be very patient in a small thermal and the flight slots have never exceeded 3 hours! We walked for hours in search of takeoffs, in a land filled with water and sometimes mosquitoes. The days that end around 11 p.m. allowed us to make good progress and optimize our walk.

Take-off areas are rare because of the endless forests and the slopes that are often too gentle. The take-offs are often on a granite slab which prevents any vegetation. Wild take-offs are far from easy in Norway!

On the other hand the landscapes are magnificent with lakes everywhere and the fish proliferate! We have not forgotten our mini fishing rods. Self-sufficiency is not difficult with fish and wild fruits to complement our meals!”

Congrats Antoine, and thanks for the report!
Photos Courtesy of Antoine Girard and Julien Dusserre.

OUR FRIEND, KIWI

James Kiwi Johnston has been a longtime friend and brother to the Ozone family. We feel the loss of this great personality in our lives, and in this sport. Since the beginning of Ozone, Kiwi was with us.

A close friend of Ozone co-founder, Rob Whittall, since meeting at a paragliding comp in the USA back in the mid 90’s. They shared a house and some crazy times snowboarding during a winter in Driggs Idaho, among countless other adventures. In recent years, Kiwi really set out to improve his XC flying and competition skills. This effort took him all over the globe, doing what he loved to do, adventuring and flying paragliders while discovering new cultures. All while improving his flying and moving up the world ranking, with the goal of being at the Worlds one day flying for his home country, New Zealand.

He was an accomplished writer and photographer, having published three books under the pen name James Oroc. In our free-flying community, his countless articles and stories in Cross Country and Kite World magazine are the stuff of legend – easily our favorite free-flight author of all time.

We are truly going to miss him, he was a quirky talent, a great friend, and a devoted part of this sport that brought us all together! We send strength, light, and love to all his family and friends. Let us relish in the fact he was a true memory maker, and thus will never be forgotten.

Much love from Team Ozone.

DELTA 4 REVIEW BY XC MAG

“The fact that I was able to fly nearly 300km in the few days I had the wing is testament to its performance and usability. And although this usable performance may be the headline, it’s the carefully crafted handling and that rear-riser control that make it such an enjoyable wing to fly”

Cross Country Magazine‘s Marcus King takes the Delta 4 for a tour in the Southern Alps. Read the full review, click the image below:

JOACHIM OBERHAUSER IS 2020 ITALIAN CHAMP

Joachim Oberhauser has taken first overall at the Italian Championship in Cuorgné. Six tasks were flown in a highly competitive field. Joachim flew his Enzo 3 and shared the podium with Christian Biasi (Enzo 3) in third. 

Silvia Buzzi Ferraris took the women’s title on her Enzo 3 and the Serial Class was won by the Italian Team leader Alberto Castagna who was flying the Zeno. 

In Joachim’s words: 

“We have been really lucky to be able to compete in these difficult times, out of the covid-19, also the meteo isn’t so friendly this year, but in Cuorgnè it has been OK. We run six tasks structured over the mountains and the flatlands, but cloud bases aren’t so high in August, therefore the competition has been very technical.  I really enjoy the competitions structured on more days, as I can get the right mood to be more competitive. I have to say that I’m really happy of my Enzo 3. In my opinion, currently it is still the best glider on the scene, it is safe, therefore it can be flown by a wide number of pilots, it glides perfectly, but you feel the big difference when you enter or exit from a thermal, as it manage the turbulence and makes these transitions easy and safe.”

Congrats and Cheers from all the Ozone Team.

OZONE DA LA BIENVENIDA A NUESTRO EQUIPO A BENOÎT OUTTERS.

Benoît es un joven y dinámico piloto francés que se ha zambullido en las aventuras de vuelo vivac, carreras de ultra-trail y alpinismo más desafiantes. Comenzó a volar en 2013 y ya ha tomado parte en dos ediciones de la Red Bull X-Alps: la de 2017 en la que acabó segundo, y la de 2019 en la que logró el tercer puesto.

En 2015 atravesó los Alpes de Nueva Zelanda junto a Antoine Girard, y desde entonces ha sumado numerosas aventuras de vuelo vivac a su historial. Atentos a más noticias de sus aventuras.

CHARLES CAZAUX ESTABLECE UN NUEVO RÉCORD DE VELOCIDAD EN TRIÁNGULO.

El piloto del equipo Ozone, el francés  Charles Cazaux, ha batido su propio récord de velocidad en un triángulo de más de 25 km en el Col du Banchet (Francia) con una velocidad media de 46,9 km/h el 24 de agosto de 2020, estableciendo un nuevo récord mundial en esa categoría.

Él mismo no los cuenta:

“Me desperté esta mañana, recién llegado de una semana de Copa del Mundo en Disentis, desayuné con los niños, caminé unos pasos por el jardín y miré al cielo: aire fresco, hierba seca, un ave ya girando, tendencia este-noreste en altura, un cumulito en la ladera este de las crestas. Hmm… Tiene buena pinta el día… muy buena pinta. Así que ¿qué plan tiene toda la familia? ¿De verdad que los niños quieren descansar en casa de la caminata de ayer? De modo que puedo tener un ratito para probar esta masa de aire, pues el despegue lo tengo a 10 minutos.

Unos minutos para comprobar más cuidadosamente la meteo y veo que parece un poco ventoso para el plan que tengo en mente, pero… ¡vamos a intentarlo! ¿Cuál es el plan? ¡Cerrar un triángulo FAI de 25 km lo más deprisa posible! ¿Qué? ¡Pues eso!

Hace años empecé a volar esos triángulos como un ejercicio específico para mejorar mis uso del acelerador, llevar más allás mis límites mentales, aprender a estar concentrado y relajado, y volar con eficiencia en esos momentos tan especiales. En competición, el planeo final a toda velocidad ocupa sólo unos minutos del vuelo, y me di cuenta de que eso no se me daba tan bien. Dediqué cada vez más tiempo a practicarlo para poder pelear de tú a tú con los mejores pilotos. ¡Parece que funciona! 25 km es una distancia bastante corta en la que cada segundo cuenta para la velocidad media. Lo principal a gestionar es la diferencia de altitud entre el punto de salida y el de llegada que debe ser inferior a 500 metros según las reglas FAI. Eso supone que para ir rápido, acelerarás y perderás altitud, pero por otro lado necesitas lidiar con esta diferencia de altitud mínima. Descubrí que mi zona de vuelo no es tan mala en cuanto a terreno y aerología.

En 2006, hice mi primer récord mundial de velocidad en triángulo FAI de 25 km. En 2010 continué la historia con una Ozone R10, entonces prototipo que luego desapareció de la escena de la competición y se redujo la velocidad máxima de la vela, lo que complicaba encontrar la aerología adecuada para llevar los límites más allá que los años anteriores.

Volvamos al presente: ¡estoy a tope y preparado! Envío los papeles a la FAI, meto la tarea en el GPS, tengo instalado el acelerador Bullet, el lastre lleno y la Enzo 3 y la Exoceat listas para volar. Tras varias tentativas de récord en Australia, Texas y Brasil, estoy habituado a esta rutina de búsqueda de récords, por lo que hacerlo desde casa resultaba bastante fácil. Despego, primera térmica cerca de la pared y entiendo que puede que sea demasiado fuerte para mi plan “10-15 km/h de noroeste, térmicas de 3-4 metros por segundo. No importa, ¡veamos qué puede hacerse en este terreno! “Ha sido un día muy exigente jugando mucho con las bandas B y el acelerador, especialmente sobre la cresta dispara la térmica y el viento de frente. He llegado a volar a apenas 300-400m del suelo. ¡Estaba preparado para enfrentarme a tal desafío con una mentalidad adecuada para esto! ¡Qué buena sensación cerrar el triángulo y comprobar el resultado! Un nuevo récord de velocidad…

Gracias a Seiko Fukuoka Naville, mi compañera de equipo en la Academia Airlinks, ya que siempre me empuja a mejorar entrenando la seguridad, a volar acelerando a tope y me comenta de manera detallada los vuelos a posteriori. Gracias a One Day Coaching por su consejo de mantener mi mente en la tarea entre manos.

Estoy deseando que llegue un día D, con la aerología adecuada o un sitio mejor ¡para hacerlo todavía más deprisa!”

Enhorabuena a Charles por un triángulo así de veloz y saludos de todo el equipo OZONE.

Para ver detalles del récord, haz clic AQUÍ

La entrevista con Charles en FAI.org haciendo clik AQUÍ.

PWC DISENTIS, SWITZERLAND

The first stop of the 2020 PWC tour has just finished in Disentis, Switzerland.

After four tasks, the overall win went to Stephan Morgenthaler (CHE), followed by Ozone Team Pilots Luc Armant (FRA) in second, and Charles Cazaux (FRA) in third. All were flying the Enzo 3.

In the women’s category, the first place went to Ozone Team pilots Seiko Fukuoka Naville (FRA), and Yael Margelisch (CHE), followed by Laurie Genovese (FRA).

Eight out of the top ten pilots flew the Enzo 3.

In the words of PWC’s Ruth Jessop: “Disentis 2020 has been a fantastic get together of old friends, long standing rivals, new World Cup pilots and flying families. Well done and a big thank you to all those who have contributed to making Disentis 2020 such a tremendous success.”

Thanks to the PWC for managing an excellent event in complicated times. Congrats and cheers from all the Ozone Team.

For full results, Click HERE 

Photos courtesy of Azoom Martin Scheel / PWCA.org

RONNY HELSEGEN ON PODIUM AT NORGES CUP WITH DELTA 4.

The Norges Cup-veka, in Vaga, Norway, just came to an end. Our longtime friend and legendary Norwegian pilot, Ronny Helgesen, gave his Enzo 3 a break and competed with his new Delta 4. He reports:

“While I am waiting for the Enzo 4, I am flying the Delta 4. We had a competition here in Norway with four tasks. The Delta 4 is absolutely incredible, especially at full speed.

I had a long glide with Rolf Dale in his Enzo 3, and my Delta 4 at full speed had the same glide as Enzo 3 at 60%. I managed to finish in third, beaten by two Enzo 3s.

Ozone took the first 11 places. Thanks for a great product and I am looking forward to you finishing the Enzo 4…”

Congrats Ronny, and Cheers from all the Ozone Team.

Photos courtesy of Jan Richard Hansen


Final Results.

Overall:

Rolf Dale, Enzo 3
Jan Richard Hansen, Enzo 3
Ronny Helgesen, Delta 4

Serial class
Ronny Helgesen, Delta 4
Gunnar Saebu, Nova Triton
Per-Inge Norang, 777 Q-light

Ladies
Mari-Anne Aanes, Enzo 3
Vanja Eggesvik, Zeno
Lill-Elisabeth Jensen, M7

For full results, Click Here