Russ grew up with his head in the sky watching his dad jump out of planes and military balloons, and so the love of the air has always been in his blood. His dad got into skydiving back in the 1960’s when it was a very new sport, dabbled with a bit of hang gliding when they were made from bamboo, and was one of the first people to ever parascend. He no longer paraglides (unless Russ takes him on a tandem) but still flies his sailplane every week.
Russ’s brother started paragliding in the early 90’s and as soon as he saw him doing it he knew it was his calling. He bought Russ his first beginner course and he has never looked back. That was in 1994, at 21 years of age, and he has been addicted ever since.
“Riding the invisible, powerful natural energy of the sun to be able to soar like a bird is the stuff of dreams. I absolutely love it. I am constantly amazed by what can be done and the places we can go with such simple machines and I always feel deeply privileged to have been born in the right part of the world and in the right generation to be able to do so”
Russ started to work at Ozone in 2004. Since them he has been a vital part of the R&D team. He finds his job quite enjoyable. He loves the development process and relating changes made to the wing to flying behaviour.
“We are still very much in the barn storming days of design and development where the only way to know if a new idea or change works is to go out and fly it. I love that and it makes it a deeply interesting process”
Russ lives in the South of France near Ozone’s main office, in a beautiful valley nestled under the imposing limestone gorges where he and the rest of the R&D Team fly every day.
Some of Russ’s achievements:
- 3x times British champion
- 1st PWC Turkey 2009
- 2nd Superfinal 2009
- 2nd PWC Colombia 2011
- 3rd Superfinal 2012
- 3rd Europeans 2012