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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 WELCOMES BENOÎT OUTTERS TO THE TEAM.

Benoît is a dynamic young pilot from France who has dived head first into the most challenging vol-biv adventures, ultra-trail races, and alpinism in general. He started flying in 2013 and has already participated twice in the Red Bull X-Alps, finishing second in 2017 and third in 2019.

In 2015 he crossed the New Zealand Alps together with Antoine Girard and has since added many bivouac adventures to his flight log. Stay tuned for more on his adventures.

CHARLES CAZAUX SETS A NEW SPEED PARAGLIDING RECORD.

Ozone Team pilot, Charles Cazaux (FRA) has beaten his own record of speed over 25 km triangle course at Col du Banchet (France) with a 46,9 km/h of average speed on 24 of August 2020, setting a new World Speed Paragliding record.

He shares:

“I woke up this morning, just back from a week in Disentis for the World Cup, had breakfast with the kids, walked few steps in the garden and eye on the sky: fresh air, dry grass, bird already thermalling, east/north east tendancy up there, little cloud on the east side of ridges. Hmm… Sound like a good day… A pretty good day. So what’s the plan of the whole family? Kids want to take a rest at home from yesterday hike, really? So I might have a short window to test this airmass., take off is just 10’ from there.

Few minute to check more carefully the forecast, it seems a bit windy for the plan in my mind… But let’s try it! What is a the plan? A speed run training over a 25 km FAI triangle! What? Yes, that’s it!

Years ago I started training on it as a specific exercise to improve myself, my skills using the speedbar, push the limits of my mind, learn to be focus, relax and efficient in this special moment. In competition the final glide with full speed is just few minute of the flight, and I realized I was not so good for it. I spent more and more time to practice in order to be able to fight with the best pilot. It seems it works! 25 km is quite short, every second matters for the average speed. The main thing to deal with is the difference of altitude between the start and the arrival point which must be less than 500m according to the FAI record rules. It means to go fast, you will push and loose altitude but on the other hand you need to deal with this minimum altitude difference. I found that my home place is not so bad regarding the terrain and aerology.

In 2006, I did my first world record on a « speed over a 25 km FAI triangle », I continue the story in 2010 with an Ozone R10, then prototype disappeared from the competition scene, reducing the top speed, so it was pretty complicate to find the right aerology to push the limit faster than the last years.

Back to the present, I am on fire and ready! Sent the Paperwork to the FAI, setting task in the GPS, my Bullet barr is on, my ballast is full, Enzo 3 and Exoceat ready to rock! After several record attempt in Australia, Texas, Brazil, I have been used to this record routine so it was quite easy from home! Take-off, first thermal nearby the cliff and I understood it might be a bit strong for my plan « 10-15 km/h nor-east, 3-4 m/s lift, never mind let’s see what’s possible with such a stadium ! » It has been a quite demanding day playing a lot with the B risers and my speedbar especially over the ridge hitting thermal and headwind even I flew 300-400m over the ground. I was ready to face such a challenge with a right mindset for this daily task! Such a good feeling to cross the line and check the result! A new Speed record…

Thanks to Seiko Fukuoka Naville, my Team partner at Airlinks Academy, as she always push me to improve my skills with safety training, full speed training, detailed debriefing . Thanks to One Day coaching for the advice to keep my mind in the task.

I am looking forward for a D-day with the right aerology or a better place to make it even faster!”

Congrats Charles for such a fast run and cheers from all the Ozone Team.

For record’s details, Click HERE

For FAI.org’s interview with Charles, Click HERE.

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