On Saturday, June 27th, after spending a full day on the ground due to strong winds, they launched from Alanos and flew 227 km to set a new Pyrenees distance record.
In their words:
“Our goal was simply to enjoy the beautiful Pyrenees, and fly as a team. During the first three days we flew 180 km to the west, where the crest of the Pyrenees ends.
On the fourth day, we were forced to take the day off due to strong wind. The big surprise came on day five when, with decent conditions (nothing special), we were able to fly 227 km for a new distance record in the Pyrenees… we flew back to the east following the predominant wind flow and in a single day we surpassed the full route of the first three days. It was UNREAL!!!!
After that incredible flight, conditions deteriorated. So we decided to stop for now and put our energy into our next vol-bivouac mission. Stay tuned to find out where and when this will be!”
Horacio was flying his Zeolite and Felix his Z-Alps. Both of them flew with the Ozium 2.
This year our pilots will be flying the new Zeolite in the race. Legendary adventurer and Ozone team pilot, Antoine Girard, says:
“This is the ideal sail for vol-biv, without compromise! Easy, agile, powerful, fast and especially ultralight. The takeoff and landings have never been easier. It is a real Swiss army knife for vol-biv. It’s a pleasure to carry, and a pleasure to fly. The performance and overall ease of use makes it very difficult to give back after having tested it!”
Gavin McClurg, Gaspard Petiot, Nick Neynans, Cody Mittanck, Rodolphe Akl, Thomas Juel Christiensen, Manuel Nübel, Dominika Kasieczko, and Maxime Pinot, are all competing under the ZEOLITE in this year’s race.
While the PWC crew was gearing up in Brazil, Wayne Seeley & friends were chasing the first XC window of the year in the UK.
“The UK season finally kicked off. On March 24th, the forecast was good with a 1500m base predicted and a nice NW wind . A few of us launched our Zenos from Selsley common in the Cotswolds, Tom Cole and Ollie Clothier both made 100+km flights and me and Graham Steel made our declared goal of 155km finally landing at 162k after 5 hrs. A great start to the year!!!”
Unsupported. Unspoiled. Untouched. After crossing the width of the Canadian Rockies during his 1,000 km vol-biv in 2017, Benjamin Jordan has taken his passion for exploring the untouched mountains of his homeland to the next level.
Last summer, Benjamin dared to become the first person to fly an unprecedented 1,200 km route, along the entire length of the Rockies, from the United States all the way up to Northern British Columbia. Join us this week for a taste of this incredible adventure.
Spring has brought some fine conditions to the UK. Our friend, Wayne Seeley, shares the details of an epic weekend in his homeland:
“Saturday the 19th May dawned with clear skies and light winds forecast, the team at XCLENT decided to attempt a 105km declared triangle. launching from our tow site at 11am we were soon climbing and heading off to tp1, the first 20k went well with good cumulus but then we had to cross 40km of blue sky, this went quite well and as we neared tp2 we again reached cumulus and had plentiful strong climbs up to 6000ft all along the Cotswold edge back to our goal, 4 of us made it around the course , Wayne Seeley (Zeno) Graham steel (Zeno) Guy Anderson (Enzo3) and Richard Osbourne (Zeno) with the first two closing the triangle in 5hrs. The following day gave similar conditions with more breeze but a few of us managed to get around a 85km triangle thanks to the almighty into wind performance of the Zenos”
Ozone Team pilot, Cody Mittanck just sent us a report from his latest trip to Nevada where he had the opportunity to put his Z-alps and Ozium 2 to the test.
“Nevadastan. The name should conjure images of a dry, desolate desert with no roads and no cell service, with small dusty mining towns barely surviving and locals speaking a foreign tongue. It’s not quite this. The locals speak some form of incomprehensible english and I found 4G in the middle of a dry lake bed that is better than I get at my house in Salt Lake City. But regardless its an adventure and for me one that can be found without getting on a plane. It was spring time flying in the desert, lapse rates that had my vario doubled over showing 14 mps climbs, leaving climbs nearly a 1000 meters below base and still getting sucked into the cloud, getting snowed on, and moving 90 degrees off course to avoid massive thunderstorms. I had never heard of a pee tube freezing, but apparently it happens. My hands are still a bit numb in the fingertips. I have to say that even in those conditions it was insane how comfortable I felt under the Z-alps. It never even had the slightest tip collapse, but still had the feedback (and performance) of a 2-liner. I’ve flown the Enzo for the past 4 years in both competition and XC, because I feel its important to stay current on the wing your competing on. It goes without saying that it is a bit of work to fly the Enzo on long XC flights and I’m worried that if I only fly the Zalps I’ll loose the focus required for the Enzo…but I have to be honest, I’ve never had so much fun flying in booming spring time conditions as I did flying the Z-alps in Nevada.”
Antoine Girard and Martin Beaujouan-Berger have concluded their epic journey in South America. Their 1600km adventure took some unexpected turns through the Andes.
In Antoine’s words:
“The initial objective was to achieve 2700 km of bivouac flight including 1700 km of exploration.
We realized 1600km of which 700km completely new. We tried to fly and walk the rest of the 900km, but it was not possible to do it only in bivouac flight… We used the bus a lot. It’s the game of exploration, we don’t know in advance what we are going to find. In the south, a consistently stable atmosphere due to the luxuriant vegetation hindered us. Walking was almost impossible, for example we took 3 days to advance only 50km. To the north is a permanent coastal breeze between the ocean and the Altiplano which is too strong… but we managed to climb on foot and fly volcanoes like the 5672m Ubinas, near Arequipa, Peru.
On the other hand all the central part of the Cordillera flew perfectly! A wild environment in a mountainous desert. No paraglider had everdared to venture there because of the lack of civilization. The main difficulty was finding water. We had to fly with 10 liters of reserve water each, and 10 days of food.
In any case, we are proud to have opened the first 600 km flight route in the heart of the Andes”
Ozone team pilot, Raúl Penso, soared beyond the summit of the highest mountain in Venezuela, El Pico Bolivar.
Raul grew up in a small town in the Venezuelan Andes, at the base of this massive mountain. Since the beginning he had dreamed of reaching the summit of El Bolivar by air, and after more than two decades of flying in his beautiful hometown, Merida, he has made his dream come true.
In his words:
“It took me almost two hours to reach the summit of “El Bolivar” after taking off from Loma de Los Angeles. The flight wasn’t easy in the beginning, the thermals were quite weak. Once I reached “El Paramo”, I was able to fly through out the inversion finding strong cores that allowed me to climb up and reach the sunny face of El Bolivar. From there I jumped to its south face where I ran into the meteorological wind from the flatlands which helped me to reach an altitude of 5.143 AMSL and fly comfortably above the highest summit of Venezuela.
It was a special moment, after 23 years waiting for this opportunity… the only thing I was able to yell to the air was: INCREDIBLE !!!!!!!!
How beautiful is my Merida and my Venezuela”
Raul is the first pilot to reach, and fly above, the highest summit in Venezuela, El Pico Bolivar (4978 m). He was flying his Enzo 3.