Red Bull X-Alps: the athlete's view

Reflecting on the 2011 Red Bull X-Alps, our GIN Team athletes, Kaoru Ogisawa and Vincent Sprungli, told us about some of the challenges of the race.


"The most challenging part of the race is that you walk, you fly, not on 1 day, not on 2 days, but for 2 weeks. Day by day, your physical and mental state are worse and worse. And you must find your way to Monaco with enough lucidity not to make bad choices that could lead to an accident or injury."

For Ogi, coming from Japan, another challenge has been getting to know the fastest routes through the Alps. But he also agreed with Vincent, "Safety is a challenge. When you're tired, keeping the right state of mind is important. But you can make your own decisions. It's a very interesting and enjoyable event."

Vincent adds:

"I think that this race is safer than competitions where you must fly, as fast as possible, without having the possibility to land to walk over a pass, like XC flights. You do what you want, what you feel is best for you, for your security.

It's a hard race. It can be an extreme race if you make the choice to go over your limits.

But It's a very intelligent race.

Hannes Arch and Ulrich Grill are not crazy men. Above all, they are human beings and have a lot of respect for life and all the pilots who come from all over the world to take part in this big adventure."

Neither athlete could confirm that they would take part for a 4th time in 2013. But judging by the fun they've had--despite their difficulties this year--it would seem a likely possibility!

Both athletes were flying special light Boomerang 8 gliders, with 27g/m2 fabric from Porcher Marine. The same materials, and much of the technology, feature on our new lightweight mountain glider, the Yeti (EN A).


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