The X-Pyr attracted me like a magnet

João Pedro Simonsen


João Pedro Simonsen


  • Nationality
  • Birthday
    May 11, 1966
  • Occupation
  • Residence
    Sao Paulo (Brazil)
  • Experience
  • Wing
    OZONE Zeolite
  • Harness
    OZONE F*Race
  • Helmet
    BOERI Mercury

Renata de Mattos Granda


  • Nationality
  • Residence
    São Paulo (Brazil)

Team details

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What is your greatest sporting success?
Surfing big waves at Jaws, the famous Hawaiian big wave surf spot. I clearly remember how good it felt and how I was smiling for a few days non stop afterwards.

When and why did you start paragliding?
I started paragliding 10 years ago, because my hang-glider was too complicated to travel with, and coming from a surfing background I always like too look for the perfect wave, ops… perfect thermal.

What is your mountaineering experience?
My mountaineering experience is shaped by some interesting hikes down in Brasil, like Serra Fina, Pedra da Mina and Pico dos Marins and I have hiked Mt. Whitney(4.440m) in California, Yosemite National Park for 4 days, and a few other multi-days hikes like Haleakala in Hawaii.

What does your typical training week consist of?
I have been training frequently, one day running and swimming, another day HIIT, biking and swimming, and at least a couple of long hiking days. And flying as much as I can!

What are your best and worst sporting memories?
Best: winning a bike race while I was still in first grade, that showed me that all is possible if you apply yourself to it.
Worst: don´t remember 😉

Why did you choose the X-Pyr?
Since I started paragliding I wanted to do crossings, and trips over mountain ranges. The X-Pyr is the perfect combination of racing and adventure, it attracted me like a magnet, but It took a while for me to feel prepared to do it.

Have you participated in the X-Pyr before? How was it?
I have not.

Have you flown in the Pyrenees before? What do you think about them?
Not yet.

What will your strategy be during the race?
Fly the most walk the least.

What excites you most about the X-Pyr?
The prospect of racing across some beautiful mountains.

What scares you the most about the event?
I am not sure, maybe the possibility of bad weather for many days…

Why will he/she make a good assistant?
We have done quite a few trips together, Sierra Nevada In California, the Andes (Chile and Argentina) and around Brasil, that have some of the same challenges as the X-Pyr, and it all went really well.

Anything else you like to comment?
I am honoured to be chosen to take part in the X-Pyr. Specially coming from Brasil where we have a long tradition of flying but no tradition on Hike & Fly races!


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