Six Moon Designs
What is your greatest sporting success?
Solo vol – bivouacs, XC in wild mountains, RedBull X-Alps and other races, NZ national records, organizing Wanaka Hike & Fly, coaching other pilots and make them progress
When and why did you start paragliding?
2014, Bassano del Grappa, Italy
What is your mountaineering experience?
Of course a lot of hiking. Especially my vol-bivouacs involve quite a bit of hiking through tough terrain with a heavy backpack and on limited food intake (and if it’s in New Zealand always in wet shoes!) and my body handles it well. Before I was a keen rock climber, doing sport routes up to French 7c and easier mountain routes (up to VII/VII+). I have glacial experience (walking, not technical ice climbing). I’ve done quite a bit of ski touring in the Tatra Mountains and the Alpes.
What does your typical training week consist of?
For 5 years before Covid, from November till April I was in New Zealand and then migrating to the European Alps. I spent the last two years in New Zealand, but coming to the other side soon!
Depends on the time of the year, I train at the gym 5 to 6 times per week and run. I fly when it’s flyable (it’s still Summer in NZ), there is a lot of wind here, good training opportunities! May – September is time for European Alps. Training becomes more organic – hiking, flying, camping, washing myself in mountain streams and chasing the sun. Unfortunately I couldn’t go to Europe during the last two years because of global pandemic and then I got injured (stress fracture in my foot) but I’ve had great time here. We’ve had fantastic summer in the Southern Alps this year.
October is time for Indian Himalayas and some vol-bivouac flying in high mountains, hopefully this year I’ll be able to go back there.
What are your best and worst sporting memories?
Best – putting myself alone deep into New Zealand Alps with complicated weather and many doubts and the very next day flying the most beautiful line there is to fly in New Zealand, more than doubling my previous national record and coming out the other side a better pilot and a stronger person. Worst – putting myself in a rotor and taking a high pine tree in Swiss Alps during my first spring. However it was also good for me – showed me how little I still knew and how much there was to learn.
And then Red Bull X-Alps, it brough the highest heights and the darkest lows, I still feel proud of some decisions and still very much cringe when I think about others! It definitely made me proud to be able to participate with and learn from some of the best pilots in the world and it inspired and humbled me, showing how much I still have to learn. I’m still impressed how my flying changed and improved after this experience
Why did you choose X-Pyr?
I heard its awesome! And I can’t wait to explore Pyrenees.
Have you participated on X-Pyr before?, How was it?
Have you flown in the Pyrenees before? What do you think about them?
A bit, plan to fly more before the race. My impression was they can be rough, hot and windy, similar to our NZ Southern Alps!
What will your strategy be during the race?
Fly as much as possible, keep pushing on the ground and have fun!
What excites you most about the X-Pyr?
I haven’t raced for a while and I can’t wait to feel the thrill, focus and commitment, and to embrace the adventure only hike&fly race can bring.
What scares you the most about the event?
That the weather will be horrendous!
Why will he/she make a good assistant?
Ross is smart, organized, analytical, passionate about flying and hike&fly.
Anything else you like to comment?
I can’t wait!