I was born into flying

Rich Binstead


Rich Binstead


  • Nationality
  • Birthday
    July 30, 1976
  • Occupation
    Nurse, paragliding instructor and tandem pilot
  • Residence
  • Experience
  • Wing
    SKYWALK X-Alps 5
  • Harness
  • Helmet
    SUPAIR School

Conan Burch


  • Nationality
    New Zealand
  • Residence
    Thornbury, VIC (Australia)

Team details

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What is your greatest sporting success?
Pioneering new flying sites in remote central Australia.

When and why did you start paragliding?
I started flying paragliders in Pokhara 2012. I was born into flying. My father was a fixed-wing pilot. When I was six years old we built balsa wood gliders together and launched them from a bungee, catching thermals off the local tennis court. I joined the air training cadets when I was 13, where I learned more about flying. That same year after witnessing my first hang-glider I said to myself “I will do that when I grow up”. I had no idea how it was even possible to soar like a bird unassisted. I ended up paragliding because it was much more portable.

What is your mountaineering experience?
I have been climbing since 2005. I have done more technical rock climbing than mountaineering. A highlight was putting up a new alpine climb in the Kashmiri Himalayas in 2012.

What does your typical training week consist of?
I try to mix it up by riding, running and hiking with weight. At the moment I am doing as much aerobic exercise as I can fit in whilst doing three strength and endurance sessions every week.

What are your best and worst sporting memories?
The best is probably winning a task at an AAA Cat 2 Paragliding competition in Corryong, Australia. My worst is having a mountaineering experience where I thought I was going to die for 6 hours straight.

Why did you choose the X-Pyr?
For the X-Pyrience ;). It is the biggest challenge of my life so far.

Have you participated in the X-Pyr before?, How was it?

Have you flown in the Pyrenees before? What do you think about them?

What will your strategy be during the race?
To have fun. The biggest winner is the person with the biggest smile.

What excites you most about the X-Pyr?
Flying new terrain.

What scares you the most about the event?
Windy valleys and limited access to water up high.

Why will he/she make a good assistant?
Because Conan has the right temperament, is fit and he is a great pilot. He understands the demands of a high-level race like the X-Pyr.

Anything else you like to comment?

    Without these guys we would not have the race.

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