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It is one of the most complicated paragliding acro maneuvers at the moment, a connection between two Sats –the 2nd one to the opposite direction- through an infinity tumbling, making the glider draw a complete sphere around the pilot. The Czech pilot managed to complete 9 Esferas using a Sonic 3D Proto paraglider from Sol, after jumping from a hot-air balloon.
Ondrej did the feat on December 28, 2015, in Montemorelos, Mexico.
A technically difficult maneuver, the Esfera is composed of three distinct, synchronized, continuous and visible phases, the entry procedure to sat, then infinity tumbling and anti-rhythmic, and progression to the opposite side. Ondrej repeated the trick 9 times in a row for the first time since the invention of Esfera 5 years ago, by Pal Takats. The previous record was 6 Esferas.
One of the founders of the group of daredevils behind awarded films like ‘Petit Bus Rouge’ or ‘I believe I can fly’ where different aerial sports were combined, Melet died on January 5, after falling from a hot-air balloon while preparing a new stunt. According to his friends “He leaves behind wonderful memories, a taste of freedom and a head full of dreams”.
Tancrede was a world reference in the field of extreme sports. He was among the best BASE jumpers, highliners, wingsuit flyers and other air sportsmen. He was also a mountaineer and a high-level athlete.
He and his friends were regarded as pioneers of the skyline (highline at high altitudes).
A lover of circus and acrobatic performances, he was the leader of the collective Flying Frenchies with whom he pushed the limits of heights.
Their filmed exploits brought millions of Internet followers both for their unique performances and their bohemian and comical adventures.
Aged 32, he was the father of a little girl.
The unfortunate accident happened when he was preparing a new stunt involving hot-air balloons. Tancrede was on the ground holding the balloon when it suddenly took off. Contrary to his team mates who were able to free themselves, Melet found himself unable to tether the balloon or disentangle himself from the lines, and finally fell from an altitude of around 20 metres.
Fimmaker and partner at the Flying Frenchies, Seb Montaz, commented on his Facebook page:
“Don’t be too quick to judge [his accident]… He was twice as careful since becoming a father. He didn’t fall trying a complicated move - the clown slipped on a banana skin… one of those sneaky things you can’t see coming, clipping the wings of our most brilliant bird”.
"Tancrede Melet, a surprising lover of life, surprised us by leaving too soon". (From ‘Flying Frenchies’ page).
Tanc' nous a quitté. Je n'ai pas eu l'occasion de rencontrer des visionnaires surdoués comme cet oiseau là bien souvent. 2 ou 3 peut être...S'il vous plait, ne le jugez pas trop vite. Tancrède redoublait de prudence depuis qu'il était le papa de Léonie. Il n'est pas tombé lors d'une pirouette compliquée. Le clown blanc a glissé sur une peau de banane. Une de ces erreurs sournoises qu'on ne voit pas venir. De celle qui a coupé les ailes aux meilleurs.On n'est pas prêt te t'oublier Tanc', tu nous as bien trop fait rêver!The show must go on les Flying Frenchies. Salut l' Artiste!Tanc has gone.Such a talented and visionary bird is a rare breed… I haven’t met many like him.Don’t be too quick to judge … he was twice as careful since becoming a father.He didn’t fall trying a complicated move - the clown slipped on a banana skin… one of those sneaky things you can’t see coming.Clipping the wings of our most brilliant bird.Tanc, we won't forget you - you showed us how to make our dreams come true.Salut l’artiste.
On December 9th in Australia, the Japanese-French pilot covered that amazing distance in straight line for a new paragliding female record, surpassing Nicole Fedele’s flight of 395km done in Brazil earlier this year. On the same flight Seiko also set a new record of straight distance to a declared goal, 366km, and 4 days later –today- she beat the free distance through 3 turnpoints mark with 378km, on her quest “to hold all of the long distance paragliding world records”.
Seiko launched on her Ozone Enzo 2 paraglider by towing from Deniliquin, in South-eastern Australia (New South Wales), at 9:11 in the morning of Wednesday 9th, and landed at 20:41 after spending 11 hours and a half in the air. This is her account of the record flight:
“This year I came to Australia for the Free Straight Distance Record (current record was 395 km) and Distance to Goal Fixed Record for which we need to declare the goal before the flight (current record 301 km). Beside all the flying skills a pilot has to gain in order to break a record, the weather has the last word. The ideal conditions for this kind of flight are: enough tail wind to cover as much terrain as possible, strong lift, and high cloud base.
Unfortunately, yesterday’s forecast didn’t look that great with light wind and a bit stable to try to break The Free Straight Distance so I decided to fly for Distance to Goal Fixed Record with a declared distance of 366km. Here is how it went:
After another perfect winch take off provided by my ground crew I start to head west, finding light north wind on my way. As the predictions shows the cloud base is very low which kept my flying speed quite slow.
Five hours have passed and I haven’t even reached the 200km mark - at this point my hopes were low, it doesn’t look promising to reach my 366 km goal.
Anyway I don’t let the numbers bother me and I keep my mind on my final target. After fighting for 4 more hours I find myself 40km from goal with really weak conditions and my body started to feel the need of a big Australian steak. I tried to stay in the air using every minor amount of lift I find in my way and look around searching for my best winged friends at this crucial moment but I find none.
Suddenly, bingo! A good thermal that I squeeze to the end and then look at my GPS: I am 10km away from goal. After 10 hours in the air I am finally heading for my final destination, I got it!
I arrive above goal with almost no energy left but with a big smile on my face, I check my altitude - 1300 m above the ground. I am getting ready to lose some high when I hear all the crew on the radio: Seiko why you don’t try to get the free straight distance record too? Really?
I hesitate for a second. I know it is late, I have to fly at least 30 more kms and I need to land 30 minutes after sunset at the latest. Check the time and I have less than 30 minutes to achieve this second record, my pilot brain answer the question immediately: why not? Go get it!
The lift is almost none so I keep flying until I find a weak but well-formed thermal that helps me to get some altitude, check the numbers again I am 20 km from the 400 km mark! The glide looks good, check the time I might make it!
Of course life is not that simple, once I start to get closer to the record distance I realize the terrain start to get higher and there are some hills on my way. Oh my god! I wasn’t planning to get this far so I didn’t check the map of this area.
Nothing to do, I am on my final glide I cross my fingers and keep flying with one eyes on my GPS and one eyes on the hills in front. I pass the 395 km mark, I got it but I am already here I am going for the 400 km!!! Come on you can do it! At this point I am almost touching the hills when there is no more room for me to fly I look to the GPS and see the magic number: 402 km!
I do one and half turn and I land in a beautiful farm field.
This was such an exciting and unexpected flight! I broke two records after almost 11 hours in the air. I have no doubts that the last lift I found on my way was a gift from Santa!
In the end these flights always remind me the same: Never Give Up!”
The FAI has received Seiko’s record claims and will decide on their certification as official Paragliding World Records soon.
His French team mate Eliot Nochez was 2nd, with Spain’s Horacio Llorens in third place of this demanding WAG competition in Dubai, which was contested by the world’s best acro pilots. Horacio together with Theo de Blic took the gold of the syncro competition.
The acro pilots put on a great show in the skies of the capital of the United Arab Emirates, after jumping from a helicopter with the paraglider in D-Bag to do their tasks and land on a raft on the sea. There was a very high level in the rounds with display of the entire range of maneuvers and acrobatic sequences of the moment, including those performed with a twist in the risers.
Red Bull pilot Tim Alongi (flying an AIRG Emilie Peace paraglider), said his victory was down to his performance in the last of the three tasks flown.
"I was in a middle position, and that really kicked my ass, so I took some risks performing manoeuvres I've only done a few times before, and it paid off," he said. His victory is even more remarkable given that he had to land under his reserve parachute after an in-flight incident a few days before the competition, although it did not seem to knock his confidence.
Alongi and Nochez (Niviuk N-Gravity 3) flying together for VRL Team also came second in the Synchro Paragliding Aerobatics competition behind the Twisted Boys: Llorens and Théo (both with Gradient Agility gliders).
The Swiss David Geiser and Jérémy Péclard of the CAT Acro Team (both with U-turn Blackout gliders), were third on the Synchro podium.
Llorens said that competitive success was about keeping your nerve under pressure. "You have to fly as well in competition as you do in training," he said.
The Brazilian manufacturer launched a new version of their special harness for acro paragliding, based on the experience of Sol team pilots in aerobatic world events. The Wasabi 3 comes with two independent rescue systems.
This harness is aimed at acro and freestyle pilots “who search for their limits and who want to practice with two independent rescue systems”, say at Sol.
The Wasabi 3 can fit a Rogallo parachute in the lower rescue compartment.
The new upper rescue compartment was inspired by BASE jump systems, providing a bigger volume space and release accuracy, according to Sol.
The EN C model from the Spanish manufacturer is a competitive wing with well-natured reactions that stands out for its climbing abilities, its great performance for cross country flying and an efficient speed system. We tested it exhaustively in a wonderful flight of over 160 km.
The Artik 4 is a modern and competitive EN C glider with a relatively moderate aspect ratio of 6.1 (projected 4.6), and features that place it at the top of the Sport class.
It is an advanced intermediate wing that requests an active pilot with experience, but at the same time it offers great internal pressure and stability in flight, as well as a sportive handling, direct and easy to understand. It is an interesting option for a wide segment of XC pilots.
The French manufacturer just certified the second edition of their EN B wing, suitable both for free flight and paramotoring. The Jedi2 offers “superior performance” and “exemplary behavior” in strong conditions, according to ITV.
With aspect ratio of 5.7 and 56 cells, the Jedi2 has a wider speed range than its predecessor with improved glide ratio, say at ITV. It is available in 4 sizes covering weights from 50 to 120kg for free flight or 50 to 160kg for paramotor. The XS size is certified EN C while the other 3 sizes are EN B.
This new lightweight wing is one of the “most versatile paragliders”
available, according to the Swiss manufacturer, since it can be used for thermalling, hike&fly or as a miniwing depending on the weight range used.
The Italian champion and record holder is the first woman to pass the 400km barrier by paraglider. On Tuesday November 3rd she took off from Quixada, in the Brazilian Northeast, and flew for 9 hours and 21 minutes on a Triple Seven King paraglider, to land near Barras (Piaui) for a total distance of 401km.
In addition to being one of the top world class paraglider pilots, Xevi is an outstanding sports photographer, as we can see in these pictures from his album of the first task of the World Cup being held in India at the moment. By the way, he was third in goal!
Announced during the last Coupe Icare, the new Eden is “the most advanced” glider of the popular EN B series from the Czech manufacturer, offering improved performance for cross country flights. Also new for their 2016 range is the Icon, an EN D wing. Both will be available by next January.