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Cloudbase Mayhem Podcast

Sports & Recreation Podcasts

Free flight podcast hosted by Gavin McClurg

Free flight podcast hosted by Gavin McClurg


United States


Free flight podcast hosted by Gavin McClurg






Episode 148: Red Bull X-Alps 2021, Gavin answers your questions!

This year's Red Bull X-Alps, if you could put it in a word- scary. We didn't have a single "standard" day of flying with light wind, nice cumulus, and good base, unless you count the Prologue! We had incredible heat the first three days, low base, wind and stable conditions, then the thunderstorms started, strong Fohn from the South and North, window-breaking hail, severe lightning and really, really strong wind for the remainder of the race. Every athlete I spoke with at the awards at the...


Episode 147- Special Red Bull X-Alps Podcast with the Salewa athletes

I sat down for a special edition of the Cloudbase Mayhem directly after the Red Bull X-Alps Prologue yesterday with my Salewa teammates Paul Guschlbauer, Aaron Durogati, Markus Anders, Chrigel Maurer, Simon Oberrauner, and Tommy Friedrich to find out how they are feeling going into the race, what they are most concerned about with the course, how they take care of their body for 12 days of pounding, how they train, what they changed coming into this race, funny stories from previous...


Episode 146- Maxime Pinot and turning up the Volume

In this episode we discuss how Maxime approaches training (physical and mental), his thoughts on just making better decisions instead of doing SIV for pilots who don't have the money or time, how to manage your emotions, how to thermal and glide better, dealing with the "mental pain" that sometimes comes with flying, finding the opportunities from mistakes, the importance of visualization, and we look back at a couple key moves that made all the difference for Chrigel in the 2019 race.


Episode 145- Standing on the shoulders of giants with Mitchell McAleer

Mitchell McAleer properly crashed a hang glider on literally his first flight in the early 70’s. But he shook it off and was in the right place at the right time and had the right mentors and right attitude and eventually became the winningest aerobatics pilot in history. Southern California was one of the true meccas of hang gliding in the 70’s and 80’s. It was the home of UP during their reign with the Comet, remains the home of Wills Wing and was where Mitch took on the sport in his teens...


Episode 144- Jeff Longcor and (mostly) Inexpensive Mistakes

Jeff Longcor has been flying only a few years and has a full time job, which makes getting hours tough, but he's completely enamored with the sport and has been chasing it hard, sometimes too hard. Jeff has made some inexpensive mistakes, and a few expensive ones. They've all provided volumes of learning, and his desire for the sport is as high as it has ever been. In this show we dig into all the little things that add up to help us all become better pilots, and in the end- better people.


Episode 143- Matt Scutter and SkySight Soaring 101

Matt Scutter is an Australian competition sailplane pilot and software engineer who leads a team that runs the popular global soaring forecast platform Skysight. Unlike other platforms that use existing weather models to produce interactive forecasts for free flight enthusiasts like Meteoparapente and XCSkies, SkySight uses their own supercomputing systems to gather a wide range of weather data to create their own daily models. Initially designed for sailplane forecasting SkySight is now a...


Episode 142- Urs Haari and the Sweet Spot

Urs Haari has been at this game since the game began. He got several world records early in his career in South Africa in the early 90's, stood on the podium multiple times at World Championships, PWC's and at the European Championships and brought home champion titles at the Swiss, AND US Nationals. This past season he won the sport class in the Swiss Cup Championship for the remarkable 5th time, and is now the permanent holder of this coveted award. Given he only gets to go XC 4 to 6 times...


Episode 141- Robbie Whittall- Creating Connections and Changing Perceptions

Where do you start with Robbie Whittall? He’s one of only three...


Episode 140- Michael Witschi and Experiencing the Amazing through Competition

Michael Witschi has an extremely impressive flying resumé. He's won pretty much everything you can in competition paragliding. He's a 3-time world champion; has won maybe more world cup tasks than anyone; competed in the 2015 Red Bull X-Alps; is a current coach of the X-Alps Academy; and is the mastermind, founder and organizer of the incredible EigerTour, a 4-day hike and fly race in the Bernese Oberalps. Michael is the father of two adorable children and is a very successful businessman...


Episode 139- Rico Chandra and developing Superpowers

Rico Chandra is a Swiss pilot and musician who started flying 28 years ago. He's recently popped up at the top of XContest and this past August he completed a 1,000 km solo vol biv across the Alps from Zurich to Slovenia. Rico has developed some really fantastic ground rules for keeping it between the lines when flying in his long accident-free history. In this episode we talk about his "superpower" that we should all develop ourselves; appropriate (and inappropriate) gear for a bivvy;...


Episode 138- Nik Hawks and Expectations

Nik Hawks returns to the Mayhem in response to the pilot survey we put out a couple months ago to take on a whole bunch of topics you, our listeners asked for. We broke this wide-ranging show into four main parts- Nik's answers a bunch of questions about his own sometimes frustrating progression and how he's had to adjust his own expectations in the sport in order to avoid being a "dangerous pilot"; I answer questions from Nik about a recent interesting discussion he had with a new pilot on...


Episode 137- Kirsten Seeto and Making the Jump

Australian pilot Kirsten Seeto has turned her dreams into her reality. By simplifying her life, making some calculated bold decisions, and focusing on airtime over a paycheck and on lifestyle over work she's carved out what many seek but few achieve. In this wide-ranging inspiring podcast Kirsten shares how we can make flying a lot more inclusive; how to get mentors; the power of being vulnerable; how to behave and interact on launch; finding a mentor; how to approach pilots on launch; why...


Episode 136- Rene Falquier and the ABC’s of Glider Design

Many of our listeners have been requesting more shows on gear and especially what goes into wing design. Here you go! Rene Falquier recently completed a year-long aeronautics and engineering thesis with BGD in France. In this episode we dive into how a wing comes to fruition. How much is science vs craft? How much is wing design driven by design philosophy? How does the design process work? And critically- does knowing anything about wing design help us become better pilots? You be the...


Episode 135 – Tim Pentreath and Vol Biv

Tim Pentreath has been flying paragliders for over 30 years. The new frontier for Tim's flying the last few years has been multi-day bivvy trips in the Alps and this episode is dedicated to that art form in flying. The gear; the skills; setting appropriate objectives; how to prepare; where to go on your first bivvy; how to keep it simple; what you need to know; comfort vs going light; food tips; safety tips; what to know before you go; weather resources; where to camp; tips for flying near...


Episode 134- Martin Henry and a lifelong pursuit

Need a good laugh? Kick back and listen to Martin Henry, a Canadian Hang glider and paraglider who has been chasing free flight for almost 50 years tell some really fun stories. Get on board as we travel around the world, learn how to thermal, fly triangles, retrieve your significant other, fly competitions, compete in the Worlds, compete in the Worlds with your wife!, figure it out, crash, tumble, bomb out, send it, learn, and drink a nice cold beer with your friends after yet another...


Episode 133- Malin Lobb and Wing Control

Malin Lobb is the co-owner of Flyeo paragliding in Annecy with Fabien Blanco. He was one of the founders of the British Racing Academy, is a keen world cup comp pilot and an experienced SIV and paragliding instructor. In this information-packed episode that our editor called "One of the Best Episodes EVER!" we are given a TON of really solid advice on how to approach SIV; what to be thinking about when choosing a wing; the pitfalls of wing certification and relying on "passive safety" and a...


Episode 132- Bastienne Wentzel and the Beginner’s Guide to Paragliding

Bastienne Wentzel is a professional science writer, editor of Lift magazine and assistant pilot instructor based in the Netherlands. A few years ago she became frustrated with the lack of comprehensive, correct information available for newer pilots trying to learn to fly and decided to write an instructional book in Dutch. It was such a hit that the team at Cross Country magazine, headed up by Ed Ewing decided to take three years re-writing and editing her original book in English.


Episode 131- Ferdinand Van Shelven takes on his 5th X-Alps

Ferdinand (aka "Ferdy") Van Shelven, "The Flying Dutchman" is returning for his 5th Red Bull X-Alps this June. Ferdy has been in the top 7 in all of his previous 4 campaigns from 2011 to 2017. How has a pilot from the flatlands of the Netherlands become so competitive in the toughest race on Earth? We explore his flying philosophy; his approach to risk; the dynamic with his wife Nicole supporting him in the race; the right head-space for something as huge as the X-Alps; how his approach will...


Episode 130- Instruments and chasing beauty with Koni Schafroth

Koni Schafroth has been flying over 30 years, but you're not going to find him chasing distance and trying to win XContest. Koni pursues free flight for the beauty and tapping into the incredible emotion that flying provides. Soaring over glaciers on a perfect day; midnight flights under the full moon; flying with friends; and coming home safely.


Episode 129- Piedrahita, Wild Stories, Accident hindsights and more with Steve Ham

Steve Ham's fascination with flying began with hang gliders in 1981, which subsequently ended any attempt at a serious career path. In 1991 Steve discovered Piedrahita in Spain and began a crusade to put the site on the world map for flying and competitions. During the 90's Steve organized and ran some of the most memorable and successful comps of the decade, including 4 World Cups, the Europeans, the Hang Gliding World series and multiple national events.