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Cloudbase Mayhem Podcast

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The Cloudbase Mayhem podcast is where you will find fascinating and educational interviews with the best free-flight pilots in the world. If you fly a hanglider or paraglider, if you fly acro or cross country, The Cloudbase Mayhem podcast is glean how the best pilots in the world get there. Hosted by Red Bull X-Alps pilot, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and current holder of the North American Foot Launch Record, Gavin McClurg






Episode 49- Honza Rejmanek and Understanding the Invisible

Honza Rejmanek competed in the Red Bull X-Alps five times. He finished in 3rd place in 2009 and made goal in Monaco in his last campaign in 2015. Many of our listeners will also know Honza from his regular meteo column in Cross Country Magazine. Honza makes a living as a meteorologist and in this episode we tap into his vast knowledge of the invisible world we operate in and how to understand how it works and how to use this knowledge to fly farther and safer. Honza's passion for flying...

Duration: 01:43:59

Episode 47- Max Fanderl and a lifetime of flight

Max Fanderl began flying paragliders and then hang gliders in the late 80's. A few months after his first flight he quit his job to become an instructor and has made a life of flying. He was a test pilot in the 90's, moved to Canada after going there on a vacation and never returning home where he opened a school and eventually competed in the Red Bull X-Alps four times. In this episode we explore how Max learned how to fly into the wind and why all flying should be approached with mindful...

Duration: 00:52:27

Episode 46- Reavis Sutphin-Gray and increasing your toolkit

Reavis learned to fly a decade ago and had a pretty unusual experience with being in the air- he doesn't experience fear. But he had a very firm understanding of the risks and wanted to be a safe pilot and took his progression and learning seriously and conservatively. This approach has given Reavis, who is now one of the pilots who regularly sends huge lines in North America a unique flying toolbox to help decipher the weather and more. Reavis is a software engineer and lives on the road...

Duration: 00:56:42

Episode 45- Chrigel Maurer and becoming an Eagle

Chrigel Maurer is the undisputed king of paragliding and after his 5th straight X-Alps win I get the feeling that he's just getting started. Chrigel was the world champion 3 times, is an acro champion, test pilot for Advance, two times winner of the X-Pyr, regularly dominates the Swiss League and just simply wins- over, and over and over again. Everyone has heard of Chrigel's famous training (ground handling in VERY strong wind, flying in the lee of cornices...) but most don't know the...

Duration: 01:24:02

Episode 44- Caroline Paul and Overcoming Fear

"Gutsy girls skateboard, climb trees, clamber around, fall down, scrape their knees, get right back up — and grow up to be brave women. Learn how to spark a little productive risk-taking and raise confident girls with stories and advice from firefighter, luger, author, paraglider and all-around adventurer Caroline Paul."- TED

Duration: 01:07:40

Episode 43- Matt Wilkes and Emergency Medicine, Hypoxia, and Extreme Physiology for Pilots

This is the most critical podcast episode we've made available to date on the show. As human flight junkies we participate in activities that let's face it- are dangerous. In this episode we sit down with Matt Wilkes, an anaesthesia and intensive care doctor based in Edinburgh, Scotland who specializes in extreme physiology and remote medicine to walk us through best practices when things go wrong. Matt takes us through what we need to be carrying in our first aid kit; how to operate in a...

Duration: 01:31:45

Episode 42- Benjamin Jordan and taking the Leap

Benjamin Jordan made history in 2016 flying a 1,000 km bivvy line solo from Vancouver to Calgary across the Coast Range and Rocky Mountains of BC and Alberta, an expedition that took 39 days to complete. To some bold pilots maybe an obvious and tempting line, but there were plenty of reasons it had never been flown, which are in part the subject of Benjamin's new documentary "Strong the Wind Blows". In this episode we talk about the ultimate question- if life isn't worth dying for, is it...

Duration: 01:49:40

Episode 41- Chris Santacroce and Set Ups for Success

Chris Santacroce has been a pillar in human flight for nearly thirty years. A long time Red Bull Air Force athlete; co-owner and founder of Superfly Paragliding in Utah; founder of Project Airtime which allows the disabled to fly; total air Jedi on anything that flies- from powered trikes to wingsuits and everything in between, Chris has been one of the most requested guests for the show and now here it is.

Duration: 00:59:13

Episode 40- Bill Belcourt Your Questions Answered!

And here it is! The long-awaited show hosted by Bill Belcourt, dedicated 100% to your questions. We asked fans of the show to send us any questions related to flying so the Yoda of the sky, Bill Belcourt could answer them in the unique way that only Bill can. We talk about how to deal with turbulence, creating better headspace, how to mitigate intermediate syndrome, how to gaggle fly, how to deal with negative people in a positive way (ie avoiding ground suck), when to leave a thermal,...

Duration: 01:27:18

Episode 39- Antoine Laurens and a Lifetime of Life Lessons

Antoine Laurens began flying in 1992 when he was just seventeen years old. He's lived a life of adventure and flying has been a way of life for the last two and half decades. One of the world's great vol-biv pilots Antoine crossed over a 1,000 km route of the Himalayas (the film trailer of the "Himalayan Odyssey" can be seen here) and was part of the small team I joined in 2012 when we flew from the south end of the Sierra range to the Oregon border. Antoine has done some of the longest,...

Duration: 01:06:54

Episode 38- Jeff Shapiro and cracking the code

"If you believe you can do it, you can do it. But that doesn't mean it will happen tomorrow. You have to do the work, nothing replaces mileage (or in this case, air time)." Little nuggets of wisdom like this is why Jeff Shapiro returns to the Cloudbase Mayhem in this amazing follow up to our first podcast a year and a half ago. The first time we spoke Jeff was just learning how to paraglide after spending a lifetime and thousands of hours hang gliding. We catch up to explore how his...

Duration: 01:17:26

Episode 37- The Groundhandling Podcast

Ground handling is the cornerstone of being a good, safe pilot. But of all the most important foundational building blocks you can practice it is often the most neglected. For many pilots "groundhandling" is pulling the wing up and getting off the hill. This is only the first step. Many of our listeners have asked for a specific ground handling episode and now here it is!

Duration: 01:29:04

Episode 36- Nick Neynens and the art of Vol Biv

"If the conditions are too gnarly, don't land, climb and get to better air!" Thoughts like this from Nick Neynens are what allowed him to finish the 2015 Red Bull X-Alps in 10th place. Nick has an untraditional approach and it works- he's flown vol-biv all over the world and has competed in the X-Pyr and X-Berg as well. In this episode we learn more about his untraditional approach and talk about risk justification, progression, meteorology, and using sandals in the hardest race on Earth....

Duration: 01:10:21

Episode 35- Christina Kolb and becoming a complete pilot

Christina Kolb is the current female world acro champion and one of the few women in the world who has perfected the Infinite tumble. In Annecy this year she won the female class and was 12th overall- an incredible achievement. In this episode we visit and revisit the cause of many accidents and how preventable they are, how to learn acro, the importance of SIV and ground handling, why altitude is more important in many cases than water, best and worst advice, how to reduce stress on...

Duration: 01:19:36

Episode 34- Tom Payne and Insights into our world

Tom Payne competed in the 2009 X-Alps and was Jon Chambers supporter in 2011 and 2013 and edited Jon Chambers book "hanging in there" which documents Jon's X-Alps campaigns. But the X-Alps is just a blip in Tom's long, passionate career in paragliding. Tom has been flying for over 20 years and is one of my own personal mentors. He's been a major player in the comp scene and is well known across Europe for flying big, creative triangles.

Duration: 01:02:02

Episode 33- Hugh Miller and Flying Psychology, X-Alps, Chrigel Secrets and MORE

Hugh Miller began flying at the age of 15 and has been a household name in the sport since taking over Cross Country Magazine back in the 90's at the age of 21. He does most of the EN C and D wing testing for the magazine today and just last year won the UK League in a career that spans decades. This talk could have gone on for hours. We cover a huge range of topics that are pertinent and valuable for any pilot at any level- exposure to risk in competitions; how to improve regardless of...

Duration: 01:16:13

Episode 32- Joanna Di Grígoli and 400 KM Sending

On the 25th of November 2016 Joanna Di Grígoli beat her own personal best by 240 km and landed than 2 km away from beating the longest women's footlaunch in history flying just over 400 km in Quixada, Brazil. But this talk is a lot more than chasing records. The flight in Brazil in the topping on the cake. Joanna grew up in Caracas, Venezuela and hasn't been able to ignore the flying dream since she was a child. Her drive and stubborness to pursue her passion has at times caused some...

Duration: 01:36:16

Episode 31- Russ Ogden, a Masters Class in Paragliding

We've got a VERY special episode for you this Holiday Season. Ozone test pilot and world cup crusher Russ Ogden, one of the great living legends of paragliding and the inspiration for the Cloudbase Mayhem podcast and one of the most-mentioned pilots in the podcast gives us two solid hours that I am calling a Masters Class in paragliding. This is the most information dense episode to date. There isn't much we don't cover here-

Duration: 02:07:01

Episode 30- Michael “Micky” Sigel and building greatness

Michael "Micky" Sigel began flying before most people learn how to drive a car. His early talent and passion got him on the Advance team when he was just sixteen years old. These days Micky makes a living as a test pilot for Gin Gliders and has been a dominant force in the Swiss League and the World Cup for nearly a decade. In this episode we catch up on what went down with the Gin factory last year in Northern Korea; what a test pilot actually does; how the Swiss League turns out so much...

Duration: 01:01:43

Episode 29- Larry Tudor from Scary Origins to Radical Records

Larry Tudor was known as the "Dark Prince" back in the day. We roll the clock way back to 1973 when Larry learned how to fly his first hanglider in the seated position (yep, pre-prone days) on a wing that got a worse glide ratio than today's smallest speed wings. The stories in this episode are going to make your head spin. Remember when hangies flew the Owens every day in the summer? Guys tumbling out of the sky and not using reserves? Flying without instruments? Larry was the first...

Duration: 01:34:26

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