Since paragliding began, more than 3 decades ago, it has been regarded as a solo activity where the pilot captains his/her glider through the air to take advantage of the conditions the atmosphere provides to reach desired destinations. In recent years there has been a shift in the way the paragliding community interacts with each other, and the environment that surrounds us.
Experienced pilots are taking the time, making a huge effort to develop knowledge and share content with fellow pilots creating a sense of community, and minimizing the gap between experienced and weekend pilots.
Events and competitions have also been shifting its approach from flying fast to sharing knowledge, now we have events that are focused in helping pilots improve their flying with the help of factory pilots such as the Chabre Open, or the Wide Open, among others.
Technology is always advancing, reaching the point where pilots can fly with a live tracker, so family and friends can follow them from home in their adventures. The X -Alps is the pinnacle of the integration between paragliding and technology, allowing people from all over the world to follow the competing athletes as they make their way through the alps only by walking or flying.
Team Flying of the Brazilian record hunting team have shown the world that flying as a group is more optimum than flying alone, their approach to chasing world records have caught the rest of the world by surprise leaving all the pilots scrambling to find good teammates, to chase such records.
What if we could integrate all of these for the benefit of our sport and community?
The Free Fly World Tour is conceived with this vision in its core, a paragliding event that will showcase what a group of top pilots can accomplish flying in teams, and without limitations such as waypoints or start points. An open distance challenge where the teams can decide which strategy to fly while a group of experts analyses their tactics, decision making and efforts in real time from a live studio while sharing knowledge and content from the top paragliding schools and organizations in the world. A 5 day live paragliding festival for all the world to enjoy!!!
You may ask yourself how is this possible?
It all started a year ago when Felix Rodriguez called me (Carlos"Carlucho "Cordido) with a crazy idea, he said to me “imagine an open distance competition in a team format, where we invite 10 of the best pilots in the world” he said: “these pilots are “Captains” they each select 4 other pilots to become his team members and one team leader”
Felix proposed we start the 2021 Free Fly World Tour with one event in Spain, Zarza Capilla, a place that has all the logistics since it held the 2020 Spanish XC Championship with flights of more than 350 kms. He also brought up the idea of setting up a live studio at headquarters to livestream the flights of the teams and analyze in real time the outcomes, decisions and mistakes. “Something like a live XC Masterclass” I immediately replied.
I kept the idea in my head for a couple of days until I spoke to Felix again. “If we really want to see this through we need a multidisciplinary team to orchestrate this effort” I said. I picked up the phone and called Rafael Saladini , the brazilian record man, and Lucho Jimenez , the Colombian organizer of the PWC Super Final and FAI 2015 Worlds Championship...and between all of us, we started dreaming and creating…
Let's fast forward to today, as of May 2nd, we already have several Captains invited to take place in the events such as:
We have entered a partnership with some of the industry’s leading content and knowledge providers which have agreed not only share content in our platform during the event but also give webinars, interviews and flight analysis:
Cross County Magazine
Airlinks Academy (Seiko & Charles)
We have everything in place to make this a reality, a 5 day paragliding event in Zarza Capilla, Spain from July 18th to the 24th 2021 where the community will gather around to support the flights of the best 10 teams in the world while learning from their decisions.
Due to the uncertainty of the Covid Pandemic finding sponsorship has been very hard, to the point where we had to think outside the box , and ask for your help...Pilots of the world, we are more than 1 million scattered all around the globe, lets come together to push our sport forward as a team !!! your support will be used to pay the media and technology budget to take this event to every home in the planet!!!
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