ON DETAIL: NICK NEYNENS / CARL FORSTER
|Pilot: Nick Neynens
Nationality: New Zealand (also Australia, Dutch)
Birth Date: 09.11.1982
Country: New Zealand
Web: Share my joys
Glider: OZONE LM5
Harness: Advance Lightness
|Assistant: Carl Forster
City: Sunshine Coast
What is your greatest sporting success?
Fastest paraglider competing in the 186km Drakensberg X-Berg traverse, South Africa
When and why did you start paragliding?
I learnt in May 2007 because I wanted to fly in the mountains around Glenorchy in New Zealand. I now know this area very well!
What is your mountaineering experience?
A lifetime of tramping in the backcountry of New Zealand including many vol biv trips to remote alpine areas. Some sport lead rock climbing and technical mountaineering such as Mt Tasman in New Zealand, solo Mont Blanc and second ascent flew from summit, various other solo ascents mostly non-technical alpine scrambles.
What does your typical training week consist of?
I don’t have a structured training program but I am travelling this year and for me this involves lots of walking in the mountains, with paraglider or pack raft.
What are your best and worst sporting memories?
It’s hard to pick one. The best is when you achieve something unique against the odds in a beautiful place, the worst is that awful feeling you get when you have limited options and things are left to chance.
Why does the X-Pyr interest you?
X-Pyr is a highly aesthetic route through beautiful mountains from coast to coast. The X-Alps style of event is captivating because it captures the essence of paragliding – lightweight mountain transport, independent adventure, and creativity and flexibility in choosing where and when to fly.
Have you flown in the Pyrenees before?
I’ve had a few small flights in the Basque country in the west, Organya and Ager in the east, and more substantial vol biv flying around Castejon de Sos including a vol biv flying over Aneto with epic 4000 metre bases.
What will your strategy be during the race?
I will try and have as much fun as I can! Firstly this means flying as much as possible. Sometimes waiting is a good investment, sometimes you have to push hard to get to a launch. I will focus on moving efficiently and effectively, taking care of myself and my equipment. The goal is to realise the full potential of each day by understanding yourself and your environment.
What excites you most about X-Pyr?
The concept of completing the mountain traverse from Atlantic to Mediterranean is what excites me. It is a physical and mental challenge in a beautiful environment.
What scares you the most about the event?
The key risk is crashing into the mountain or cables etc. This is always part of the decision making process.
Why will he make a good assistant?
Carl is a flying mentor at our local club in Australia, a great pilot, full of energy, and speaks Spanish. We’ve flown together and he followed the 2011 xalps with us.