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ON DETAIL: STANISLAW RADZIKOWSKI / PRZEMYSLAW RADZIKOWSKI

“The realisation of just how small and insignificant we really are is what still gets the hair on the back of my neck to stand”

Pilot: Stanislaw Radzikowski
Nationality: Polish
Birth Date: 19.12.1980
City: Pokhara/Krosno
Country: Nepal/Poland
Job: Adventure, XC, Thermal, Bivouac guide during solo seasons. Tandem Pilot when its not worth wasting your solo glider on a sledder
Web: Parakros
Glider: BGD Tala
Harness: OZONE Ozium
Helmet: ICARO Transalp
Sponsors: BGD
Assistant: Przemyslaw Radzikowski
Nationality: Polish
Birth Date:09.11.1973
City: Dubai
Country: United Arab Emirates

INTERVIEW

What is your greatest sporting success?
To be honest, I hope it is still to come because if you are living on what has already past then where is the chance to progress?.

When and why did you start paragliding?
The first time I really noticed paragliding was towards the end of 2009, there was a bunch of crazy people running around with big kites above their heads at an abandoned German world war 2 airfield in the south east part of Poland where I was living at that time. Progressively as these people learned I began to see them getting towed up, this was the point in time that the whole idea of this thing started to appeal to me. Making the most of the pre winter weather I managed to get some ground handling done and some winter sled rides followed, once the snow had melted and still without a licence I managed to do my first 50km xc flight during the beginner towing course (btw landing in the south of Poland around 1730 on a sunday, you are not going to be very lucky in finding a ride home, even the busses don’t really run). That was it, I was hooked. From this moment everything was done to get as many hrs as possible at as many different sites as I could. During my first 2 months of having a licence I had already placed 10th at the Perfect Fly Cup in Slovakia on my beginner glider and a little later won the Carpathian Cup in the Ukraine on an Airwave Magic 5 which was purchased just after the Perfect fly event.

What is your mountaineering experience?
Overall an average level that was obtained growing up in the Australian outback ranging from rock climbing, orienteering, trekking, canyoning.

What does your typical training week consist of?
At the moment it is working on endurance as I have no illusions to be the fastest walker and definitely will not outrun Toma. Hiking and flying every day.

What are your best and worst sporting memories?
The best would have to be flying in the Himalayas all alone on an inverted day when no other glider had managed to get above the hill and soaring +5500masl near peaks that are in excess of 8000m. The realisation of just how small and insignificant we really are is what still gets the hair on the back of my neck to stand.

The Worst, there have been a few times where friends have been lost to the sport, no personal scare story or injury can come close to those moments.

Why does the X-Pyr interest you?
I’m into exploring new places and experiencing what the world has to offer, the Pyrenees look and sound like a very technical place to fly, it will be a great place to see what we can get done.
Additionally with the current condition of the PWC and FAI race scenes as they are, I have no real enthusiasm to just go flat out racing on a short 2hr course when you have +8hr flight days available, races like X-Pyr offer people something new and more dynamic using all the day’s energy, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for us after all.

Have you flown in the Pyrenees before?
Not yet, but stories are slowly shaping the monster in my imagination.

What will your strategy be during the race?
I have learned 2 things during the time I have spent in this sport,
#1: never tell people everything you know,
#2: ………………… 😉

What excites you most about X-Pyr?
The fact that a 33 year old guy that smoked 2 packs a day for almost 16 years, has one bad knee and another worse one, who has no formal training background and some ok piloting skills that he picked up along the way has a chance to start and see how far he can go against the elite in the world. Being able to represent the slightly slimmer average Joe, all i can say is WOW.

What scares you the most about the event?
Like for most normal people, it’s failing.
Not to mention the obvious ones like an injury/death sustained in a remote part of the course during a cascading collapse sequence triggered by a monster bullet thermal while sitting on full speed bar taking photos of the epic views around me which I have been known to do.

Why will he make a good assistant?
He’s my brother, even though we don’t spend much time together we always know what the other needs, even without words we just get each other.
He knows when to call my bluff and tell me I can push harder or when I need to rest.
He has a more even head on his shoulders which will give me a fresh perspective on various strategies and decisions that need to be made not only during the race but on the training period.
Plus its a good excuse to get him to do my bidding as my underling hahahaha.