ON DETAIL: ALOKKUMAR MIHANI / GURPREET DHINDSA
|Pilot: Alokkumar Mihani
Birth Date: 19.04.1986
City: Bangalore, Karnataka
Job: Senior Consultant at SAP Labs India Pvt Ltd
Glider: ADVANCE Iota
Harness: ADVANCE Lightness 2
|Assistant: Gurpreet Dhindsa
Birth Date: 25.02.1966
City: Bir, Himachal Pradesh
What is your greatest sporting success?
I think the greatest sporting success is yet to come.
When and why did you start paragliding?
I started Paragliding in 2012 after watching some pictures on Facebook of a friend flying a Paraglider. I was in the middle of switching jobs and realized this could be the best time to do something new.
What is your mountaineering experience?
I have hiked a few peaks in Himalayas varying from 3000mts to 5000mts - Deoratal Lake, Chandrasheela, Tungnath, Roopkund.
What does your typical training week consist of?
I have a 9-5 job so I really have to steal time to train myself. My week consists of endurance training Monday to Friday and hike and fly over the weekends with more focus on flying in weak conditions.
What are your best and worst sporting memories?
Best memory: Flying the back mountains at Bir-Billing. Bir is not a place, it is a state of mind for me.
Worst Memory: Me and my flying buddy Vistasp witnessed Foehn winds while doing our usual flying route at Bir. I was flying my new wing and had 2 big frontal collapses and 2 asymmetric in a matter of 1 minute. We somehow managed to comunicate with each other and managed to land safe at different places. Unlike Alps Foehn winds are a very rare phenomena at Bir. We saw the hugging clouds but thought winds are blowing up the hill. The important lesson learnt on that day was: you don't fly the mountain, the mountain lets you fly.
Why did you choose X-Pyr?
This race will have my involvement with the natural elements along with the real test of my abilities.
Have you participated on X-Pyr before?
Have you flown in the Pyrenees before?
What will your strategy be during the race?
I have never participated in such kind of a race so right now I don't have any strategy to outsmart others. I will follow my instincts and try to have fun at every stage. The focus will be on to find my own pace.
What excites you most about X-Pyr?
X-Pyr will take single-minded focus from me. I am already enjoying the preparation for the race. I have never had so much fun to prepare for any exam in my life so far.
What scares you the most about the event?
Right now the scary part is the endurance required for the race but I am ready to face new fears so that I can understand more about myself and use it to get stronger.
Why will he make a good assistant?
This is the first time we will be working together as a team. I trust in his experience to read weather and terrain. Whenever I speak to Gurpreet I see a child at play and which is what I think is going to help us in this race during stressful situations. With his knowledge and experience I think he is the most important piece of our adventure.