Máximo Vela de Pablos


"It is clear that on this race the one that flies best wins"

Pilot: Máximo Vela de Pablos
Nationality: Spanish
Birth Date: 17.06.1977
City: Castejón de Sos
Country: Spain
Job: Marine rescuer
Glider: NOVA Triton 2 light
Helmet: UVEX P1us
Sponsors:  Parapente Factory
Assistant: Jordi Estaper
Nationality: Spanish
Birth Date: 21.01.1968
City: Tarragona
Country: Spain


What is your greatest sporting success?
There have been a lot of them, but the best achievements have been personal, rather than official. Kayaking competitions gave me self discipline, but it was afterwards when I started practising the activities which have fulfilled my life, and all of them were carried out whithin a natural environment. As official successes worth mentioning, I have been Spanish Kayaking Champion several times.

When and why did you start paragliding?
I started flying in 2007. Some of my friends were already doing it and they instilled the passion for flying in me. Once I tried it I couldn't stop. Thanks to Peter, David, Luis Risco, Andrés…. for introducing me into the world of free flying.

What is your mountaineering experience?
I have been mountaneering since I was 17, in all its varieties: rock climbing, ice climbing, cross country skiing, alpine climbs, etc. I have climbed in many different areas both whithin the country and outside. I have worked in a mountain rescue team.

What does your typical training week consist of?
Mountain running, ascents to different peaks, cross country skiing, rock climbing. All this adds up to the specific training I receive for my job as mountain rescuer. Regarding the flying , I practise it when work and meteo let me. And to be honest, I can't complain, I fly quite a lot.

What are your best and worst sporting memories?
I have loads of good sporting memories. From reaching a difficult summit, or a cross country flight, to kayaking down a complicated river or a paragliding crossing. It is difficult to say which one has been the best memory. For me all of them have been incredible, each one of them in its own time. The worst one I can remember was an accident speed-riding last year when I hit the ground very fast.

Why did you choose X-Pyr?
I am passionate about mountains and paragliding and the adventure factor included in the race makes it extremely atractive to me.

Have you participated on X-Pyr before?
Not officially. In 2014 I did the crossing on my own more or less up to the middle. And in the summer of 2015 I crossed the Pyrenees again, although I couldn't finish because I didn't have enough time.

Have you flown in the Pyrenees before?
Yes. I live in Castejón de Sos, so I very often fly in that area of the Pyrenees, but there is still a lot more to discover.

What will your strategy be during the race?
It will all depend on this year's route, but it is clear that on this race the one that flies best wins. No matter how strong you are on land, you have to do a lot of km in the air to have any options. So the strategy will go towards flying as much as possible. Even so, it is also clear that you have to stay strong to endure the long journeys on foot. I don't think you can stablish a fixed strategy for the race, but you have to be flexible to change it and make decissions along the way. The only strategy that is not going to change during the race is to enjoy it.

What excites you most about X-Pyr?
The adventure factor is a challenge for people who like these sports. The feeling of being able to cross a big chain of mountains only with your legs and a paraglider is indescribable. For me it all comes down to 3 words: sense of freedom.

What scares you the most about the event?
My biggest worry is to make a bad decission which might cause an incident or accident that will pull me off the race.

Why will he make a good assistant?
Jordi is someone who really cares about his mate. We understand each other and I know that every time I need him he will do anything to help me. I believe both of us are going to have a great time.

Anything else you like to comment?
I want to wish luck to all pilots and assistants. I am really looking forward to see everybody on the starting line ready for the race. And even more to be able to celebrate it in Port de la Selva.