Fons de Leew

IN DETAIL: FONS DE LEEW / BERT DE LEEW

"When I was 14 I did an intro weekend. From then on I was hooked."

Pilot: Fons de Leew
Nationality: Netherlands
Birth Date: 01.23.92
City: Utrecht
Country: Netherlands
Job: Machine learning engineer
Web: airtime
Glider: SKYWALK Spice
Harness: SKYWALK Range X-Alps 2
Helmet: INDEPENDENCE Hi-Tec
Sponsors:  Air Time Paragliding Sport
Assistant: Bert de Leeuw
Nationality: Netherlands
Birth Date: 05.16.54
City: Alphen
Country: Netherlands

INTERVIEW

What is your greatest sporting success?
Last year I crossed the Pyrenees with two friends (project Reaching Lost Mountain), managing to fly most of it. The scenery and experience was amazing.

When and why did you start paragliding?
When I was 14 I did an intro weekend. From then on I was hooked.

What is your mountaineering experience?
I live in one of the flattest countries on earth so I mainly hike to fly when I'm in the mountains.

What does your typical training week consist of?
I run, that's it.

What are your best and worst sporting memories?
Best: crossing Pyrenees, first helico. Worst: doing stupid shit like accidental spin at low altitude or hard landings. Luckily I learn from it and consider myself a relatively safe pilot now.

Why did you choose X-Pyr?
I'd like to see what it's like to do hike & fly in a race context. Maybe I like it, or maybe not and go back to solo vol biv.

Have you participated on X-Pyr before?
No, but I did cross the Pyrenees in 2017.

Have you flown in the Pyrenees before?
Yes.

What will your strategy be during the race?
Be efficient, take it easy, not get injuries, and have a good time with my dad as he'll be my supporter.

What excites you most about X-Pyr?
Flying in places and moments that you would otherwise not easily do, and learning what works and what doesn't.

What scares you the most about the event?
Pressure to do risky things. But I trust my own judgment, and I know that the other pilots are not extreme risk-takers either.

Why will he/she make a good assistant?
My dad is always calm and supportive.

Anything else you like to comment?
Let's do it! A little less conversation a little more action.