Gerald Gold

IN DETAIL: GERALD GOLD / RENÉ LENZ

"I am not scared about the event, but I got a lot of respect for the Pyrenees"

Pilot: Gerald Gold
Nationality: Austria
Birth Date: 09.23.76
City: Vienna
Country of residence: Austria
Job: self-employed, IT Consultant
Web: Facebook Gerald Gold
Glider: AIRDESIGN Hero
Harness: SKYWALK X-Alps
Helmet: ICARO Transalp
Sponsors:  Airdesign, Leki, Parashop
Assistant: René Lenz
Nationality: Germany
Birth Date: 10.23.90
City: Vienna
Country of residence: Austria

INTERVIEW

What is your greatest sporting success?
Winning the Crossalps in 2013, Selection for Red Bull X-Alps 2015.

When and why did you start paragliding?
In summer 1999 I saw someone launching with a paraglider from the top of a mountain. One year later I still had that picture in my mind and so I took a course and got hooked.

What is your mountaineering experience?
I climbed the highest mountains in Austria and I do some rock climbing also.

What does your typical training week consist of?
When I prepare for a competition like X-Pyr, I do 2-3 runs a week, 2 times strength training and some hours of cycle ergometer training. If it is possible I do a walk and fly tour as well. And for fun I play ultimate Frisbee once a week.

What are your best and worst sporting memories?
The best sporting moment so far was definitely competing at the Red Bull X-Alps in 2015 - an epic adventure. The worst was a major collapse when I was very low. I ended up in hospital without any serious injury luckily.

Why did you choose X-Pyr?
I was at the 2016 edition already and the conditions were not that good back then. So I am not done with the Pyrenees yet. And walk and fly adventure races are simply the type of race I enjoy most.

Have you participated on X-Pyr before?
Yes in the 2016 edition. The first day was great. Then the wind became too strong and it was not possible to fly longer distances. Then my supporter and I got some gastrointestinal infection. So all in all it was not that good, but I am very positive that it becomes better this time.

Have you flown in the Pyrenees before?
Yes, before the 2016 edition I did some route scouting and had some nice flights then.

What will your strategy be during the race?
Well, of course flying as much as possible. And taking into consideration of what I learned at X-Pyr and X-Alps: Loose less time in the morning and launch a bit earlier if it is possible.

What excites you most about X-Pyr?
The idea of walk & fly was the reason for me to start paragliding. And I really like competitions of any kind. So walk & fly adventure races are the perfect type of races in general for me. Concerning X-Pyr I really like the cost to cost route.

What scares you the most about the event?
I am not scared about the event, but I got a lot of respect for the Pyrenees. Before I was there the first time I thought of them as hills compared to the alps. But that’s not true. We are talking about tough mountains. Especially walking is more challenging here because there are almost no straight valleys.

Why will he/she make a good assistant?
René is my supporter for one year now. Right at the first event we did together he already found a way that was way shorter than the one which I was walking some years earlier at the same location. So his navigation skills are sensational. Besides that he is a good cook and great motivator.

Anything else you like to comment?
We are ready and fully motivated.