Jesse Williams


"The Pyrenees are some of the most beautiful mountains I've seen"

Pilot: Jesse Williams
Nationality: USA
Birth Date: 02.11.80
City: Bellingham
Country of residence: USA
Job: Registered Nurse
Web: By foot and by sky
Harness: SKYWALK Range XALPS 2
Helmet: ICARO2000 TransAlp
Sponsors:  Torrey Pines Gliderport
Assistant: Lisa Flick
Nationality: USA
Birth Date: 03.15.84
City: Seattle
Country of residence: USA


What is your greatest sporting success?
Finishing 5th in the 2016 X-Pyr.

When and why did you start paragliding?
I first tried paragliding for in New Zealand in 2000. I didn't really start flying until 2007 though. I was amazed by the idea that I could sail around the sky with nothing but a fabric wing. It still amazes me!

What is your mountaineering experience?
I like mountaineering routes up tall peaks. Where I live that means lots of glacier travel. Flying down from a high summit is the best thing.

What does your typical training week consist of?
Trail running is the foundation of my fitness. I also try to train with a heavy pack at least once a week to get stronger. I think it's important to mix up training activities so I don't overwork my body. Keeping the training interesting is also important, hike and fly is great for this.

What are your best and worst sporting memories?
The worst moments for me have been in the X-Pyr and the X-Alps when I develop an injury from pushing my body too hard. It's really depressing because once I have an injury I know I will have to deal with it for many days, probably the rest of the race. The best moments area flying. What's really special is when I have a low save, I think I will have to land because I can't find lift and at the last moment I find a thermal to take me back up in the sky.

Why did you choose X-Pyr?
The Pyrenees are some of the most beautiful mountains I've seen and the flying is great. It's a perfect place for a hike-and-fly race.

Have you participated on X-Pyr before?
Yes, I came in 5th in 2016. It was a very intense 6 days and I learned a lot. The Pyrenees have very wild weather and I got a taste of many extremes.

Have you flown in the Pyrenees before?
Yes, in 2016 before and during the X-Pyr that year.

What will your strategy be during the race?
I hope I can rest my body a little more and only push hard when it's important for the chance of a really long flight. It would be really nice to avoid any overuse injuries. I also want to spend more time studying the weather and thinking about the best flying options for each day.

What excites you most about X-Pyr?
I hope we get to cross the Pyrenees near Castejon de Sos. That's one of my favorite flights in these mountains.

What scares you the most about the event?
Strong winds and thunder storms. The weather can change very fast. I know the Pyrenees a little better now but I will still have to be careful. Also I hope we don't have to walk on any busy roads. Although this is boring I think it's also very dangerous.

Why will he/she make a good assistant?
Lisa is good at staying organized and focused even in the chaos of a race. She also makes really strong coffee!

Anything else you like to comment?
I'm really excited to be coming back to this wonderful event and I'd like to thank Inigo for all the work he does to make this special race happen.