IN DETAIL: JOÃO VEIGA / DAVID CASTILLEJO
|Pilot: Joao Veiga
Birth Date: 01.12.81
City: Los Arenales del Sol
Job: IT engineer
Glider: GIN Leopard
Harness: GIN Genie X-Alps
|Assistant: David Castillejo
City: Gran Alacant
What is your greatest sporting success?
Second in the Federation Cup El Yelmo 2015 Open FAI 2 Serial class
When and why did you start paragliding?
I dreamt about flying when I was little. When I saw the first paragliders flying over Linhares da Beira I thought: I have to be up there. The idea carried on building up, and as soon as I finished my degree I started learning to fly. Thanks to my mother I had my first glider, and ever since then I haven't stopped flying.
What is your mountaineering experience?
I go hill walking since I was little. In the last few years I have done more climbing and Alpine walking. I have climbed several peaks in the Alps and the Andes. The highest one was the Illimani in Bolivia. Two years ago I did an ice climbing course.
What does your typical training week consist of?
I usually run 5 days a week between 10 to 16 Km. On the weekend I try to do a longer route with altitude gain, and I fly down if possible. I go to the gym twice a week to train strenght. I try to fly at least twice a week with one or two XC flights, weather permitting.
What are your best and worst sporting memories?
The best was a flight I did from Sierra da Estrela (Portugal) to Arévalo (Spain). As well as being my first +200km flight, that night I ended up with the village Mayor, who was awestruck , not understanding how it was posible to fly that far without a motor. The worst was to see a friend have a paragliding accident.
Why did you choose X-Pyr?
Besides combining two of my greatest passions: mountains and flying, it is a very demanding event, where learning is guaranteed. I am also excited about competing next to some of the best pilots in the world. I hope to have the chance to learn a lot from them.
Have you participated on X-Pyr before?
Yes, in 2016. It was one of the most exciting adventures in which I have ever had the oportunity to participate. I enjoyed it a lot and I had the chance to verify that there are a lot of aspects I can improve , mainly regarding strategies for choosing routes.
Have you flown in the Pyrenees before?
Yes, in the X-Pyr, in national competitions and also free flying.
What will your strategy be during the race?
Trusting 100% in my assistant and saving as much energy as posible to be able to progress along the route.
What excites you most about X-Pyr?
The emotions that arise from this type of race. The adventure, the surprise. The fantastic sensation of feeling really alive.
What scares you the most about the event?
Strong wind at take off and having to decide whether I fly or not.
Why will he/she make a good assistant?
Because of his experience in this type of events, because of his knowledge of the paragliding world. Because I know he is going to help me get the results I want.
Anything else you like to comment?