Jesse Williams


"I hope to be strategic about choosing the best launches"

Pilot: Jesse Williams
Nationality: USA
Birth Date: 11.02.1980
City: Bellingham
Country: USA
Job: Registered Nurse
Glider: ADVANCE Omega X-Alps
Harness: SKYWALK Range XAlps
Helmet:  K2 Route
Sponsors:  Salewa, Adventure Menu, Superfly ParaglidingSeattle Paragliding, Broad Leaf Farm
Assistant: Pavel Cibulka
Nationality: Czech
Birth Date: 02.06.1977
City: Hradec Králové
Country: Czech Republic


What is your greatest sporting success?
In 2011 I ran a 50 km mountain race in 4 hours 28 minutes and won it.

When and why did you start paragliding?
I tried paragliding in New Zealand in 2000 but I didn't really start flying until 2008 in Seattle. I loved being in the air and the challenge of using invisible air currents to stay up and fly far.

What is your mountaineering experience?
I have climbed glacial volcanoes in the Seattle area and in Ecuador. I have done trekking and vol biv in the Alps, US and Canada.

What does your typical training week consist of?
I like to mix running, and hiking with a pack. I try to train at least 10 hours a week. I got into my best condition ever when I was learning to fly tandems and I'd hike up our mountain carrying a 25 kg. pack 3 or 4 times a day. I will definitely try to do lots of climbing with an extra heavy pack this summer.

What are your best and worst sporting memories?
The 2012 Canadian Nationals in Pemberton is the best time I've had at a paragliding event. Fun people and a great place to fly.

I have had some frustrating times flying and in other sports but as long as I'm learning and coming back to fly another day I don't think of difficult experience as a bad memory. I tried to climb Vulcan Catopaxi in Ecuador once with a local pilot. We wanted to fly from the top but we were carrying heavy gear and I got too hypoxic to go further about 300 meters from the top. The weather was also bad so we had to climb down. That was difficult but it's also a good memory as well.

Why did you choose X-Pyr?
I love to hike and fly. I think being able to fly over mountain ranges with nothing but a pack is one of the most special things about the sport. It's very exciting to do this in a race.

Have you participated on X-Pyr before?

Have you flown in the Pyrenees before?

What will your strategy be during the race?
I hope to be able to move fast on the ground but more importantly I hope to be strategic about choosing the best launches. In the air I hope to be smart about choosing good lines and reading weather. Flying fast is good but it's more important not to land.

What excites you most about X-Pyr?
I think the non stop excitement and decision making will be a great way to challenge my paragliding skills. It will be a tough race but it will be a tremendous paragliding adventure.

What scares you the most about the event?
I think with any competition is more difficult to manage risk. I hope I can use good judgement to stay within the limits of my flying skill.

Why will he make a good assistant?
I've worked with Pavel as s fellow supporter for Honza in the X-Alps. I know he stays calm when things get stressful. He is great at thinking quickly and finding solutions to any problem. He's also a great runner in the mountains to help carry supplies.