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2011 X-Alps Athletes announced.

10/25/10
Source: Red Bull

Red Bull has announced the selected Athletes that will participate in the 2011 X -Alps race. Two Americans will be in the race, including X-Alps veteran Honza Rejmanek, and Richard Pethigal. Some of our Valle De Bravo participants might remember Richard as one of their guides, and his amazing home made Chai Tea concoction. Honza was 3rd place in the 2009 X-Alps race, and he is always among the favorites. The athletes have to pay for their own expenses for this race, so any donation is great. You can donate to support Honza's expenses at his website, www.honzair.com. Rich is accepting donations to this costly endeavor. You can email Rich directly at cloudwp (at) gmail.com to set up a donation via paypal or another method.

HONZA REJMANEK
Nationality: United States
Date of birth: 07/02/1975
City: Davis
Country: United States
Profession: Atmospheric Science Student

What is your greatest sporting success?
Third place in Red Bull X-Alps 2009.

When and why did you begin paragliding?
In 1993, to satisfy a lifelong desire to fly.

What is your mountaineering and big mountain experience?
I did a lot of hiking since I was four. Ascents as high as 6500m.

What does your typical training week consist of?
Running with my 1 1/2 year old son Martin. Hiking and flying when I can get away.

What are your best and worst sporting memories?
Best: Sky camping with my wife in the French Alps. Worst: Doing CPR on a pilot who did not make it.

When and how did you first hear about the Red Bull X-Alps?
When it first took place in 2003.

Have you competed in the Red Bull X-Alps before and if so, when?
Yes, in 2007 and 2009.

Why does the Red Bull X-Alps interest you?
It is the perfect game. It is also an addiction.

What will be your strategy during the race?
Don't run downhill on asphalt with a pack on unless it is the last day of the race. Don't eat suspect food. Sleep just enough to stay sharp in flight. Never hesitate to side hill land when sinking out.

On average, over a third of the Red Bull X-Alps participants fail to finish the event. Why do you think you will make it?
There is no way of knowing for sure. I got lucky twice so far.

What excites you most about the event?
The start gun in Salzburg. At that moment the whole adventure is ahead of you. For the next two weeks your only obligations are to do a whole lot of flying and hiking through some of the most scenic mountains on earth.

What scares you the most about the event?
Months of fund raising work.

How long have you known your supporter?
For six or seven years.

Why will he/ she make a good supporter?
Based on prior experience, most certainly.


RICHARD PETHIGAL
Nationality: Brazil, American
Date of birth: 10/08/1968
City: Paulo Lopes
Country: Brazil
Profession: Tandem Pilot/Rafting Guide

What is your greatest sporting success?
First descent of the Mantaro River, Ayacucho, Peru. It was a 12 day expedition(kayak/cataraft) through big water rapids and unexplored box canyons ending 3000m lower in the Amazonas Basin. I started the trip with two other river guides but they left on day five and I finished the trip solo. I was captured by Shining Path guerrilla soldiers and held for 30 hours before being released. A Very long and good story.

When and why did you begin paragliding?
I was a water man and I wanted to learn about being in the air. When I began flying in 1998, I was interested in bivouac but then I started competing to learn how to fly fast. Soon I was having good results: First in the Serial Cusco Open 2007; First in the Iron Pilot Santa Catarina 2007; Two times second place in the Brasilian Championship; First in XC-Open World Series Araxa 2009; 31st in PWC Po├žos de Caldos 2010.

What is your mountaineering and big mountain experience?
I've been a trail guide in Cusco, Peru since 1990. I hikied and flew many high peaks in the Andes including Misti (5900m) and Aconcagua (I launched from 5500m because of strong winds above). Competed in over 12 adventure races including Discovery's Eco-Challenge Patagonia 1999 (17th place) going up Mt. Tronador and EMA (world circuit) Amazons 2000 (fourth place).

What does your typical training week consist of?
A typical training week for an event consists of 80km (flat and up run), 100km trail (mountain bike) and paddling if near water.

What are your best and worst sporting memories?
Best: Three days of bivouac flying in Patagonia in areas where no one had flown before. Worst: Leading by five minutes the last task of the PWC Valadares 2009 from TP 2- TP 3 then landing out to have 30 pilots come over my head.

When and how did you first hear about the Red Bull X-Alps?
Before the first event by internet/forums.

Have you competed in the Red Bull X-Alps before and if so, when?
No.

Why does the Red Bull X-Alps interest you?
I like to race paragliders in the air and I like to race by foot in the mountains.

What will be your strategy during the race?
To find a good support group since I don't know the Alps too well and and will try to stay in the air as long as possible. In the adventure races sleeping two to three hours a night works great for me and while I'm awake I'll be on the move non-stop.

On average, over a third of the Red Bull X-Alps participants fail to finish the event. Why do you think you will make it?
As long as I cover decent distances in the air I know I'll be fine on the ground because I've raced with bleeding feet many times before.

What excites you most about the event?
The adventure of being in the mountains flying and running in a competition that pushes me to my limits.

What scares you the most about the event?
Having to fly in conditions I normally would not fly in; Not making it to the finish line.

How long have you known your supporter?
Seven years.

Why will he/ she make a good supporter?
So far I only have her commited to the event but if selected I'd like to work on having someone more local as my support.

View a list of all the Atheletes


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