Interview with Peter Hilgert, X Contest winner PG Sport 2017 & UP-Teampilot:
1. How did you start to paragliding and what does flying mean to you?
I came to paragliding by accident. One day (2009) found a flyer in my mailbox about a trial paragliding course that was offered. I went to the taster course with two friends. When I took off for the first time and flew a few meters, it had happened to me, I was hooked. The training lasted for a whole year, and then I was finally a "pilot".
Flying allows me to live my dream of being able to experience small and big adventures with a paraglider.
2. How do you explain your win of the 2017 XContest? What’s your secret?
Two years ago, I made a similar trip to Brazil. So I already knew how to fly there. I was pleasantly surprised how well I flew there last year.
Most pilots come to Quixada to make records and are frustrated if it does not work out. I also wanted to fly a lot, but experiencing the land and the people was a priority for me. I can’t explain how I won XContest, I just flew, and was excited about what I would find near my landing field and on my retrieve. Actually, I cannot explain why I won the X contest, I just flew.
3. What is important in your choice of material?
The harness and the glider must be comfortable. You must be able to stay in the air all day long. The Trango X-Race is the right glider for me (before that one I was flying the Summit XC4 and the Trango XC3).
4. What is your preparation / planning for a successful cross-country flight?
Since I am mainly in the lowlands with the wind, it is important for me to know the airspaces. I look at the airspaces before, so that I can escape early in the flight, if there are problems with them.
Otherwise, there is no big planning for me. If the weather forecast predicts moderate thermals, then the best distance flying weather is ready for me. Next, I let myself be surprised by what the day brings.
5. What are your wishes for the future? Are there goals that you would like to achieve?
I wish that the world would become more peaceful again. As a goal it would of course be nice to be in the XContest rating lists. But more important is not to lose the fun of flying.
6. Your tip for the cross country newcomer?
Flying away and not thinking of coming back in the air.
7. Is there a flying area you prefer and what do you like best there?
Of course I prefer to fly in Altmühltal (Oberemmendorf, Böhming and Schernfeld), Germany, because I'm at home there. I am also happy in Waltersberg and start there often.
The best thing about my home sites is the camaraderie among the pilots and in the club.
8. What do you do when you don’t fly?
Work! My other hobbies are fishing, cycling, hiking and skiing.
Thank you, Peter, it's nice to hear that fun flying is the priority for you too, we wish you success for the 2018 season!
X-Contest 2017 Click here...