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Davide Sassudelli finished 5th at the Bornes to Fly 2024

Our Italian team pilot, from Trentino, participated in the French hike-and-fly competition around Annecy. Davide made an incredible race, with a lot of twists and turns and finished 5th with his brand new Hero 2. He tells us more about his race.

“The Bornes to fly was an excellent start to the season for me, my legs work well and so does my new wing: the Hero 2!

The first day was very difficult in terms of weather, with rain and thunderstorms expected from 2pm onwards! There were many twists and turns, constant overtaking between the competitors. Periods of sun with thermals alternating with rain and shade benefited the pilots who found themselves in the right place at the right time. After an initial 40 km flight, I landed and, given the bad weather forecast, I decided to run for 35 km to the next turnpoint. Meanwhile, I saw pilots passing over my head. At 4pm I watched the livetracking and I was 42nd.

However, the choice paid off because, after checking the turnpoint of Margeriaz (Bauges) and going back to the nearest take-off, I was able to fly from 6.30pm to 8.30pm in conditions of strong winds and then restitution. The evening always offers magical moments and when you manage to exploit them in the race they are even more beautiful. At 9pm the time limit for the first day I was 11th. We celebrate with the team (Luca, Robi and Jean-Claude) with a nice pasta. I have to say I will never stop thanking them! Even though it was their first experience as supporters, they were great!

On the second day, I woke up early and after a good breakfast, at 7am (race restart time) I set off running to reach the next turnpoint, le grand Bornand (Bornes) and take-off where I found all the pilots in front of me who were waiting for good conditions to start (with the exception of the first two Arthur and Tanguy who had managed to gain an advantage of about ten kilometers the day before). Ten pilots that morning on that takeoff were competing for third to twelfth place. My friend Emil Guariento was also among them, the day before he had managed to do some magic in flight and had finished in third position the day before.

After a flight task that I personally approached conservatively, having checked the last turnpoint, above the Alex valley, together with Emil, we managed to gain an advantage over the others and arrived at the goal 2 seconds apart from each other!

A great feeling to finish with a friend, and a great satisfaction to finish a race with so many competitors in fifth position.

Thanks to the organization for this wonderful event and congratulations to all the pilots who participated, see you next year!

Thanks to AirDesign gliders for the support and for designing a competitive glider for hike-and-fly competitions. In this race I flew with competing brand paragliders but I must say that my new Hero 2 has nothing to compare with the others in terms of performance and it glides like a dream.

Thanks to all the companies that believe in me: AirDesign, SUPERFLY360, The sportswoman, Woody Valley and Trentino.

© photos: Robin Issartel, Davide Sassudelli