Flying to new heights with paragliding

t Darryl Crane

On February 10

On February 10

t Darryl Crane

Max Fanderl is preparing to once again take on the challenge of the Red Bull X Alps paragliding event that goes from Salzburg, Austria to Monaco.

In between are eight turnpoints in Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France that force the participants through 864 km of treacherous mountain terrain.

Fenderl is one of 32 athletes who have been accepted to take on the challenge this year.

Recently he spoke to a number of students at Windermere Elementary about the event, healthy living and going after what you love to do.

“We want to show them what it takes to go and do things like this. Some of the biggest enemies we have are peer pressure excuses. There are thousands of reasons given why things don’t work and what you have to do is turn your mind around and say ‘how can I make it work?’. Only be focused on that,” Fenderl said.

He went on to talk about the importance of having people around you who will support you in your decision and stressing the importance of teamwork to the children.

One of the challenges for the team heading into the event is understanding the mapping of the area without being to see it physically in front of them.

“We know some of the areas. Our biggest disadvantage is the European athletes have the chance to train in the key spots,” he said.

“We use a lot of Google Maps. You can train for the physical side of the event but you can’t beat training at some of the more challenging turn points of the actual race,” added Penny Powers who is on Fenderl’s team for the event.

Though Fenderl said that not many people know about the event in Canada it is a very popular sport in Europe and beyond.

“We have people chasing us down on the road and camera crews. It is on live television every day as far away as Japan,” he said.

As the race time comes closer the team is excited to go back and hopes are high that they will crack the top ten this year.