Just Fly! The Story behind the Slogan

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Maybe you have noticed my slogan, Just Fly! There is a story behind it and here it is!

It all started many, many years ago. If we turn the clock back fifteen years we’re just into the year 2005. In May that year, the AERIALIS Team Flyers were invited to the Freestyle World Cup in Cap d’Agde, France.

Off course we accepted the invitation and soon we found ourselves on the great beach of the French tourist village. The weather was absolutely perfect! We left the chilly temperatures of Scandinavian spring and faced smooth onshore winds and mercury climbing well into the twenties (yeah, Celsius that is).

For the first couple of days, we practised in immaculate conditions on the beach. We were getting our routine looking pretty good and I was also practising my solo routine with the music banging in my ears. We were all really enjoying the moment and having an absolutely great time on the beach that slowly but surely started to fill up with other pilots from almost all corners of the world.

So… The big day, competition day, and the conditions changed dramatically! The smooooth onshore breeze was gone and replaced by a hilarious Mistral wind coming from the inland, rolling over the seaside buildings and making havoc on the flying field!

I won’t go into the details of the competition other than the AERIALIS Team Flyers ended up the best… four-man team 😉 and I didn’t qualify for the second round of the individual competition.

But regardless of the result, the whole thing was a great experience and the memories just piled up while the days went by.

And then there was this out of this world pilot. A little french guy who could create magic with his Nirvana no matter what Mother Nature threw at him. Dead calm or turbulent Mistrals, he never seemed to care, he … just flew!

I remember one afternoon he was at a point of the beach sticking out into the sea with ballistic winds blowing sand all over the place. He didn’t seem to care at all out there nailing perfect two-point landings and he never seemed to stop. It was jaw-dropping. In such terrible conditions, he just flew and he did it to perfection!

During one of his solo performances in the competition arena, the wind just died down, I mean completely! He was about to start the backspin part of his routine and stayed focused. Despite the complete lack of wind he flipped his Nirvana over into a fade, started running a big circle in the arena while pumping backspins over his shoulder! He just flew!

I was in awe! I could hardly believe what I’d just seen. It shouldn’t be possible … but he did it! It was a huge inspiration to watch him perform, flying his kite to perfection no matter the conditions.

His flying made a great impression on me and I have tried to implement some of his attitude into my own flying and mindset. No, you can’t change the conditions but you can adapt….

And … JUST FLY!

Yeah, the pilot was Richard Debray by the way. 😎

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