Buenos Aires native Hernán Pitocco was born into a sporting family – even Hernán‘s grandfather was racing cars well into his 80s! But Hernán has always had his heart and mind in the clouds or at least at a higher altitude; namely the serenity and control of paragliding.
At 18, Hernán moved to La Cumbre, a remote part of the Córdoba province in Argentina to pursue his love of the sport. “The first thing I do in the morning when I wake up is look out of the window to test the wind and see if I will be able to fly. Depending on that, I then organise my day”, he explains.
With a number two world ranking, Hernán has played an integral roles in many pioneering projects, including the Karakoram Highway film – the story of Hernán, Thomas de Dorlodot and Horacio Llorens as they travelled the Karakoram mountain range in search of new record flights.
In 2012, he also set a new Infinity Tumbling world record – a feat that has since been broken by Llorens. In October of that year, along with The Amarok Expedition team, Hernán also achieved the longest distance to goal FAI record. In 2013 he crossed the Andes from Chile to Argentina in a paraglider, covering 125km in distance in just under six hours.
Hernán is also a key part of the Red Bull team and, when time allows, he practises hang gliding, kite surfing, climbing, parachuting and he flies light aircraft. The Argentine swears he will continue to fly and experience new emotions until old age catches up with him.
Tilen grew up next to a small airfield in Slovenia so his desire to fly is no surprise. At the age of 15 he started flying sailplanes and soon after also discovered paragliding with his brother. The freedom and excitement paragliding offers made it his biggest passion and is still burning strong!
After only flying for three years in one of Europe's best playgrounds for flying (Slovenia) he won his first big international competition in Kobarid. Two years later in 2011 he joined the Slovenian National Team and was a crucial member when team Slovenia became Vice World Champions in 2015 and 2017. Through the years Tilen won many international competitions and collected daily wins at the Paragliding World Cup, World and European Championships.
Season 2019 has been his best yet, finishing 3rd overall at the Paragliding World Cup in France and coming home from the World Championship in Macedonia with two tasks wins and an 8th overall position. Along with other great results in the season, Tilen is currently (November 2019) ranked 3rd on the World Pilot Ranking System. He sums it up in one sentence. "The thing I now enjoy the most is fighting with the best in the world, who are right after the landing also my best friends!"
Whether it is the World Championship, a 300km flight in the Alps or just a short hike and fly, Tilen enjoys sharing his passion with friends and others. In fact, as a mechanical engineer, he is interested in every detail of flying and tries to be analytical when it comes to studying some of the aspects of the sports. He likes to share his knowledge with everyone so do not hesitate to ask him anything, anytime, anywhere.
Julien began paragliding 2 years ago in Switzerland. His childhood dream was to fly a plane. He remembers his father drawing him airplanes, making him paper planes. He transmitted to him the virus of the flight. After a stay at the Aeroatelier in Argentina, he learned to fly by plane, glider and also Archaeopteryx (lightweight glider). Following this experience, he realized that paragliding was what he liked the most. So he decided to focus on this activity.
He was already a travel addict since he started working at the age of 16. All the money saved was intended to enjoy of his 5 weeks of annual vacation. Since 2012, he has visited almost 20 countries by himself on 4 continents. The journey off the beaten track has always been the thing that attracts him. Get to know the local culture, live closer to the locals, tasting new food but as far as possible from the tourist circuits.
After 5 years working for an insurance company, he decided to leave Switzerland to travel in South America for a year with his paraglider. The combination of his two passions: travel and paragliding, was the most beautiful thing that happened to him. Traveling from country to country has become as simple as changing clothes. He takes life as it comes, enjoys every second and every day.
He decided to share his two passions at the request of several friends. Indeed, new in the world of paragliding, he did not think possible to launch this project so early. But with a partner like Theo, they are complementary and can offer a high quality service.
Since learning to fly in in 2013, Theo has flown in countries all around the world to compete successfully at the highest level in international competitions. In 2018 he became both British and European Champion. Recognising that achievement, Cross Country magazine noted that “Theo started flying as a teenager, and learnt from a former world champion. Judy Leden, a competition hang gliding legend in her time, taught Theo the basics when he was just 14.”
It didn’t take long before paragliding started to take over his life. He spent all his spare time after school and in school holidays either flying or planning his next adventure. Theo flew a record-breaking 200km flatland flight on a mid-range glider (an EN B rated Mentor 4) in only his second XC season, 2015. From there Theo went on to join the British Paragliding Racing Academy which is run by Malin Lobb, vice world champion Guy Anderson, and Ozone test pilot Russ Ogden. Learning quickly from best pilots in the world, Theo was soon flying amongst them in international cross country competitions. It wasn’t long before he joined the British paragliding team and became the youngest ever Champion at both British and European level.
Theo finds paragliding to be the most social of sport. “Being in the air with people where everyone is in the same head space, enjoying the experience of all flying together and then landing and having the chance to all share our experiences … I can’t think of anything more enjoyable”. Very early on in his flying career, after a small 35km cross country from a local site with John Warden, Theo’s father, he knew cross country flying, and sharing the joy it brings with the people around him, was his passion. To be able to do that with non-pilots, Theo gained his tandem licence, and shortly afterwards bagged the declared UK tandem paraglider distance record.
When he’s not flying, guiding, competing, giving tandem flights or paramotoring, Theo works at Aerofix, the UK’s leading paragliding service and repair workshop based in the Peak District.