December 1, 2015
Paramotoring pilot Alex Mateos, 23, was crowned World Champion in 2014 after flying an unbeatable time around inflatable pylons on his paramotor.
Since then he's focused on other paramotoring disciplines, such as navigation. He narrowly missed out at the 2015 championships, but he's back with his eye on the top spot here in Dubai. Here are his top tips for paramotor slalom racing.
1. "Get a big motor and a small wing." The combination gives you speed an agility. But with great power comer comes great responsibility. It takes experience to use the agility to get around the circuit quickly.
2. "Remember the circuit." Pilots fly through a laser start gate triggering the clock, after which they have to get around the prescribed route, slaloming around inflatable pylons. If they go the wrong way, the don't score.
3. "Practice over water." To make competitions safer, the slalom course is now held over water. But when it's a flat lake with no wind, it can make judging the distance from the surface harder. The key is practice, to get familiar with the visual references.
4. "Competition is good but team mates are better." Jeremy Penone won the World Cup in 2015. He and Mateos are both part of the French team. But while there are points available for individuals as well as national teams, the team always takes priority.
5. "It's all about speed."Typically the slalom course takes around 30 seconds to complete, but sometimes courses can take just 18 seconds. Longer routes around the pylons might take as long as 45 seconds. It takes concentration and planning to get the sharpest line.
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