My supporter Alex Raymont is an excellent pilot himself, having been Canadian National Champion in 2003. We also weigh about the same so we can fly each other's wings. On Sunday we flew a wonderful XC together from Annecy, me on my Axis Mercury and Alex trying the Axis Venus 2 that I'll use in the X-Alps. As you can see from the photo above, cloudbase was low but the clouds were tall. We carefully threaded our way through the Bauges mountains to the Dent d'Arclusaz and back. Alex was really impressed by the handling of the Venus 2, and especially its climb performance: it seems to be naturally drawn in to thermals.
Back in Annecy we stumbled across the two Japanese pilots competing in the Red Bull X-Alps this year. The photo above is of Kaoru "Ogi" Ogisawa (fifth in 2007) flying in front of the Dents de Lanfon on his 2009 gear. I think he wins the prize for the most stickers on his glider!