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- Nationality: France
- Date of birth: 18. Nov. 1979
- Profession: Teacher
- Supporter: Laurent Fischer
- Glider: Gin GTO 2
- Website: www.antoinegirard.fr
- Sponsors: Hanroad, Adidas, CAN, Gin Gliders, OSV, Kortel Design, Syride
- French flyer Antoine Girard is coming into Red Bull X-Alps 2017 as a world record holder for highest flight completed, as he crossed the 8,100 metre altitude mark in Pakistan. By the time Red Bull X-Alps 2017 starts, he'll have been flying for 10 years, including two Red Bull X-Alps starts in 2013 and 2015, during which he finished 3rd and 4th respectively. Girard fights to the very end, as we saw during Red Bull X-Alps 2015, during which he snuck into 4th place just metres before the finish by flying over fellow Frenchman Gaspard Petiot.
- When and why did you begin paragliding?
I was born in the mountain environment and started paragliding in 2007 with the aim of being able to take off from the Broad Peak summit (8,047m). I definitely liked this experience and continued climbing summits and taking off from the top. Then I started doing cross-country.
- Do you paraglide competitively? List rankings and events.
2015 : 4th Red Bull X-Alps; 2014: Winner of Airtour; 3rd at the CFD (French Distance Federal Cup); 2013: 3rd Red Bull X-Alps; 7th at the CFD; 2011: Winner of the Airtour (same type of race as the Red Bull X-Alps, with 300km via 6 turnpoints); 6th at Red Bull Éléments, Talloires.
- What is your mountaineering experience?
Several expeditions in the Himalayas; many summits in the Alps, up to the ABO grading.
- What is your paragliding experience?
Flew over Broad Peak (>8100m), 23 July 2016; Crossed New Zealand in 2016; 2 Red Bull X-Alps (in 2015 and 2013); 250h of flying per year; Many takeoffs from 4,000m+ summits (Mont Blanc, Barre des Écrins, etc.) and I have been practicing distance flying since 2009.
- What is your adventure racing / endurance sport experience?
Red Bull X-Alps 2015 and 2013; Crossed New Zealand; Completed the AirTour twice, in Red Bull X-Alps conditions. All mountaineering expeditions are quite long. Alpine runs of 48 hours non-stop. Sequence of high vertical drops: 24,000m in 6 days.
- What does your typical training week consist of?
Walk to takeoff and do as many flights as possible.
- What are your best and worst adventure/flying moments?
Arrived to fly above the Broad Peak with my paraglider! Then cry when I perceived that all of my 10 fingers were frozen...
- What are the sporting moments you are most proud of?
To surpass myself and continue until my strength is exhausted.
- When and how did you first hear about the Red Bull X-Alps?
The first time I heard about it was in 2005 on the TV news. Once you are a member of the paragliding family, you hear everybody talking about it.
- Have you competed in the Red Bull X-Alps before and if so, when?
In 2015 and 2013.
- What appeals to you about the Red Bull X-Alps?
Adventure! To be able to surpass oneself physically in one of the nicest places in the world: the Alps.
- What will be your strategy during the race?
Try to fly as much as possible when conditions are favorable. Go quickly and efficiently.
- On average, over a third of the Red Bull X-Alps participants fail to finish the event. Why do you think you will make it?
I managed 2 times, why not try again in 2017? I'm getting better prepared this time.
- What scares you the most about the event?
The weather conditions! Or to do a bad start.
- Have you ever done anything of this magnitude before?
Completed Red Bull X-Alps twice and many other big adventures.