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Tom de Dorlodot
- Nationality: Belgium
- Date of birth: 20. Jun. 1985
- Profession: Adventurer - Professional Paraglider Pilot
- Supporter: Sebastien Granville
- Glider: Supair Wild 23
- Website: www.thomasdedorlodot.com
- Sponsors: Red Bull, Volkswagen, Patagonia, Garmin, Gradient, Sup Air, Salomon, Black Diamond.
- When looking in the dictionary for the definition of "journeyman", we're pretty sure there should be a photo of Tom de Dorlodot, the Belgian pilot who's travelled the world and flown in the most remote of places. After an unlucky accident during Red Bull X-Alps 2015, Tom de Dorlodot is eager to start and will be showing that he has what it takes to get to Monaco.
- When and why did you begin paragliding?
I started paragliding in 2001. I wanted to discover the world from above and have fun with my friends.
- Do you paraglide competitively? List rankings and events.
Yes. Red Bull X-Alps 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015. Best rankings: 10th, 11th, 13th.
- What is your mountaineering experience?
I spend most of my year in the mountains. I'm passionate about bivouac flying. I had a great time crossing mountain ranges solo, either flying or hiking: The Alps (5 times), the Pyrenees (alone), the Karakoram (covering 300km of glaciers, reaching an altitude of 7,250m above the Baltoro), the New Zealand Alps (25 days in very remote mountains), the Andes (climbing the Alpamayo, 5,947m), Cauca range in Colombia, the Adriatic Circle (2500km)... It's what I love to do.
- What is your paragliding experience?
I have been flying for 15 years, mainly cross-country and bivouac. I also do a bit of acrobatic flying, which gives me more confidence during turbulent and difficult conditions.
- What is your adventure racing / endurance sport experience?
5 participations at the Red Bull X-Alps. Altogether, with some cool adventures, I covered around 9,000km of bivouac flying.
- What does your typical training week consist of?
I'm lucky to spend a lot of time traveling with the SEARCH Projects. I do a lot of hiking in the mountains to search for takeoffs, I run an average of 60km per week and I love cycling, skiing, climbing... In a good year, I fly around 250 hours.
- What are your best and worst adventure/flying moments?
Best: reaching the sea after a 26-day crossing of the remote New Zealand Alps. Worst: a crash while landing in strong wind resulting in a broken back during the Adriatic Circle project.
- What are the sporting moments you are most proud of?
Flying down to Hushé in Pakistan after a 300km trip through some of the biggest glaciers and 7000m peaks on earth. Climbing a 5200m virgin peak in Pakistan.
- When and how did you first hear about the Red Bull X-Alps?
I followed the very first edition with a lot of admiration for the participants. I immediately started to dream to take part one day.
- Have you competed in the Red Bull X-Alps before and if so, when?
Yes, in the last five editions.
- What appeals to you about the Red Bull X-Alps?
I takes you to your limits and beyond. It's an amazing experience as an athlete and as a team. I keep discovering new places in the Alps, always amazed by it's mountains.
- What will be your strategy during the race?
My strategy would be something like: Fly high, run fast, do your own race, stay healthy and make as few mistakes as possible, but more importantly, try to enjoy the difficult times...
- 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'll train very hard for it! I hope the experience I gained over the years will get me as far as possible in the race.
- What scares you the most about the event?
- Have you ever done anything of this magnitude before?
Yes. This is my lifestyle and I enjoy it a lot. ;-)