Espen Fadnes became the 2012 overall champion of the World BASE Race and the ProBASE World Cup. This is the second time he has won the title in two years. I got a chance to ask him a few questions about it and also the up and coming World Wingsuit League in October.
What’s it like being the fastest man on the planet ?;-)
Fastest? Well I got second in World BASE Race and second in Pro BASE Wingsuit race. So how it feels to almost be the fastest? I’m a competitive person. Performing well makes me happy. It motivates me to do more contests, even though it’s a nerv-recking combination. BASE and contests.
All the fastest pilot were using the same Wingsuit (Phoenix Fly V4) what do you do to fly faster then everyone else?
I have a good start. As long as the other flyer isn’t more than 2-3 tens of a second faster flyer than me, I already got him/her. In the air I try to focus on the angle. I know that if my angle is “head-down” towards my direction in flight I have as little drag as possible. In that position I better hope the aerodynamic shape of the suit gives me lift to actually get some horisontal distance.
Is it dangerous doing comps like this?
It is the safest way of doing a Wingsuit BASE jump. Not only are you naturally very well prepared due to the contest and ambitions. You also fly far away from obstacles and pull relatively high.
Where do you see wingsuit flying in 10 years time?
I love the question. I see Paragliding, Hang Gliding and BASE jumping becomming more or less the same activity. We will fly with stiff material and have knowledge of thermals and use it to fly our body like they do in Hang Gliding. Performance and presentation of Wingsuit flying will be integrated through social medias. We will do live-shows from mountains that people can follow from their smartphones everywhere.
You have been invited to China for the World Wingsuit League (WWL), how do you think this will compare to the Wingsuit BASE race, and how do you feel about the competition?
WWL will hands down be a competition that brings Wingsuit flying up a level both in performance and presentation. We will see a live-show of wingsuiters doing turns in the terrain. The difference is that competitors here need accurate turn and angle control. No contest has ever tested that. Spectacular and challenging. It will be the highlight of my career. I’m seriously stocked!
Thanks Espen, I hope we get a chance to fly together. Good luck in China !
Espen told me that Monday there will be a release on one seriously cool film on youtube. It’s called ‘Split of a Second’.
For more information about the ProBASE World Cup http://www.facebook.com/ProBASEWorldcup
This is the Rock Star line in Chamonix that Espen found with Jokke Sommer earlier this year. For safety reasons this jump is now banned.