Soaring Cristo Redentor
Paragliding in Rio de Janeiro and over Christ the Redeemer
The first stop on my trip this season is to Brazil to fly in the Pre-World Cup in Governador Valadares but a flying trip to Brazil wouldn’t be complete without a flight above the spectacular city of Rio de Janiero
I left a sunny Costa Rica behind me and landed early in the morning to a stormy Rio covered in clouds. My short 12 hours here seemed to get longer with the possibility of flying looking less and less. So, I checked into a hotel by the airport to be ready for my next airplane ride and to hide away from the rain for the day.
By midday I had itchy feet to see if there was a any small chance of flying and making it to Christ the Redeemer. Flying over Rio and to the Christ has long been a dream of mine, so it I didn’t want to give up on it that easily.
Arriving at beach São Conrado with my comp buddy for the season, William Pardis, we bought a pass for the shuttle ride and launch. The locals were sceptical that it would be flyable at all, let alone that we would make it to the Christ. Repeatedly, Will and I were told wouldn’t make it today but had to just go and see for ourselves.
The conditions on launch were cloudy with patches of sunlight which gave both of us hope of making it on our Gin Boomerang 11s. We flew into the first thermal off launch and climbed to cloud base. From there, we managed to ride a convergence line nearly all the way to the Christ without having to thermal again. From there we could see our goal in site and went on glide towards the enormous statue.
And there we were, soaring the face of Jesus with crowds of tourists below us, proving to ourselves and the locals that anything is possible when you believe in yourself. Seeing Cristo Redentor from the sky was a pretty magical and what a way to start the beginning of my trip to Brazil.