Paragliding Holidays » Brazil » Brazil thermalling & XC Course with XCBrazil & Active Edge

Brazil thermalling & XC Course with XCBrazil & Active Edge


Judith Mole

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Thermalling & Cross-Country
Course - Only £1,195 for 2 weeks

Governador Valadares requires little introduction - quite simply it's one of the world's premier paragliding destinations.
Valadares has hosted many top-level competitions including the 2005 World Championships and the PWC Super Final in January 2014. The thermals are smooth, reliable and user-friendly all the way to a warm cloudbase, over a rolling landscape of green hills that extends as far as the eye can see and the pilot can fly. It’s a great place to fine-tune thermalling skills and speed-to-fly technique. Valadares is one of the favourite sites around the world for teaching cross-country.

The gentle winds, lack of turbulence and minimum stress allow the pilot to focus on the flying. The course will be run by Dean Crosby, CFI of Active Edge Paragliding, whilst I provide assistance on the take-off and logistical support. Dean is a BHPA Senior Instructor with a vast amount of experience – flying for 31 years and teaching both paragliding and hang gliding for 27 years. He has been British Paragliding Champion and British Cross-Country Champion twice. He was captain of both the British Paragliding Team and the British Hang Gliding Team. Dean also competed at national level in all three soaring disciplines - paragliding, hang gliding and gliding. In addition to providing all the theory lectures, Dean will be guiding the group in the air with in-flight coaching by radio.

Steve Barton has been flying paragliders for the past 14 years and has clocked up more kilometres than he can remember. Steve’s best flight in Valadares so far is 121km.. He first visited Brazil in 2004 and was immediately hooked – “what an amazing place”! The people, the climate and the consistently reliable conditions make it second-to-none. He moved to GV permanently 8 years ago and has been running guided tours for paraglider pilots from all over the world for the past 6 years.

Places on this course will be strictly limited to 7 pilots so please book early to avoid disappointment.

What is included in the price:

- Theory lectures by Dean Crosby, CFI of Active Edge Paragliding
- In-flight guiding and tuition by Dean 
- Guiding and assistance on take-off from Steve
- Transfers from Rio de Janeiro to Valadares
- 13 nights hotel accommodation, with buffet style breakfast
- Daily transport to take-off
- Retrieve service
- Use of SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger
- Local SIM card
- Return transfer to Rio de Janeiro

The price is based on shared hotel rooms, each with en-suite bathroom, television and either ceiling fan or air-conditioning. Some rooms also have Wi-Fi facilities. If you are travelling with a partner or friend and have specific requirements please let us know at the time of booking. If you prefer a single room this can be arranged at a small supplement.

What you can expect:
You should try to arrive in Brazil on the Friday before the course starts. You will be transferred from Rio de Janeiro to Governador Valadares overnight, arriving early on the Saturday morning. We use an Executivo bus service, which has comfortable reclining seats and air-conditioning. You will be met in Valadares and transferred to your hotel where you can freshen up and recover from the long journey. Later that morning there will be an introductory talk and course briefing. You will be provided with safety equipment (SPOT device and local SIM card) and maps. After the briefing we will have a local introductory flight. You will probably be quite tired after the journey so the first day will be used just to blow away any cobwebs and to enable you to familiarise yourself with the area.

Each day you will be collected from the hotel and transported up to the take-off. Theory lectures will be done ad hoc, fitting
them in as and when necessary, but the priority will be to maximise airtime. There will be a de-briefing after each day’s flying.
The take-off area in Valadares is massive. It is clean and well-maintained. Winds are usually very light on take-off and most
pilots should have no problem at all with launching. I will usually be on take-off to offer assistance and advice where
necessary. It is intended that Dean will take off first in order to check out the conditions and identify areas of suitable lift. I
will assist the rest of the group to get airborne as soon as possible after that and Dean be coaching by radio from the air. If you are unlucky enough to have a short flight and conditions allow you will be given the opportunity for a second flight.
All pilots will be flying with SPOT GPS tracking devices. These are equipped for live-tracking and transmit coordinates by
satellite every 10 minutes. They are a terrific advantage both in terms of safety and assisting the retrieve operation once you have landed. Radio will be the primary means of communication and all pilots must be in possession of suitable equipment.

Start date


Finish date







Governador Valadares, Brazil

Suitable for

Anyone wishing to improve their thermalling or XC flying. If you're unsure whether your experience is appropriate, feel free to call Dean to discuss.



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