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Light hearted adventurer by day, passionate designer by night, soft cat daddy in between

Sebrand Warren


Sebrand Warren


  • Nationality
  • Age
  • Occupation
    Designer for a mental health company
  • Residence
    Grenoble (France)
  • Experience
  • Wing
    OZONE Zeolite 2 ML
  • Harness
    SKYWALK Range XAlps
  • Helmet
    SALOMON mtn lab helmet

Catie Talbot


  • Nationality
  • Residence
    Grenoble (France)

Team details

  • Website

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Why did you choose the X-Pyr?
I am ready for a longer format hike and fly race and the Pyrenees are a great unknown for me.

What is your greatest sporting success?
Two years into my flying journey I won a small hike and fly race in the Owens Valley put on by Logan Walters. Catie and I had zero expectations going into the race and hoped only to have an incredible adventure. It was everything we hoped for and more. Winning was a surprise. Since then, I’ve completely changed the course of my life to pursue hike and fly at a high level.

When and why did you start paragliding?
When I was a kid, my sister used to joke that one day I would trip and discover the secrets of gravity and fly away. I can’t remember if she made this joke before or after she caught me jumping off the garage roof holding a blanket over my head. Either way, I’ve always dreamed of flying.

In 2015 I saw a friendly-looking guy towing people into the air with an exercise bike behind my university. He got me through the basic training; but, the beginning of my design career was intense and I put the idea of paragliding in a drawer in favor of my career and the more accessible sport of rock climbing.

Four and a half years ago I found myself traveling the US in the back of my pickup truck, climbing mountains and wondering, “Why am I hiking down from a mountain I could be flying down from?” So, I met up with Dave Turner while I was climbing in Bishop and he hooked me up with a wing and taught me how to fly again.

This time it stuck.

What is your mountaineering experience?
I didn’t grow up in the mountains. It’s been a journey in my adulthood to gain confidence in high-altitude places.

Rock climbing was the gateway drug for me. When I signed up for my first gym membership at 22 I discovered passion in a way I had never before — and remorse at not having found it sooner. I stopped drinking and my evening activities shifted from partying to gym rat. My weekends became dedicated to driving to new places to climb and my vacations were reserved for longer objectives and projects. At 25 I decided to take a year off from work and treat climbing like a job. Traditional climbing was the focus and I did well over 250 pitches in that year.

My passion for climbing led me to begin dabbling in mountaineering; including spring summits of Shasta and Mt Hood in the Pacific Northwest of the USA.

More recently I’ve been getting into ski mountaineering. Living in Grenoble for the last 7 months has given me easy access. I hope to build these skills as much as possible before the snow is all gone.

What are your best and worst sporting memories?
Where to start? Too many good memories to pick from. Thermalling from Twin Peaks over San Francisco. Soaring the Dutch dunes I used to play on as a kid for the first time. Running for my life from Kevin Carter along the coast of Santa Barbara and coming first into goal with bloody hands from jumping fences. I can go on, but I can’t pick one.

Now the worst:

I remember after I came in 7th at the Applegate Open (the best I’ve ever flown in a PWC-style comp), my friend Loopy came to me after the race to tell me, “You looked like you were having the most fun.” This should have stuck with me. But I somehow managed to lose that joy the following year.

My worst memories have come from focusing too hard on winning and too little on curiosity and joy. Last summer, I found myself comparing myself to other pilots while flying rather than cheering them on; questioning if they are “better” at thermalling or gliding than I am. At the Chelan Open 2023 I spent the whole comp putting myself down for not being good enough. By the end of the week, I ranked lower than I had 2 years before when I was competing on a C wing.

This summer, my goal is to approach each competition with curiosity and without expectation. When someone thermals past me or makes a crossing that I bomb out on, I want to be screaming praises at them and thanking them for showing me what’s possible.

Have you flown in the Pyrenees before? Do you have a favourite area?
I have never flown the Pyrenees! Hoping I can get a week or two out there before the race!

Is there anything you like to see (or not) in the route?
I love unconventional. Make us fly over areas the local pilots wouldn’t consider. Even if it means hiking for hours in the middle of nowhere or flying upwind in the shade.

Apart from flying far and walking little, what will your strategy be during the race?
Planning is great. Looking at the forecast and making sure you’re in the right place at the right time is essential in hike and fly. However, all that’s worth nothing if your mindset is off. My goal for the summer is also my high-level strategy. Be curious. Be stoked. Believe. 😜

What does your typical training week consist of?
I get all my training plans from Ben Abruzzo — this year a fellow X-Pyr competitor. He generally gives me 10-15 hours of workouts each week. 4-5 runs/hikes and 1-2 strength sessions in the gym.

I could do a better job of following them, but for me, it’s important to me to keep training fun. If I’m excited to join a friend on a hike, I might skip a tempo run. If the powder is looking super fresh, I might replace part of a strength workout with a long downhill skiing day. If I’m excited about a vol biv adventure, I might hike hard for 15 hours in one weekend.

Also, good flying days always take priority over workouts.

What has been the hardest part of your race preparation so far?
Balance is always pretty hard; working a full-time job, spending time with friends, romance, training, and then, somehow, still leaving time to fly every day? Sometimes I feel pretty spread thin. I love this feeling, but I get anxious that I’m not doing enough.

What excites you most about participating in the X-Pyr?
To have a week where all I need to think about is hike and fly sounds pretty amazing. I love the idea of trying to strategise multiple days out to put myself in the right place at the right time.

What worries you the most about the event?
The last iteration I saw people launching is some pretty incredible wind. I hope that flying within my tolerance is enough to still be competitive. If not, I hope I’m able to push my limit safely.

How do you know your assistant?
Catie has been my inspiring supporter since we met. I don’t think I would be the pilot or athlete I am today without her.

What are your assistant’s main strengths?
Catie’s main strength is her ability to hold lots of information in her head and help strategise. She is much smarter than I am. 😀

What advice would you ask of the race veterans?
How can I best keep my supporter(s) happy for 8 long days?

Anything else you like to comment?
I’m queer. 🏳️‍🌈 😜

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