Hot Shot Yuki Sato – Do your best and leave the rest to fate
Can you tell us your full name and how old you are?
Yuki Sato. 37 years old
Which country were you born in and where do you live now?
I was born in Japan. My official address is in Tokyo, but I live in Morocco mainly, and moving a lot to somewhere flyable.
What do you do for a living?
I work for Japanese paragliding magazine “PARAWORLD” as a Senior Editor.
Sometimes I work as an assistant for flight tour company Passion Paragliding* which my boyfriend runs.
If you could have a different job, what would it be?
I like to playing sports. When I was a child I wanted to be a football player, but I gave up because there was no team for the girls in my city at the time. Next my dream was a journalist or an editor of newspaper or magazine. So I feel very lucky and am satisfied with my job.
If I can change my life, I want to be a cat which has good owner!
Who introduced you to flying and where did you learn?
I found a paragliding book at the library in my university. I was impressed by beautiful pictures, so I went to the paragliding school by myself. I learned to fly at 3 schools in Japan.
How many years have you been flying?
17 years with 2 years’ absence.
What was your first flying machine (for example: glider, plane, delta, child’s toy…)?
Paraglider. I tried to fly with an umbrella when I was a child, perhaps like some other pilots!
What was your most memorable flying moment?
At the last task of the PWC super final last year, I flew top for only a moment. It was just 5 or 10 minutes maybe, but I was higher and forward than all the other pilots. It was not clever way I know, but it was much fun!
Where is your favorite place to fly?
Asagiri (Japan), Aguergour (Morocco), Ager (Spain), Dolomite (Italy), Annecy (France), Erzincan (Turkey), etc…. I cannot choose the best.
What kind of flying do you prefer best (competition, XC, soaring, acro…)?
I like to feel the nature and the wind so much, and I’d love to be a part of them. So I like thermalling and XC because I can feel them a lot. In the competition, I can feel sense of unity with pilots, too. It’s so exciting, and at the same time it helps to move my skill up. Sometimes I can feel my development at the competition. And then, I can enjoy thermalling and XC more than before. It’s difficult to say which I prefer the most. For me, all of them are connected.I know that acro also can help. But actually I don’t prefer it because I feel sick very easily.
When are you most in your element/in the “zone”?
Sometimes I feel a beautiful sense of merging with nature then I can feel whare the next thermal is, and where the line is. It’s a great pleasure. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen all the time.
What flight instruments and equipment (wing, harness, canopy…) do you use?
Wing: Icepeak 7 pro / Niviuk, Harness: Tanto light / Ava Sports
Who has been your greatest influence?
I got a lot of influence from 2 pilots.
First one was my ex-husband. He is not famous in the international scene but I think he is one of the top 5 pilots in Japan. Before I met him I did just thermalling without any skills, and I was nearly losing my passion. He reminded me pleasure of flying and he taught me a lot of things, and he gave me the chance to start to join the international competition.
Another one is my boyfriend Toby. He is the British team member. He has a passion and he is good at making other people happy. Sometimes I get too serious in Japanese “kamikaze” way. It makes my view narrow. I learned how to get relax from him, and how to concentrate with wide view. Since we met, I’m enjoying paragliding more.
What was your most hair-raising experience?
It was scary that I saw my collapsed glider and forest at the same time from the top because I could not catch my glider’s shooting. It was second flight with a competition class wing. But that was not THE most scary experience. The most hair-raising experience was that one day I had to gather and throw away more than 20 cockroaches by using a dustpan and broom; A summer in Morocco is paradise for many insects!
Where in the world would you like to visit, that you haven’t already been?
“El celler de can roca” in Girona, Spain. This is the best restaurant in the world at the moment.
What do you do for fun when you’re not flying?
Reading. I like to read novels, and manga as well. I think I’m a little bit nerdy!
What is your most favorite article of clothing in your wardrobe?
A jean short dress by Diesel, even if I I don’t have much chance to wear it, and I need to be in good shape to wear it nicely too 😉
What item would you not leave home without?
My tablet. I have more than 100 books and manga in it.
Where do you see yourself in 10yrs’ time?
Somewhere flyable place maybe. I’m not good at thinking about my future.
If you had “A Day in the Life Of…”, who would you be?
One of the greatest pilots in the world. I want to know what they see and think in the air.
If you have a personal philosophy/moto/mantra, can you share it with us?
“人事を尽くして天命を待つ”, this is a Japanese proverb means “do the best and leave the rest to fate”.
Links: Para-Touring with Passion Paragliding
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