Icarus Trophy Rolling News

The one-stop post to get all the news updates from the air above the States. 


Rosa E. 10.10.2016

Rosa E. 08.10.2016

The Race Division title has been claimed. Aussie Pilot Dave Wainwright has taken the trophy for the second year. He's flown 1088 miles over seven days and he's done it all unsupported. Thoroughly good show. 

Rosa E. 8.10.2016

Rosa E. 07.10.2016

Day Six on the Icarus Trophy is just beginning over in the States and it's going to be a cracking day:


Rosa E. 07.10.2016

Byron's having a cracking time: "My specific goal for this trip was to at least fly into a hot springs..... so I was flying into a valley and I saw some steam..."  

Here's his perspective: "Whatever your passion is, go do it."  He closes with some words of advice for aspiring Icarus Trophy pilots. Well worth a watch. 


Rosa E 07.10.2016

It's been an eventful Day - and our three lead pilots took very different routes around the congested Salt Lake area. Why? Listen to Race Chief Shane Denherder's dulcet voice explain the different strategies adopted by  Dave, Byron and Miro.


Pilots and armchair pilots, find fellow dotwatchers on Facebook:

Rosa E. 06.10.2016

It's probably about roughly halfway. Remind yourself of the pilots we keep talking about:

Rosa E. 06.10.2016

Get the round up of Day 4 from Race Chief Shane Denherder:

Rosa E. 06.10.2016

Day 4 Update from Race Chief Shane Denherder:

Dave has made it into Utah! In other news, team Biro are flying to Lava Hot Springs to relax. The weather has eased up a bit and pilots are smashing the distance now! Oh, and Scotty is back in the game, departing Missoula momentarily. Hopefully he can catch up and give David a run for his money...

Here's the shape of the field:

Rosa E. 05.10.2016

It's the end of Day 3 - Where is everyone? An excellent question which the Mobile HQ have neatly answered:

Rosa E. 05.10.2016

Watch the Day 3 Round Up with Race Chiefs Shane Denherder (behind the camera) and Katy Willings (in front of the camera):

Rosa E. 05.10.2016

Read Day 3 - Race Division Analysis from Race Chief Katy Willings. She called it "Miroslav's Lament" and it contains this line: 

We watched in horror as the centre of his canopy got chewed through his propeller. There’s a fat tear right in the centre, on the leading edge, exactly where you’d want maximum tension on the wing, if flying were your thing.

Rosa E. 04.10.2016

Follow @IcarusTrophy on twitter to get the liveliest of live updates from Race Chiefs Katy Willings and Shane Denherder. 

Rosa E. 04.10.2016

Day 2 - The Race Division Analysis from Shane Denherder: "Weariness and weather settle in." Sounds promising:

Day two's weather brief suggested it might be best to sleep in under some shelter - and the sensible teams did as such.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the unsupported teams were prepping their gear for a 7:07am departure (the permitted maximum of 30 minutes before sunrise.) They overnighted in Darby, Montana with plans to make Salmon, Idaho by 9am. Only 63 miles straight-line-distance, over pretty much the gnarliest pass you could choose along this year's route. Ambitious.... 

Rosa E. 05.10.2016

Who are we? We are the folks designing, building and executing this long distance Paramotor race. We are The Adventurists and this is the crew on the ground: 

Shane D. 02.10.2016

The Dirty Truth - David Wainwright's Challenging Day

Even veteran pilots have extremely tough days in cross-country paramotoring. We caught up with co-race leader David Wainwright and asked him to quickly give us some insight on the choices that he had to make on day 1 of The Icarus Trophy 2016. 

Excellent insight for rookie pilots and Icarus hopefuls alike - David has been paramotoring over ten years, and was the 2015 Pioneer's edition Icarus Trophy Champion.

Track the Pilots Live

Our pilots have made good progress, but one day in, there's a long way to go.

The shape of the race at the close of Day 1. There's a long way still to go. 

UKHQ 02.10.2016

The Launch Photos

From Race Chief Shane Denherder. He's available for weddings probably. 

Katy W 02.10.2016

Launch Weekend Analysis - James Borges

James is another pilot back for a second bite of the Icarus Cherry in 2016. Since last year he has flown from Lands End to John O'Groats with our UK training partner Alex Ledger at SkySchool, and has done a 5 hour run unsupported in the UK to up his cross-country skills. He has logged some 400 hours flying now.

James is flying in the Adventure Division and has his girlfriend Juliet as an integral part of his team; she is carrying his spares. Eandearingly this consists of an entire spare Bailey V5S Matrix. James freely admits that he's not much of a mechanic (this is why he went for the 4-stroke Bailey in the first place), and so rather than take it apart and tinker, he'd rather be safe ad just have a sub. He's under a Nucleon XX 24m, in an autumnal black/yellow/orange colour scheme.

He and Dean are teaming up and keen to fly as much as they possibly can. Neither has much experience of the altitudes they will be facing this week, and his motor will be truly tested by some of the highest passes. Shane reckoned he'll be climbing for an hour to get high enough over Provo Canyon (by Heber City) to be on the safe side.

James has done his research and brought a fuck-off can of bear spray. Did you know a full can only provides 7 seconds of deterrence? James does, now. He also brought a first aid kit, in case 7 seconds isn't long enough.

Katy W. 02.10.2016

Launch Weekend Analysis - Trey German 

Trey has been paramotoring for 2 and a half years and clocked up around 90 hours. He took part in the very first Icarus X Series, in May 2016 and took the Adventure Division trophy that weekend. He's a veteran of a few spicy moments on that particular occasion, but he admits that as for mountain flying, his experience is limited. He had a few slack-jawed moments on the drive up to the start line - this is 'big country'.

Trey is gunning to fly the entire race division route, (so the dog-leg over Monument Valley), and will carry all of his own equipment like the race class guys, but with his support gang Mike and Andrew meeting up with him for sight-seeing and filming purposes. Mike and Andrew have his spare parts, which include a prop, belt, spare for cage and a spare wing. He's flying an Air Conception Nitro 200 Paramotor, under an ITV Billy 25m wing. It's white, blue and orange. He makes that look pretty good.

Katy W. 02.10.2016

Launch Weekend Analysis - Scotty Duncan 

Scotty is a highly experienced pilot, with over 2500 hours paramotoring stuffed down that Skymec onesie. He flew the Icarus X Australia route, from Singleton to Crescent Head, solo, last year, gaining a taste for long distance cross country flying which has ultimately brought him here to the pinnacle of that sport.

He's laconic, and confident but not complacent about the challenge in hand. He's flexible on route, and comfortable improvising under wing as conditions dictate. He is most certainly here to lay down some smack and compete, and is travelling light to do so; just a credit card and a Camelbak. Wonder which one he'll throw at a bear first...

Scotty conceded during his race brief with Shane and I that altitude was his blind spot, having done most of his flying at sea level. So, he spent most of the launch weekend tinkering with his gear to improve its performance at elevation. He's also a fearsome mechanic, did we mention that? He's re-tuned the engine (a Polini 190) to cope better with the altitude.

That all seemed to go swimmingly as he powered away from the start line hot on Dave's heels at 7.40am. The wing? Oh, that's just a Sunglider Razor 2 22m. It's blue, and black.  

However 90 minutes later it was nearly Scotty himself black and blue, as his piston blew and he was forced to glide down and land just shy of Missoula in Evaro. He feared a full engine re-build or even a replacement would be necessary. At the close of Day 1, after some tinkering, he is confident he can rebore that cylinder and re-build the engine with the supplies he has on him. This will be quite the comeback story if he succeeds.

The bad weather has worked in his favour, keeping his competition closer than they might have been in fair conditions, so he is by no means out of the race. Meanwhile he is having quite the adventure. Looking forward to hearing what he has MacGyvered by sunrise tomorrow.


 Katy W. 02.10.2016

Launch Weekend Analysis - Miro Svec

Slovakian contender Miroslav Svec cuts an elegant figure both on land and in the air. He has been flying for six years and logged some 300 flights, and has flown 1000km, unsupported, XC across Slovakia. 

He's flying a Scout paramotor under a 22m Ozone Viper 3 wing, in a chirpy blue and white.

During his pilot briefing with the race committee he confirmed he would fly in the race class, though he's keen to take in some of the sights. He and Byron intend to fly together for as long as that is mutually advantageous; Byron has elected adventure class just because he knows he wants to fly around and be a tourist. Both of them are equipped to camp, which puts them in a minority amongst the unsupported pilots.

He's respectful of the conditions and a 'calculated risk' kind of guy. If things go his way he'll be competitive and opportunistic but he also has his adventure hat on.

Miro 1.jpeg

He's got a knife, some dried beef and some home-brewed grape brandy in a hipflask for survival. We're carrying his spares, which consist of a full cage, a spare prop, and a starter.

As of 4pm day 1 he's happily holed up in Darby, MT, with Byron and Dave, sitting out some turbulent weather. Everything to play for...

NB race class pilots can have the HQ RV carry their spare parts. They just cannot summon us to them if they need them; they must get to us. 

Katy W. 02.10.2016

Launch Weekend Analysis - Dave Wainwright

All pilots were up and away within half an hour of sunrise this morning. A couple of ringers in the princely form of Icarus creator Mr Tom and Mr Kester wielding a camera clogged up the skies as our seven brave pilots launched.

First up for Day 1 was Dave, the defending champion. He had to run like stink to get airborne, hampered in this by his fancy high pitch prop: what he lacks in push at ground level will hopefully pay huge dividends in fuel efficiency once airborne, allowing him to stay up longer and get further. He has come here to win and no mistaking. Dave is flying a Nirvana Instinct 230, under a Dobermann 2 20m wing. It's a fetching orange, yellow and black.

He described an ambitious flight plan to me and Mr Shane last night: he's got a possible fuel stop earmarked every 50kms and plans to pick and choose as the conditions dictate. He's got almost no weight on, just a litre of water and a credit card, plus the face of an angel for sweet talking the locals. He's already covered 170kms today.


The Course

The 2016 Course is longer, definitely higher and all-round harder for our pilots. We've moved east from last year's Washington startline to the lakeside city of Polson, Montana, just 100miles from the Canadian Border. 

At the other end, we've stretched the course south to finish in Mesquite Nevada. The finish party will be in Vegas. Naturally.

Click here to analyse the route in more detail.

Pilots: Don't use this to navigate.

UKHQ 03.10.2016

Do you like weather? 

The Icarus Trophy team get weather reports daily, customised for our pilots. Read them all here: