The Final(ish) Update
It's been two or three days since all the pilots finished. We've had a few random snippets of conversation from them, and the odd blurry picture here and there, but that's about it. We figured they're busy relaxing, recovering and enjoying spinning tales to each other. Turns out they're doing just that, plus keeping the adrenaline levels topped up with some petrol-head actions and getting some more flying under their belts.
We had a brief and hazy chat to Mr Shane about the finish party entertainments and how he thought the event went generally. If he sounds drunk, it's because he sounded drunk.
We then asked him about the awards ceremony which was held ina cosy little cabin at 7000ft overlooking the Moab area. Of course, the pilots in Race Class are going for the big win - The Icarus Trophy proper, but we also like to award those who have gone the extra mile.
Spirit of Adventure Award - Jack Nordberg
For the pilot who battled the odds and yet still came out smiling.
Jack signed up for the Icarus a mere 2 weeks before the launch. A relatively quiet chap who never really gets excited by anything, he spent his time flying like a demon, and making sure everyone else was looked after and taken care of. Mr Shane says "he seems like a shitty pilot, and idiotically flew through some airspace more than once, but he is actually so smart. His launches look like total shit, but he's got so much natural talent".
Not content with picking up merely the Spirit of Adventure, Jack was awarded another...
Dark Horse Award - Jack Nordberg (again)
For the pilot who took everyone by surprise.
Jack was highly underestimated for this. He hasn't been flying too long, just a year or so. He's into all manner of action sports, and is annoyingly athletic, and this seemed to do him some good. This real-life action man seemed to relish the Icarus and absolutely smashed his distances every day he was in the air.
Once again, congratulations, now get off the stage.
Poet Award - Canyon Hansen
For the pilot who has that special way with words.
Canyon is twice Tucker's age. He has fucked knees and decided to participate just 3 hours before the launch. This hard working chap was the only one who could have stolen the crown from Tucker's curls. Instead, when he realised Tucker had it, he concentrated on doing what he does best; being a foul-mouthed bastard. We would publish a few of his more lyrically melodious moments here, but then the website would likely be shut down.
Hats off Sir.
Barnstormer Award - Trey German
For the pilot who knows how to impress.
From the outside, and indeed from every side, Trey looks like he might not be able to walk up a flight of stairs without buggering it up. The truth is though that he's really smart. He clowns around and acts like a real shit-show, but he can make anything fly and has a shedload of experience. He kept us all thoroughly entertained during the event.
Trey, it's been a pleasure Sir.
Red Lantern Award - Lara Kjeldsen
For the pilot who we all secretly wanted to win.
For a start, it was her honeymoon (new husband Kyler acted as her support though, so at least they were together). She turned up at the launch with a huge smile on her face and the wrong wing. Thankfully Mr Shane had a spare. She was the people's favourite and won over many a heart with her wit and general loveliness. She even had a moment in a restaurant en-route where a star-struck mum and her 5 daughters recognised her from the updates and approached her, chatted away and then promptly paid for her meal in secret. She's not the best pilot in the world (yet), but she had a bloody good innings, despite leaving "a trail of gopher holes all over Idaho". She had a long journey emotionally, and it was one we were more than happy to share.
Hats off ma'am.
Justin Bieber Award - Tucker Gott
For that pilot who broke the internet.
Not content with winning the Icarus Trophy 2017, Tucker also did a fair bit of winning over, and likely breaking, a few hearts along the way. His legion of adoring fans ranged from sweet, to ever-so-slightly-except-not-really-that-slightly-weird. Thanks to them, we knew exactly when he stopped to refuel, the precise moment he touched down, and the pinpoint moment when he was picking his nose. Despite smashing the event, he even took an hour out to do a live Q&A after a full day of flying, and still managed to look better than most of us. It's no wonder everyone loves him so much. Bastard.
And of course, there's one more who we couldn't leave out...
Broken Wing Award - Dean Kelly
For that pilot who we never thought would make it.
Oh Dean. What would the Icarus be without you throwing your toys out of the pram every five minutes? To say that he had his ups and downs is a bit like Daedalus saying to Icarus that the sun was a tad warm. He crashed into power lines, he buggered up numerous launches, he broke his equipment, had a paddy fit, and then did what he does best - got the hell on with things. Mr Shane had this to say: "Dean? Oh jeez. Where do I start? We had to award him this because of the shit-show he is. He's a good friend, he's super tenacious and he's very emotionally attached to this event for all the right reasons, but he's a crashing ship and has literally no talent for this. Despite having done so much more than 99% of other pilots out there, he's just a mess." We couldn't have put it better ourselves. Dean had this to say: "I just want to say thank you to everyone that made my adventure what it was." Good man.
To the best mess we all hate to love, raise a glass.
That about sums it up for the time being. This was due to be the final update, but we'll do another round up when everyone has gotten home, gotten back to something resembling normality and we've had a chance to pick their brains further.
There will also be an in-depth race dissection where we look at mathematical numbers, scientific statistics, and mix them all together with a load of tosh we make up on the spot.
Until then then.
Day 10 Update
Today brought about the symbolic end to the Icarus Trophy 2017. The proper finish party is tomorrow - Wednesday - and Lara, Jack and Canyon have yet to actually fly through the pylons, but all pilots are at the finish line in one way or the other.
Wednesday will bring about the awards ceremony and the entertainments. This will very likely be followed by hangovers of a forcible nature on Thursday. We shall see.
In order to make sure the finishline worked, Mr Kester decided to test it out, the verdict? "Yep, it works". Excellent de-brief sir.
If you didn't already know, Icarus Trophy Champion 2017, Tucker Gott, has a few followers. This horribly good looking, sickeningly nice, and disgustingly likeable young man recently had one of his youtube videos go viral, which certainly helped shove him into the spotlight even more.
Since winning the Icarus he spent some time recovering, and then enjoying what he does best, flying. Trevor took a few snapshots of the champ in his natural environment. So, this gallery is for the fans - or indeed anyone else that likes seeing simply great photos.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have Dean and Trey. These two grubby specimens have kept the maddening crowd enthralled with their humour, their actions, their grit, determination and their hilarious running commentary. Most of what they say can't even be published, but trust us when we say it's priceless. It all points to two good guys, who have become great friends, having a fantastic adventure. Hats off to the pair of you gents. It's been a pleasure.
Here's a small glimpse of their married life, with potty-mouthed Trevor making a guest appearance as always.
Dean: Let's push on Trey. I'll make it no problem, have enough petrol.
Trey: I've got gas too but have to pee. You go on.
Trevor: Thought you had a dick tube Trey?
Trey: Didn't put it on.
Dean: hold on to it.
Trevor: Just pinch the tip. It'll be fine.
Dean: Come on mate.
Trey: Just go.
Trevor: You just go. Your paramotor already smells like piss. So does your beard.
Oh how we'll miss their heartwarming banter.
Here is the lovely Dean coming over the finish line, proving once and for all that chickens can, and will, fly. He, of all the pilots, probably had the most cock-ups, so that bear hug from Mr Shane is truly well earned.
Trey however, had a slightly dodgy finish yesterday.
Trey: Kill switch not working. Going to fly this bastard through the gates, please have highway to the danger zone playing when I land. And have fire extinguishers ready. I'm coming in hot.
Ms Sophie: Copy that. Confirm - you choose fire extinguishers over champagne.
Trevor wasn't buying it however...
Trevor: 10 bucks says Trey landed and fabricated the "fuel line in the netting" scenario to add drama to the end of the race. I know what you're up to Trey.
Trey: Pretty serious situation up here. Slides out and I'm fucked.
Trevor: Wait, is that holding your netting together? Nice!
Trey: Kill switch isn't working so I can't safely pull it out.
Trevor: That's what she said.
Trey: Fuel line holding, shit show continuing. Ball status - big brass.
Being the hero he is though, he managed. And did he have champagne? Of course he bloody did. Well deserved Mr German.
In fact, despite the final party being Wednesday night, it sounded from our call with Mr Shane this morning like they all had a glass or two last night. Bloody right. He even managed to get these few brief superlatives past his arid, morning mouth:
"We sat around the campfire, with the pilots telling stories, just the way it's meant to be. It was awesome."
On Tucker: "fuck he’s an incredible pilot, it was great to finally hang out with him. He’s the real deal. He’s awesome."
On Canyon: "He very nearly had it, and everyone’s like where did this 48 year old with fucked knees and a bad mouth come from?"
On Trey and Dean: "They're great guys, and they're mates. They had a great time and were all crying and shit."
Bless them all. Enjoy your festivities folks.
We'll be back with the final Daily Digest tomorrow. Oh, and a heads up - it's probably not going to be pretty. Ta ta for now.
Day 9 Update
As everyone reading this probably already knows, not everything was rosy today for our chums across the pond. In light of this a statement was made by HQ:
Due to the recent tragic events in Las Vegas, and out of respect for the victims and their families; we are diverting all Icarus Trophy pilots to a new finish line and continuing the race on an adjusted schedule.
We're in regular contact with the pilots, who are all safe, as are the race crew, pilot ground support teams and friends of the race on the road with us.
The race will continue and we'll announce details of the updated finish line and schedule and publish them on the website as soon as they're confirmed.
Our thoughts are with everyone affected.
Thankfully, our pilots brought some much-needed smiles to the table.
Lara started her day off with a nice warming cup of tea after spending a night camped under the stars with husband Kyler.
Being American there's a chance it might be coffee of course, but we're going to ignore that and put our bets on it being a nice cup of Earl Grey.
Dean's start to the day, however, predictably went to shit.
"Oops I did it again. Fuck me.
You all call me an accomplished pilot but I honestly thing I'm the least experienced pilot here. I fucking can't believe it.
I had a cravat on launch which made me pull to the right in winds that were on the tipping point of either forward or reverse launch.
I opted for a forward launch and the cravat (that I didn't see) pulled me to the right and before I could abort the launch I fell and did another propeller.
I'm still in it I think, but what can go wrong will go wrong."
No need to look at it like that Dean.
We're pretty sure none of us called you accomplished.
Meanwhile, the little spoon to Dean's big spoon - Trey German - had a blast whilst flying from Price to Hanksville.
"This one was another magical one. Not sure which was better...this one or the Bitterroots.
That flight was definitely intimidating but I managed to smash it, though it was fucking cold!"
Get that man a cup of tea. Lara, put the kettle on.
The lesser-spotted Jack popped up with a cracking photo of a flight that he took along with Tucker, Canyon and Mr Shane (yes, we let him out of the RV once in a while). No wonder he's been relatively quiet if this is the kind of scenery he's been flying around.
And here's how they (nearly) all got in the air first time.
And seeing as we're here, we might as well see what it looked like from a pilot's eye view. Not too shabby.
Well, in for a penny, in for a pound. Here they are landing.
Weather Tom popped up with a request for Lara after husband Kyler posted this rather lovely pic and got rightly shredded, but proved that he's far wittier than a mere weatherman and can keep up with the showmanship.
WT: Lara - keep occasional pics coming of the conditions - your pics from this morning were actually very useful for the forecast!
Trevor: Proof that Tom doesn't actually use any forecasting tools, just photos and great guesswork. Solid!
WT: Haha... you nailed it. I actually pay a bum here at the beach each day to put something together... #gonesurfing
Put that in your pipe and smoke it Trevor.
Mr Kester along with Trey and Dean weren't to be outdone by the likes of Tucker and chums, so they upped the game, and tried their best to re-create a scene from James Bond.
Still not convinced? Well here's a video that Trey took of Mr Kester shredding it in slo-mo. Why? Because we can.
Okay, that's the digest for the day. More to come tomorrow.
Day 8 Update
It appears our pilots have taken a turn for the better and have gone all English as they can't seem to stop talking about the weather. Welcome then to Day 8 of ye good olde Icarus Trophy.
So, despite us having truly excellent weather updates from meteorological wizard Weather Tom, our pilots are, of course, also experts in this field.
Who needs Weather Tom when we have such insightful pilots?
Seriously though, it highlights just one of the many factors our pilots have to face, and overcome, during the Icarus Trophy.
Lara decided to take it easy, despite the conditions being perfect.
Nobody can blame Lara for not getting in the air, and Dean was the first to offer his pearls of infinite wisdom. He then proceeded to gush a bit. Though he comes across as rough as a sack full of hedgehogs, he's actually a big softie underneath that gnarled exterior:
Dean: Good call Lara. Gusty and switching winds are a bitch to launch in, but also even harder to land in. Best stay safe than risk it, I have a hard boiled egg I laid yesterday because of that same reason.
Then went on: Lara you have proved to us all that you are an accomplished pilot even with the limited experience and hours you have. You are an inspiration to all females that want to take up this beautiful sport that we all love. You go girl.
We couldn't have put it better ourselves.
Meanwhile, Dean and Trey had a playful discussion with Weather Tom...
Dean: It's snowing and -2 degrees below, but according to Trey it's perfect for a fly.
WT: Trey and Dean - if you are planning to fly locally at price, it seems like the wind will still be strong - carbon county airport last observation is 16mph G 28!
Trey: What do you think we are? Pussies?!?
WT: Good point.. enjoy your flight! You should make Moab in under and hour.
Trey: WTF is Red Dawn anyway. A brothel?
WT: It's a code word.
Trey: For Dean's butthole tomorrow morning?
Oh how we chuckled. Trey promised to update us tomorrow if he did indeed finally manage to get lucky with Dean whilst he was sleeping.
Jack on the other hand, managed to get up and have what he called "An awesome flight" until "the wind kicked his ass" that is.
Not too shabby at all.
During the interval, Trey found the perfect parking spot. For some reason the valet ran a mile when Trey tried to hand him the throttle.
And finally... it'd been at least an hour and a half since Dean threw his toys out of the pram, so it was about time for another one. Thankfully Mr Kester was there to carry him through.
Trey: Dean couldn't find his flight deck and was once again about to quit. We finally found it after much nonsense and grief.
Sophie: Crisis averted. Ultimate ‘support crew’
Dean: Mmmmmmmmm God how many times I've been so close to giving up. But all good no thanks to my amazing friends that have got my back, thanks Trey and Kester.
We'll have your back anytime Dean.
Now stop your bloody whinging and get back in the air.
Until tomorrow then. Safe flying all you marvellous pilots.
Day 7 Update
The Icarus Trophy 2017 is a whole week old. What a week it's been too. Here's the summary for yesterday's action.
The day didn't start too well for Lara. The weather wasn't playing ball and she managed to get into - and somehow lose - a fight with the salt flat.
Lara: "Clouds, light rain and a touch of twisted ankle at the salt flats this morning. I swear this place wants to swallow me up into salty hell."
Thankfully Dean was there to offer advice, helpful as ever.
Dean: "Lara throw some salt over your left shoulder for good luck."
Lara though, had other plans.
Thankfully, her husband Kyler was yet again on hand to save the day:
"Since Lara didn't get in the air today... we got her next best thing..."
Trey had a mixed day. Fighting with fences, battling the weather and having a few minor equipment niggles. First off though, he needed to find a place to get in the air from:
Trey: "Does a cemetery count as person's property? Good looking spot behind the hotel but I'd have to climb over a cemetery."
Well, at least the neighbours are quiet.
He then went on to have a gorgeous looking flight before having to stop due to some pretty scary looking skies. Then, the worst happened. He came face to face with his old nemesis - the dreaded barbed wire fence.
That's the spirit Trey. Legend.
His buddy Dean had a bit of a mixed day himself. Including what he claimed was "Absolutely the single most scariest flight I've ever had EVER".
First though, let's see him in all his cocky glory.
The happiness though, wasn't to last. The weather decided to swan into the room and show Dean just who's boss, leaving him grounded for the night and with a whole load of happy memories to dwell upon.
Here, Dean explains it all in his own words.
Thank Christ it isn't smell-o-vision.
Let's see that line again in a quote though, as it's priceless...
Lara marvels at his bravery (stupidity?):
"Damn dude we drove through that weather and I can't imagine flying in it at all!"
Thankfully Mr Kester isn't doing the weather reports:
"Little gusty, hope it passes, rain should be easy enough for them to skirt."
As if you hadn't already had enough of him (only kidding Dean, we wouldn't have you any other way), Dean is the latest pilot to be featured in the Pilot Spotlight series. Best not let your kids read this one though:
Okay, okay. Enough about everyone's second favourite plumber, let's move onto...oh wait...okay, just this one and then we'll really move on...
What you clearly can't see just out of shot is her guide dog.
Now you've had your fill of Dean, we can answer the burning question that most of you have on your lips - what about Tucker? Well, Tucker's gone slightly mad after watching 'Castaway' too many times whilst waiting for everyone else to finish.
No, not really he's fine, and has some plan apparently.
According to Mr Shane: "Tucker has an idea for a video."
Lara showed her concern: "Will that poor pumpkin survive this video? #notopumpkincide"
Tim clearly couldn't give a toss: "#pumpkinhugger"
Tucker has made his way East to meet up with Jack and Canyon and do some sightseeing. We hear that there's some 'Monument Valley' place or something which apparently is slightly nice to fly around.
Enjoy champ - you've earned it.
Catch you all tomorrow on the Daily Digest. Toodle Pip.
Day 6 Update
As Icarus Trophy 2017 Champion Tucker Gott relaxes and recovers from his heroic voyage, the rest of our pilots are still up there, chasing dreams, memories, rainbows and superglue.
Canyon, for one, was relishing Tucker's win as it meant he could forget about winning and concentrate on enjoying himself...
"Yup! Got my ass sitting in a nice cushy truck seat! Will get back at it after we get Jack's fan all sorted."
We presume he means Jack's paramotor and not his sister-in-law.
Lara had another great day (judging by her grinning from ear to ear in most photos we've seen) as she hit the Bonneville Saltflats.
Lara is the latest pilot to be featured in Mr Shane's spotlight:
Old fart Trevor had a birthday today. Dean - as subtle as a piano falling on you from the 20th floor - hinted towards what he expects from birthdays:
"HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY Trevor Meeks. Maybe, just maybe there'll be another Icarus baby on the way. Well it's his birthday, he's getting some tonight."
Happy Birthday Trevor. Maybe if it's a boy you should call it Dean.
Nah, we're just kidding. Call it Tucker.
Speaking of Dean, well, this chap just doesn't know how or when to give up and is the physical embodiment of The Adventurists spirit.
"Okay at Wells now, lunch and locktite. I must say I'm confident that I will repair and get back in the air. Also very confident that I'll be trouble free from here on. That's my positive thoughts and my gut feeling."
And he is. He'll be hitting the skies tomorrow.
He was missing his buddy Trey today though. Thankfully they finally managed to find a way to each other again, like star-crossed lovers on a smokey train platform. Just without any of the romance.
Everyone has been touched by their partnership, and Dean has a surprisingly gentle turn of phrase for Mr German:
"But what a pilot what a champ he is. I've found such a great life long friend in Trey and you all.... makes life worthwhile to have such a great bunch of friends and support."
Lara responded thusly: "Get a room."
They did exactly that. It was very soon after that when any glimmer of romance hit a wall, like a paper bag full of vegetable soup being hit by a bus, thanks to Trey leaving Dean a momento in the bathroom.
This is in reference to Trey's video from yesterday. If you missed it, then be sure to catch up on it HERE. You won't be sorry. Probably.
Other than leaving his youtube-famed pisstubes laying around, he had to fixhis machine after the throttle cable broke off at the clamp, but then hit the saltflats with Lara. He also lost any hint of a stiff upper lip upon seeing a vintage Blue Angel. He also shared with us a few (low res) pics from his flight over the Bitterroots.
"Grabbed some stills from my flight over the Bitteroots. I think y'all will understand why I did it now..." - Trey German
And finally. Dean, shows that he has skills not only with a wing, but also with a sewing machine, and began to reevaluate his career.
"This is my new business idea for anyone that wants to fly in s costume: I'll make anything for you all I need is the idea and your old fly suit. Yes, of course I can. Give me anything and I'll make you whatever you like. Lucky for you guys I chose a chicken outfit, I was going to go with an Emu ..... I just didn't want to get my neck stuck in the prop."
Mr Shane summed it up perfectly:
"Lol. The bird that thumps its chest when it's intimidated, and doesn't fly! I'm glad you did the chicken."
We all are Shane, we all are.
Happy flying all you folk out there, and see you tomorrow dear readers.
Day 5 Update
Ladies and Gentleman. Today rings in the new dawn of a reining Icarus Trophy champion. We're still waiting for the test results from the L'Oreal clinic - but it looks like Tucker Gott has claimed the trophy.
Mr Shane summed it up beautifully today when asked by Adventurists HQ if Tucker would make the finish:
"Pretty sure, his engine could use some TLC so anything goes. But if all goes well mechanically, and if the winds stay the same, he doesn’t get slammed on landing and break stuff, he gets fuel quickly, the weather doesn’t get worse, he doesn’t get scared, he takes off without eating shit, he flies efficiently, he doesn’t get hit by an airplane in St. George, a massive convergence in Virgin river gorge doesn’t swallow him, and the sun doesn’t set before all that; then if he feels like it, he’ll finish."
And he did.
Tucker pretty much took the lead from the very start and dominated Race Class. At one point it appeared as though Canyon might have a glimmer of hope, but Tucker dug in, kept buggering on, and was crowned Icarus Trophy 2017 Champion yesterday. Bloody good show Sir, bloody good.
Here he is in his first interview as 2017 champion.
Cool, calm and relatively collected. No wonder he has such a myriad of adoring fans out there. Here's a snapshot from him on his final flight.
As Tucker relaxes and recovers from his epic win, the other pilots are still out there gunning for the finish line.
The bromance between Trey and Dean continues to blossom, despite the problems each of them are facing either in the air or getting it up.
Dean: My air box bolt behind the exhaust has worn through the Kevlar air box making my carbie bots that also hold the air box loose, and in turn my carbie nearly fell off. I imagine I'm close to blowing my motor up. Luckily, I spotted it before I tried to launch at Jackpot. The wind was very switchy and the extra time on the ground thankfully showed me the problem when I got my motor started.
So I'm calling it for today and I hope Dave gets back to me with a solution so I can get back into it. Not sure how I'm going to do that but until I speaks to Dave I'm out of the race."
His partner in crime Trey also had a few issues initially:
But then made up for it with what he called a "magical" flight. Going by the pictures, I think we all have to agree.
Trey is today's pilot of choice for Mr Shane's daily dissection:
And here's how that same flight, and a few others looked from afar, thanks to the beady eye and lens of Mr Kester Haynes.
Jack meanwhile, was having a few issues of his own...
Lara was in the air again after her mini-break, and had a gorgeous looking flight, followed by an equally gorgeous looking foot warming episode.
Trevor meanwhile stumbled across Canyon in the most unlikely of places, but ended up getting in the shit. Guess we'll never know for sure who was the culprit, though Trevor had an inkling.
Speaking of Canyon, he decided to change class:
"After being stuck in Heber for a day and a half and Tucker Gott crossing the finish line, I have elected to switch over to Adventure Class and enjoy the ride. Thanks to everyone that supported me while I was in Race Class but, my old ass will really enjoy having a support vehicle! Will push on to the finish line with Jack Nordberg, my everyday flying partner! Looking forward to the adventure!”
And finally. Not content with Tucker claiming all the spotlight and the groupies, Jack brought out the big guns, his now half-famous mooning sister in law, Anne Binger:
You can tell by the exclamation marks that she's excitable. Tucker must be making a huge sigh of relief right now.
Congratulations once again to the new king of the Icarus Trophy - Mr Tucker Gott. Very well deserved.
Until tomorrow, people.
Day 4 Update
Is this the end for Dean? Tucker blazes forth, but Canyon is hot on his tail. Day 4 of the Icarus Trophy sees things take a turn for the more exciting.
The day started with a foreboding weather warning from Mr Shane:
"30 mile wide thunderstorms with 42k foot tops around Monument Valley/Lake Powell."
New underpants please.
Trey (AKA Cheech) had a slow start to the day:
"My rig doesn't want to start after sitting outside all night. Warming her up with a full gas tank using the heater in the room. This is 100% safe."
Mr Shane initially didn't think it was fair of us here at Adventurists HQ to call Trey and Dean the Cheech and Chong of the event:
"Ouch. Matt Dickens you are a brutal man...but then Trey proves you're right with just about every picture he sends."
I thank you.
Trevor on the other hand is dreaming of Africa:
"Snowville, Utah. Zebra spotted. A fucking ZEBRA. Just walking around like it owns the place!!! What the fuck?"
We thought maybe he was delirious, but Claire soon helped clarify.
Canyon decided to pack up and call it a day at Heber after proclaiming that there was some:
Jack proves that his followers are every bit as committed as Tucker's:
"Did Canyon just go over park city? My sister in law saw someone and thought it was one of us and she mooned them from home depot parking lot."
Jack is also the latest pilot to be featured in the Pilot Spotlight:
Meanwhile, Tucker Gott managed to keep everyone on the edge of their seats as he blazed on towards the final checkpoint before the finish.
He's making fantastic progress, but some great weather-tactics from Canyon could see for an exciting finish. Weather Tom had this to say:
"Canyon is a genius... he will almost certainly catch Tucker if he wants to. Tucker could also cheat on a more Northern loop. The most import thing is that he knows what gust fronts look like and isn't waiting for the rain."
Tucker though didn't seem to be too worried, and even managed to put aside a whole hour of precious sleeping time to keep his online community happy with THIS in-depth Q&A session. What a nice lad.
Moving onto Lara, well she had a simply lovely day on terra firma. Due to the lack of pictures from the air, here are her 'holiday' snaps instead. Looks lovely up close doesn't it? Looks even better from the air.
The weather was playing havoc in places, and nobody felt the brunt of it more than Dean (Chong).
They eventually managed to get up, but then it was Trey who hit problems. Thankfully, Tim was there to offer his pearls of wisdom:
Trey: "Any ideas on why my motor would suddenly bog down? It never died but would run real rough for a bit. Pumping the throttle seems to fix it after a while, am planning on checking the carb screen."
Tim: Were you flying behind Dean? Check intake for feathers.
It was all fun and games for some time, but then catastrophe hit for Dean:
"High winds have pushed me over and have broken shit again. I'm out of the fucking race. And I don't want to hear any fucking bullshit about getting back into it. I'M FUCKING DONE WITH THIS FUCKING SHIT."
Thankfully, less than 15 minutes later this came through from him:
"Maybe, just maybe I can repair with what I have".
Attaboy. That's the Dean we know and love. Hopefully see you up in the air and grinning again tomorrow Sir.
Trevor reaches the pinnacle of his mechanical knowledge...
More of an armchair pilot? That's totally fine. Mr Kester is happy to do all the flying for you. Here he is flying over Snake River to give you a pilot's eye view of what our guys and gal are experiencing out there...
That wraps up today. Will Tucker be able to finish tomorrow, or has he peaked too soon, will Canyon fly like the wind and catch him, will Dean make it back to the air, and will Trey ever shave off that godforsaken beard?
Until tomorrow people...
Day 3 Update
Crash-landings, duct tape and salt flats. Day 3 saw Tucker Gott improve on his lead, and it seems that only Canyon has a chance to catch him now. Only time will tell if he's able to.
Whilst the forerunners continue on their march for glory, the Cheech and Chong of this year's Icarus - Dean Kelly and Trey German managed to finally get their shit together and get back into the sky after wrangling some spare parts for their machines.
Lara had a beast of a day, including coming a right cropper at some point, though she had the chance to do some retail therapy whilst shopping for goggles, is taking some time off too see some hot springs and should be back to fly out of Dubois tomorrow evening . Bloody right too.
Lara: "Aside from the landing it was an awesome flight. You might think after fifteen years of landing parachutes I'd be able to determine how not to land downwind but I'm pretty special."
Trey: Welcome to the special people club. Aim for the cacti next year
Lara: I almost got a power line and a truck! I'll aim better next time
Claire: Kentucky Fried Lara doesn't quite have the same ring to it
Then Lara's husband who's acting as her support team had this to say:
"Damn Lara is boss... she bit the ground HARD and it didn't deter her from getting up there again... why I married her #brag".
That's the way to win points, right there.
Tucker Gott continued his march towards the Trophy though it didn't come without a few bumps here and there. Thankfully his legion of adoring fans are keeping his morale - and his hair - in their hearts.
Meanwhile, his only real rival at the present moment, Canyon Hansen, was also seeking the best route to the finish line and had his own struggles - mainly trying to cope with all his "extra bullshit".
Mr Shane is doing a daily spotlight on each pilot, starting with Canyon. Click the button below for all his juicy stats.
Jack Nordberg went on the hunt for bits and pieces to fix his spar with, then proceeded to take a couple of cracking shots from the air despite being 'new to this social media'. Sterling work chap.
Despite him and his 'cock' jokes already hogging half the Daily Digest with pictures of him dressed as a chicken, there is a bloody good reason for Dean to be dressed the way he is...
Dean: Just to let you all know the serious part of my chicken suit . My good mate Dean Bradshaw that bought a ticket to fly in Icarus 2015 and couldn't compete due to work commitments ended up selling me his ticket last year. He promised me that he would fly 2017 with me but unfortunately he died in a fatal car accident 6 months ago.
So I kept him to his promise..............
Lara: Love it. He's smiling down on you and laughing his ass off for sure
Dean: I miss him lots and lots. Oh fuck Lara he would be laughing so hard at me right now!
Keep laughing Dean, everyone else is. And Cock - you keep buggering on.
Depending on the weather tomorrow we may even see a finisher or two. Let's see where this merry band of heroes take us.
Day 2 Update
Thrills, spills, a smattering of bears and some fried chicken. Day 2 on the 2017 Icarus Trophy saw a lot more action than some had hoped.
First off, more bad news for the Slovakians as Ms Sophie pointed out:
"Unfortunately Lubo is down for the day, switching winds on take off, not trike friendly"
Maybe the trikes weren't such a great idea after all...only time will tell.
Mr Shane began the day with this rather foreboding warning:
"All pilots - friendly reminder about hypoxia: Army guidance says without supplemental oxygen; do not fly above 10,000ft for more than an hour, do not fly above 12,500 for more than 30 minutes. Hydration is a good thing too. Unless you guys feel like packing oxygen bottles - to launch with that would be a neat trick."
Meanwhile, at least one of Tucker Gott's fan base is endearingly stalky...
Thankfully, sweary Trevor is on hand to add some grounding:
Trevor: "It's cold as fuck. How that kid flies without a balaclava is beyond me. It's literally -1000° here. Some important info for Tucker before he climbs back up to 10,000ft: https://www.bustle.com/articles/192474-8-cold-weather-hair-tips-that-every-person-should-know-to-avoid-damage"
Nice of him to show concern. We think he's jealous.
Elsewhere, Canyon decides to makes life difficult for himself:
Jack made some unconventional moves today during takeoff. Supportive as ever, Trevor adds his pearls of wisdom:
"Someone should tell him they take off best 90° to that position. Idiot."
Day 2 saw us sadly losing two pilots from Race Class today as both Trey German and Dean Kelly had to call it a day and switch to Adventure Class. They both had pretty good reasons, so we'll let them off.
Trey had to make the switch when this happened:
Whereas Dean (in his chicken outfit) managed to make a textbook landing - straight into some power lines. Thankfully he was completely unscathed, but sadly we don't have any photos of his strung up like a poultry puppet.
Thankfully however he has an artist friend back in Australia who knocked up this extremely lifelike artist's impression:
Thankfully they both were in good (in fact alarmingly good) spirits come the evening. They even shacked up in a room together and Dean posted this horrific bedtime picture:
Rightyho...let's leave it there shall we?
Try to get some sleep people. Please.
Mr Shane has this summary come the end of the day:
"It's sort of like chess. One bad move can lose the game for you 20 moves later. It's not over yet, and like it or not every pilots biggest competitor is the weather. The race started out with a great, stable high pressure system, but crossing a thousand miles and 5 regions means that at any point - it's anyone's race as long as they can remain unsupported. The leaders are taking completely different routes to Monument Valley, so I expect days 3 and 4 will show some exciting dynamics of the 'game of Icarus'."
See you for day 3 people. Let's hope it's more like chess than KerPlunk.
Day 1 update
The 2017 Icarus Trophy launched today. You can almost smell the excitement on the air. At least we think that's excitement...
All pilots are in the air and away apart from the Slovakian trike teams whose trikes were delayed in customs, hence the start line rush.
Lubo will take off from the start tomorrow morning and Ladsi will hopefully start late on Tuesday. He's going to really need to gun it. Saying that, their trikes are smart and we're all interested to see if they are able to catch up with the rest of the field.
Jack's comments on seeing Dean's motor on the morning of the race "oh boy that looks like a project, I am ready to go!"
Dean then decked it on his first take off attempt , complete with bits of propeller flying everywhere. When he did eventually get up successfully he had these poignant words to say:
Race Chief Shane described Trey as the quintessential “bad boy” of adventure paramotoring. Trey's touching response:
We can only presume that Trey and Dean attended the same school of elocution.
Lara generally had a good day. Despite having the "scariest flight of her life" between Clinton and Anaconda, she's okay and looking forward to tomorrow. Legend.
Canyon's quote on landing in Salmon, Idaho after crossing the Bitterroots: "I'm just fucking cold, so fucking cold, cold to the fucking bone, fucking cold". We think he might be cold.
Pre-launch update 2
It's the day before the launch and there's news from the ground from Ms Sophie.
The Slovak trike team have almost arrived.
Lubo is here, ready to tackle race class tomorrow. His teammate Ladsi however has been stopped at visa patrol in Slovakia (bugger).
Still, not being in the country hasn't softened his thirst for glory. He is hoping to charm the embassy and arrive for late start on Tuesday. He's an ex-fighter pilot, a super experienced trike pilot, and his tracker is waiting with friends in Polson.
He's planning on starting late and using his skills to catch up with the field (and his team mate). Ballsy. We like it.
All other pilots present and correct and (physically at least) ready to launch tomorrow.
As of now the start line supper is in full swing. Eat up ladies and gents, this could be the last good feed you get for a few days.
Adventure class starts tomorrow at 07:30 local.
Race class will start at 11:00 local.
Best of luck everyone, and sleep tight tonight. You'll need your wits, nerves, and everything else you can bring to the table tomorrow.
Last minute entry: Our very own Mr Canyon has decided to tackle the course as a competitor. He will fall back to help Mr Kester if needed though (good to have an excuse in there just in case).
Pre-launch update 1
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