Day 4 - Analysis - "Clear Skies? Kinda"

 Shane's version of blue steel

Shane's version of blue steel

Day Four of the Icarus Trophy as seen through the eyes of Shane, Icarus Trophy Race Chief. He's the course setter and a pro-paramotorist, with 2000+ hours of flying under his belt. Here's his expert take on the fourth day of flying: 

Weather Tom predicted potential for big gains this morning for all racers on the Icarus Trophy.

 Does this face look happy about the early start? No it doesn't.

Does this face look happy about the early start? No it doesn't.

 Hard earned

Hard earned

Most of the supported Adventure Class racers slept through their alarm and got a late start - departing from Dillon, MT around 10 am.

Team James Dean, despite numerous protests from Dean, did the sensible thing and departed from the airport as opposed to a sketchy gas station - good move guys. They made it all the way down to Blackfoot airport, and there was much rejoicing. Trey and his entourage caught up at Blackfoot moments after, reportedly cold and slightly soaked.  It looks like the guys are currently enjoying lunch at a burger joint.

Strategy - Get there, but not too quickly. That's going well so far. 

 Dave, fresh over the border into Utah, contemplating his options

Dave, fresh over the border into Utah, contemplating his options

David Wainwright was in a great position for an early-morning departure from Pocatello, ID to race towards the Utah border. Pocatello is nestled in to a nice little mountain range that separates Idaho from Utah. Morning temps were about 0 degrees C - with dark clouds and friendly virga all throughout the land. The mountain pass kept the ceilings up, and Dave was able to make it to Tremonton, UT for an easy fuel stop. He departed from Tremonton to head south and try to blast down the Wasatch, but was stopped midday by ominous looking t-storms, rain, and lightning that awaited him in Salt Lake Valley. He’s currently waiting it out in North Ogden, and it's not looking great for the afternoon.

Strategy - Get himself down to Spanish Fork Canyon and pass over into the San Rafael Swell where the weather will be a little more desert-y.

Meanwhile, the newly formed Team Biro (Byron and Miro) began their day in Arco, ID - just outside of the Craters of the Moon National Monument. Epic. They departed before sunrise from a nice airport where the manager let them sleep on a couch - after casually showing them the concealed handgun he kept in case one of his visitors was not so friendly. 

We're not jealous. 

They made great speed moving toward Blackfoot, Idaho crossing lava slides and barren planes, dodging dark lenticular clouds and rain squalls. They made such good time, they decided to continue south after getting close to Blackfoot - bypassing Pocatello and flying all the way to McCammon, Idaho. Byron stopped for gas - while Miro bypassed and soared the ridge next to the high clouds and crossed over east to Lava Hot Springs.

Byron quickly departed McCammon after a refuel stop and joined his Central-European friend nine miles to the east in a nicely developed public hot spring where they proceeded to send the race team topless hot tub pics for the 3rd time this race.

Strategy - 1. Do everything cool and relaxing you could possibly do. 2. Make the race team uncomfortable with the hot springs pics.

Meanwhile up north, Scotty got his motor back together and departed north of Missoula this morning - and had a very cold flight all the way to Deer Lodge. After a 2-hour break, he’s warmed back up and currently departing to catch up with Dave leading the race class. He’s got a good chance too, Dave is stuck by weather and not likely to progress the rest of the day, while Scotty has some flyable conditions and mad skills.

Strategy - Become the Dark Horse.

We'll keep reporting as we see it - and we want to thank all our viewers for the support and love the racers are getting on their way. 

Meanwhile, the Icarus Crew are glad to see a bit of heat again: 

Finally, some heat

A photo posted by @nickclydesmith on