The Icarus X Series has seen its final event of 2017 unfold in Gloucester - New South Wales. Despite the weather not playing ball, we have ourselves some winners. Here's the how things panned out.
Day 2 Roundup
The Aussie gents in their intrepid flying machines had a mixed day of it, to say the least. Our golden boy, of course, didn’t see anything of the troubles which plagued everyone else who suffered blows, gusts and seriously uprisings from the nether regions.
The wind at Walcha defeated our Race Class who valiantly struggled to launch but those that did had to return to roost disappointed. On the upside, the farmers of New South Wales had a barney rescuing our birdmen from fields and dishing out cups of tea.
Winds blowing at 20kts and gusting at 25kts were simply too much to be dangling under a little bit of a sail and a fan for all involved.
Gary mused about his lack of experience in this kind of weather, comparing himself to a normal road driver trying to jump into an F1 car.
Mitch regretted his choices yesterday at staying at Walcha and should have stuck to his original plan of pushing on past and “sleeping at the side of the road”. Which would have left him as the only contender to Casey’s ridiculous lead.
Wind at Gloucester had totally died by kick off in the morning, leaving the Adventure Class ready and willing to take to the skies. But with reports from Walcha and heavy cloud cover along the route, it sadly seemed an effort in futility.
Marty, Jules, and Andrew all turned back to Gloucester after a bold but failed attempt at reaching Walcha through awful weather over the mountains, complaining of a chill to the wobbly bits. Chris Sinclair boldly fought his way through and landed at Walcha.
Scott was pleased with his position on the ground as caution took the place of valour and he watched his fellow aeronauts struggle. “I was watching him get these massive thermals and I was thinking, glad that’s not me”. He did, however, lament the lack of attention he could have gained from the denizens of the Interweb. Commenting on Dean’s enviable social media presence, “He flew for 2 hours, 23 posts… he broke the internet… here’s me doing nothing of significance. Please watch.” Dean previously garnered feathered fame for doing suspicious things in costumes at great heights on the Icarus Trophy proper earlier this year.
Julian summed up the spirit of the day's mishaps as he, Marty and Kalkman hitchhiked back to Gloucester. “Couldn’t penetrate the cloud to get over Nowendoc. Turned back and ran out of fuel. Enjoyed a fucking rough landing. Seems like it could be beer o’clock”
Those of the adventure class that tried against the odds to reach checkpoint one struggled with the wind until they were physically spent and out of fuel. It would seem most of the travelling this day was made by road rather than air.
On the bright and shiny side of the race, we do have ourselves a couple of winners.
Andy Kalkman was awarded the Adventure Class Trophy for a top-drawer approach, flying the most miles of the Adventure Class pilots and flying all the way back to Gloucester Airfield after conditions ahead meant continuing was impossible. The easier option would've been to land out and wait for a pick up. Bravo sir.
Then we have, of course, the Race Class winner, and an obscenely clear winner at that. The enigmatic Casey Butler was past checkpoint two before we in the UK were even in bed. While everyone else had a frustrating and windswept day our gent at the top took the win with disgustingly easy aplomb and absolutely no challengers.
Having stayed ahead of the wind he landed back at Gloucester, yawned, wondered why everyone was still there and then graciously accepted his victory with casual certitude before retiring to the bar for well-earned brews.
Congratulations Mr Butler. As is customary, the winner of an Icarus X Series event wins a free spot on the Icarus Trophy proper. We look forward to you seeing what you can do on the main event in 2018.
Read the winner's interview with Casey here.
Until next year then...