What is the Icarus X?
There will be four Icarus X events in the run-up to the mighty Icarus Trophy this September. All four follow the same basic format; a looped A-B-C-A route of around 200 miles, designed to get the might-be Trophy Pilot dried behind the ears, bloodied of the nose, and ready to take on the main event, or at least knowing what homework he or she has to do. It's too far to complete in a day which means pilots must stay out overnight and consider their survival kit, their refuelling options, their XC strategy, their equipment strategy. The rules will mirror the main Icarus, meaning that Adventure Class pilots can freestyle a little and get as much or as little flying and back-up as they like. Meanwhile, in the Race Class, pilots are scrutinised closely and can only advance forward by means of flight - the fastest pilot home wins their place on the main trophy, and a place in the (soon to be coveted) ITX Hall of Fame. Live tracking means Adventure-Mums and Paramotor-widows can follow the action along with the race directors, and the pilots can head out into the wilderness knowing that if it all goes tits up they have a line of communications with HQ and someone will notice.
All this in a friendly fly-in format, meaning that cautious pilots or newbies can come and watch and fly round the launch field, or learn about the sport, whilst eating salt and fat-laden produce from a mobile catering van, and applaud the winged warriors as they head out, and return, through the pylons of destiny.
Australia Branch - ITX Oz June 13-15th, Gloucester
The first of the four ITX17s has been and gone, a glorious head to head tussle in Florida back in March. The next edition of the series is in Gloucester, New South Wales, at the conclusion of the Australian Open Paramotoring Championships. The race director, and course designer, is none other than dual Icarus Trophy champion, High Adventure founder and chief instructor, and darling of the sport, David Wainwright.
He sent us this course briefing from the airport on his way to the Asia Oceana Paramotor Championships where he is proudly representing 'Straya. Even though he's actually a Kiwi
So what does that mean, then?
Total distance 341km
Launch Gloucester Airport to checkpoint 1, Walcha Airport - 122kms
Walcha Airport to checkpoint 2, Wauchope - 123kms
Wauchope home to Gloucester Airport - 96kms
Gloucester is hosting the Australian Paramotor Championships from June 10th. The ITX will co-incide with the end of the championships, and showcase a completely different kind of flying. It will be the mother of all PPG gatherings.
Walcha, checkpoint 1, has a population of 3,000 people, and 750,000 sheep. Insert own punchline here. Chance to fly over the Apsley Gorge, and the stunning Open Air Gallery should not be missed.
Wauchope, checkpoint 2, has a Giant Red Bloodwood tree called Old Bottlebutt, in the Burrawan State Forest. You should probably not try and land out close to there.
Sign up and registration
Sign up is on this here website, and costs the princely sum of AUD200. For that you get a t-shirt, a shot at a real trophy, live tracking, a comprehensive race and tracking briefing from Dave pre-launch, and a launch and finish party to galvanise and congratulate/commiserate.
What's the point?
The winner of the race class will get a free entry into the Icarus Trophy, the mother of all aerial adventures, form Glacier to Vegas this September. That's a whopping $2,200 worth of prize pot. Both race and adventure division winners will receive a trophy to keep. All pilots will get a t-shirt.
All successful adventure and race class pilots will be deemed fit and qualified to enter the Icarus Trophy, and will not need to do maneouvres under inspection at the launch weekend September 23/4th.
Order of play
June 8th - last day for online registration of pilots. Walk-ins may be accepted if there is capacity but you are advised to reserve your place online. All registered pilots will receive a course briefing and soft copy of the race rules and tracker operation instructions
June 12th - pilot arrival and briefing, 4pm. Safety protocols, route briefing, race and adventure class rules and regulations, tracker operation and flight ops, equipment testing and qualifying for new or un-tested pilots. Hosted by David Wainwright at Gloucester airfield. Camping and social evening.
June 13th - sunrise launch, race and adventure class pilots
All pilots expected to be out overnight. Live tracking and commentary from the race organizers, and tracking hosted on the Icarus Trophy website.
June 14th - leading pilots expected to finish. All pilots expected back by sunset. Prizegiving and finish beers and BBQ. T-shirts and trophies awarded. Interviews and photos.
June 15th - bad weather contingency day and social flying
Sign up! Places are limited to 20, across race and adventure class. You don't have to decide until the evening of the 12th, which division you wish to enter.