Introducing Adventure Class winner Nadav
The Adventure Class Trophy goes to the pilot who embraces the spirit of Adventure. It doesn't go to the first to finish, but is elected by the pilots and ground crew as the competitor who comes away with the best stories.
Adventure Class winner Nadav only signed up for Icarus Trophy two weeks before the race began. What's more impressive, he signed up with under 45 hours of flying under his belt and taught himself to fly by watching youtube videos.
As if that didn't make life tough enough, Nadav got his wing and harness less than a week before the race began. His first flight with his new setup ended with a crash-landing as his harness wasn't balanced. His second flight with his new setup ended up with his wing going through his propellor.
This was only a momentary setback though. With the help of Zac from Oman Nadav rebalanced his harness and reset his confidence. And with the help of Nic from Parajet and Ronnie his ground support the wing was fixed good as new.
With heartwarming support from fellow pilots Nadav was given some guidance how to use his high performance wing. Despite his inexperience and heavy kit (when ready to fly he's 165kg, in his birthday suit just 75kg) Nadav elected to fly race class.
Within an hour his resolve was tested again when an engine out caused him to land in a tree. Luckily a local was on hand to help him down and the fault was only a dead spark plug. Even more luckily he broke down within walking distance from an airstrip.
Nadav spent most of the race on his own, landing in remote villages where he became an instant celebrity, drawing a crowd and making friends wherever he landed. He camped in cemeteries, was invited to stay with locals and flew over elephants and forests that offered little landing option in case of an engine out. At times during the race he was one of the only pilots to brave the conditions and often found himself taking the route more experienced pilots wouldn't risk.
An hour from the finish line he passed over a pride of lions. he began praying that his engine didn't fail again when exactly that happened. On landing he pulled out his pepper spray and doused a nearby bush in petrol in case he needed to set fire to it. This time the prognosis was more serious. Too much bad fuel had led to a hole in his piston. He would have to walk to the finish line.
Nadav was quixotic about the difficulties of taking on Icarus as a relative newbie. When faced with adversity he decided that as long as there was a way to finish he would keep going. Whatever happened there would be a way to reach the end, even if he had to ditch his motor and rent a truck. The was no problem he would encounter he couldn't break down into manageable tasks.
Through the race Nadav embraced the spirit of the adventure, and was a hit with all the pilots. In turn he was inspired by the support they gave him as a new pilot and the support he got from the locals. His recommendation for new pilots thinking of taking on the race include; making sure you have adequate training, bring plenty of spare parts, and flying adventure class.
Despite flying in race class
Nadav was one of several pilots who landed in a tree. Which you'd be forgiven for thinking isn't a terrible thing. Ordinarily it isn't. Only in Africa what's in the trees are quite high on the list of things you might find terrible.