You'll need to be able to fly by the time the race starts, so if your new to the sport, then get some training. We'll ask you to perform a test flight and landing at the start line, which varies for Adventure & Race Division pilots. If our resident expert doesn't think you're up to scratch, you won't be able to fly. If you're nervous about your level, get it touch and we can help you find the right training if you feel you want it.
When you get to the start line, there'll be a pilot briefing where we'll introduce the route, the rules and the protocol for using your satellite tracking device.
The X Series have circular race routes starting and finishing in the same place. There are various checkpoints on the way so you'll be heading around those and back to where you started. There's lots more info on the route here.
During the race The Adventurists will be squirrelled away at HQ closely monitoring all the pilots so the spectators can stay up to date with the race as it unfolds. Once all the pilots are back in we'll slap each other on the back, hand out the much coveted trophies to the winners of each class and follow all that with a raucous knees up to celebrate all that piloty brilliance.
Get up to speed on all the stuff you are and (probably more importantly) aren't allowed to do when bravely participating in an Icarus X Series race.
Click HERE to read the rules in all their glory.
Why a paramotor?
Paramotors are without doubt the best way to have an aerial adventure. They can take you pretty much anywhere, you can land and take off from almost anywhere, you fill up at a regular gas station and they are relatively cheap and very quick to get airborne with.
Essentially a modified paraglider wing keeps you up and allows you to fly with incredible accuracy. Then strapped to your back is a (relatively) lightweight engine that gives you the thrust to take off. Depending on the weather you can be in the sky in just a couple of steps and take off from any bit of ground with a gap to take off through.
You can learn to fly them from scratch in just a few days and in most countries no licence is required. If you are based in Europe our own Icarus Academy is the best way to get you race ready. Outside Europe we have some amazing training school partners who will help you get going.
What kit do I need?
Reserve parachute - suitable for your weight
A certified glider
Some sort of reliable moving-map display for navigation. Recommend smartphone + aviation app.
Power management solution or plan - need to keep the tracker and phone charged for flights.
What does the entry fee cover?
Entry into the greatest weekend adventure race in the country.
Satellite tracking and messaging system.
Race committee to oversee proceedings.
Start and finish line.
Event and course briefings.
Live tracking for supporters.
Camping at the start/finish line.
Can friends, families and spectators come along?
Absolutely, everyone is welcome. They can join us at the X Series HQ at the start / finish line where they will be able to follow the race live with other supporters, join you for a celebratory drink or 9 when you finish and grab some hearty grub.
If you just want to come and check out the action and perhaps do a bit of flying you can certainly do that. We may charge a small entry fee depending on the venue.
Where will I sleep?
This one is up to you. Whether you want to camp, or stay in 5* hotels. Many pilots take minimal bivvy equipment.
What shall I do about fuel?
You can take an extra fuel tank if you can take off with it, but a better option is to stop at a fuel station, or blag some from a local. Previous pilots have even siphoned from lawnmowers.
What is the length I can hike or travel without being penalised?
Race class pilots can only travel forward by means of flying or walking. Adventure class pilots can progress however they like, just so long as they have an adventure.
What if I don’t make the checkpoint before sunset?
The courses are often designed so that you are very unlikely to reach a checkpoint before sunset and will have to camp, blag a bed or something. That's the whole point.
What happens if you land short of checkpoint and need assistance when you are in race class?
If you get any assistance, you will be disqualified in Race Class, but you can then continue in Adventure Class. In Adventure Class anything goes.
What are the rules, and what could I be disqualified for?
Keep tracker activated at 5 minute intervals and on at all times during flight. DON'T FLY WITHOUT THE TRACKER ON.
Respect all local airspace restrictions, including any temporary notices affecting the event route. It's the pilot's responsibility to be compliant.
Abide by airspace requirements and weather minimums at all times.
Maintain kit in a safe condition
Pilots must not:
Endanger themselves or others, or bring the sport into disrepute in any way - as decided by the event organisers.
Additional rules for Race Division
In order to remain a valid contender in the race class a pilot must fulfil the following criteria:
Only further his/her race position by means of flying or walk carry their equipment. (Pilots may backtrack to find suitable launch location)
No unsportsmanlike or un-gentlemanly behaviour tolerated
Remain unsupported for the entire event - see below for definition.
The pilot must remain flying the same kit he/she took off with at the start line - e.g. if you decide to switch gliders mid-race you are automatically in adventure class.
The pilot that crosses the finish line first (without cheating) will be the winner.
Definition of Unsupported
Using only ‘open access’ support i.e. anything that any non-participating person can access e.g. Gas stations, random lifts from a stranger. If in doubt - consider “is this in the spirit of the adventure?”
No pre-planned or designated assets, or advanced logistical help. E.g race support team / chase vehicle, pre-positioned spares / logistics caches, roadside assistance, etc.
If the Organisers deem that any of the above rules have been breached, then the pilot will no longer be in the Race Class and will continue in the Adventure Class.
Adventure class can do whatever they like as long as they get to the finish line. There is no competitive element to Adventure class, except to have the best adventure.
Do I need to arrange my own support vehicle?
Race class is completely unsupported. Adventure class can arrange their own support if they want to.
What happens when the weather is too bad for flying and pilots need to land wherever, how will everyone be collected?
For the Icarus X we will endeavour to assist , but we can't promise to get to you. If you have your own support or can hitch or blag a lift, then you should do that so that any support is free for those who REALLY need it.
What happens if the weather is too bad that weekend, will the event be postponed or cancelled?
If the weather is so bad that the race can’t go ahead, it will be rescheduled and pilots will have the choice to reschedule or get a refund of their entry fee.
If you have any questions that haven't been answered here, drop us an email using the box below
Training and Qualifying
To take part in the X series you need not to be rubbish at flying. We don't particularly want to help you down from an electricity pylon or sit in a room with loads of angry officials. So we've come up with a simple test we will use to check you're not rubbish at flying.
Perform engine off landing from 500ft to within 40m of a target
Perform engine off landing from 500ft to within 10m of a target
Team Fly Halo
Based in Oregon, California and Texas, the chaps at Team Fly Halo are intimately acquainted with the Icarus and the flying requirements. Contact Shane and Byron directly to discuss dates and locations. If they can't help they'll be happy to recommend a trainer from their vast network.
The chaps over at SkySchool have developed a course that should can get most trainees Icarus X ready in 6 days.
High Adventure Paragliding
+61(0) 429 844 961
+27 82 492 7170
Based in South Africa, Parajet Africa will take you from beginner to race ready in no time.