It happened. The weather realised that this event was dreamed up by a Brit and decided today was the day to make him feel at home: "just as I get the hang of paramotoring, the sodding weather changes." Mr Tom still had a cracking day though, getting in a flight in the morning and a trip in the chase plane before sunset.
As the bad weather approaches, we can't complain we weren't warned. Our Weather Guru predicted last night that conditions would be "dynamic" and it looks set to continue into tomorrow. Throughout the day, the winds picked up and by the afternoon all our pilots were grounded.
There is at least plenty of flying to talk about in the morning. Hans was first in the air launching at 07.35. Cayle followed, getting in a cheeky 50K before landing and running into Race Class winner Dave. He's returned north to meet up with student, Claire Mackay, and just in time to catch the worst of the weather. This brings his Icarus total so far to an stonking 1817.88km.
James's Borges had an excellent day. Approaching Klamath Lake, he made the call to carry on alone when Ky and Jason Taylor turned back for a road move. With the winds picking up, that's when James' phone overheated and he realised his compass was polarised leaving him navigating by instinct in the air. We reckon this is quite fitting for the man who came up with the team name 'Wing It.' Perhaps that was a tee-up too good for his equipment to ignore.
An experienced sailor, he flew three hours with only the promise of a bacon sandwich to get him through. Judging by this picture he sent us, we imagine it was worth the stress. When he landed, he had 1/2 litre of fuel left - thats about seven minutes of flight time. Nailed it.
Meanwhile on the eastern side of the range, Bobby Frankham and Ben Ingram also had a tricky time flying in strong winds. Trying to turn back after heading down the wrong valley, they got pinned and then had a bumpy time getting down. Making an emergency landing on a horse ranch, they managed to charm some locals into letting them stay while their ground man Kev brought out more fuel. They are now in the middle of an impromtu party with their hosts. Bobby as ever, is pretty positive: "All good, ta."
The weather progresses. At least it's micro-brewery country.
Meanwhile, Alex Ledger, race referee and Owner of SkySchool took the chance to bring David Wainwright back to the truck stop where he did his spectacular launch on Tuesday. Here's his backstory:
In case you missed the launch he's talking about. Hold on to your knickers:
If you think you could be a contender for the crown next year, or want to join the flying hobos in Adventure Class, applications are open for the 2016 Icarus Trophy.
The first 10 pilots to sign up will get in for the 2015 entry fee.
If you don't yet fly, there's still time to learn - Fisch has only been paramotoring for a year. Check out our training partners here.