The Icarus Trophy is the world’s longest paramotoring air-race, it’s also the toughest. 2019 shall see the Trophy hitting the skies over Brazil for the first time after hugely successful previous editions being held in the US and in Africa. Expertly or badly guide your paramotor from the start to the finish, overcoming everything that gets thrown your way. Race Class pilots must remain totally unsupported the entire way. Adventure Class pilots are able to accept some assistance.
There’s a tad more to it than all that though, so get your eyeballs ready and read on.
01.An adventure of two divisions
Flying all the hours of daylight is not inside everyone's brown-pants limit or to everyone's taste. The Race Division pilots can cover up to 300 miles a day but some know that coming first might just get in the way of a good adventure. With this in mind, we've created two main pilot divisions.
Race DivisionThe cream of an outstanding crop, Race Division pilots must fly unsupported and get there first to win. Pilots must remain unsupported for the entire event - they can only progress by flying or walking. If they walk, they must carry their equipment.
They can use 'open access' support- anything that the average person can access. Should they manage to charm total strangers into lending their assistance, that's kosher. They cannot use help offered by friends, distant relatives, other pilots or the race team to further their progress.
Pilots must launch from 200m of their landing point. If they can't, they must travel back (in the direction of the start line) on foot until a good launch site is found.
Adventure DivisionBeacons of madcappery, Adventure Division pilots make it to the finish line under their own (or borrowed) steam. Pilots can accept outside support and travel forward using transport other than flying. In Adventure Division, pilots can bring their own race support: friends, instructors or pets. If you stream across the finish line on a fan-powered bicycle having lost your wing in an ill-conceived bet at an illegal gambling joint with only one shoe as clothing and covered head to foot in mud, you have probably embraced the spirit.
Adventure Division pilots will be thought of as no less legendary than Race Division and will be classed as 'finished' on the leaderboard without classification. Pilots will be placed by the time spent flying the course to the finish line.
Fuel drops plus ground and air support with light aircraft on standby in case of emergency will make this groundbreaking racecourse possible.
Two extra checkpoints will take Race Class pilots even further west while Adventure Class pilots will be taking on the most difficult and remote route for their division since the Icarus began.
30th September & 1st October 2019
Route planning, safety briefing, Q&A session
1st October 2019
A launch party worthy of what you're about to undertake
2nd October 2019
The grand off. Flags and fanfare
10th October 2019
Race Finish & Prizegiving
A party to celebrate the glory you've achieved. Prizes for the winners and the heroes
03.You're on your own
That being said, during the Icarus Trophy we do have some measures in place to ensure if you did land in a crocodile we'll be able to know where we could find your wristwatch.
Live Race TrackingYou'll be issued with a satellite tracker which can send and receive messages from anywhere on earth and send an SOS message if the cavalry needs to come and scoop you up. This way the whole world can tune in to follow the chaos.
Specialist Race WeatherYou'll get expert daily weather updates and emails made just for race pilots piped directly to your tracking device.
Spares truckParamotors are perhaps not what you would call reliable. So while you can carry some essentials on you, there are some parts that would make leaving the ground rather a challenge. Spare propellers or heavy engine parts for instance. With this in mind, we have a spares truck that can carry some of the parts you think you might need. Space is limited to a set size and the truck may take a while to reach you depending on where you've broken down, so don't forget to pack some sandwiches.
You'll probably fall somewhere in one of these three categories...
NoviceI know nothing except I know I want to do this.
It is perfectly possible to go from never having flown to taking part in the Icarus Trophy. It's unlikely that you'll get straight into the Race Class but not impossible.
Theoretically, you could pick up one of these machines and fling yourself straight at the sky. You probably won't make it off the ground but, in most countries, you won't be breaking any laws for trying.
If you're based in Europe the best way to get airborne and race ready is probably via a course with SkySchool.
If you're based in America or Australia we also know of some of the finest damn instructors out there to take you on and get you from landbound lemon to sky champion.
Many of our previous pilots were beginners at the start of the year. With a bit of effort, the sky can be your playground.
It depends a lot on how good you are at learning stuff but you could do this pretty cheaply if you have time to practice.
PilotI can fly but I'm not sure if I have all the skills yet.
This description is obviously fairly broad. If you can already fly, what's most likely is that you could use some Icarus specific skills and practice.
Taking on the world's longest paramotor race is not quite the same as flying for short periods of time or non-competitively. For those of you who are already flying around and have at least good number hours of flight time, you can skip to the more advanced courses.
As will everyone, you'll need to submit a 100km demo flight to qualify and you'll get tested on your skills before you get set free on the race.
Evaluate your skill level and decide how much extra stuff you could do with learning. If you're not sure then give us or one of our official training partners a shout to talk about it.
You should get out and practice long-distance flying loaded up as much as possible.
ProI'm a pro and could fly this backwards. Naked.
Hats off to you. Why didn't you tell us about this sport earlier?
You're already bloody good at flying and this is the arena to prove it; the longest paramotor race in the world.
However, because this is a whole new cup of racing tea everybody will have to qualify for the race by passing a pre-race flying, kit and knowledge test. This applies whether you're a world record holder or have trained up specifically for the race.
£1,875 per pilot including:
• Minute by minute satellite tracking of every pilot from the dedicated race office
• Local and international race crew managing the racecourse in Brazil
• Live public tracking map and race reporting
• Pre-race training including one on one route briefings and advice
• Support crew in 4x4 vehicles and light aircraft to respond to SOS emergency calls from personal satellite tracker
• Start and finish parties including prize giving ceremony
06.Saving the world
WHY?We need to save every rainforest in the world so future generations have somewhere to get stuck. Not because we’re tree hugging sandal weavers, but because the world would be shit without them. It’s not about the carbon off twatting, the point is rainforests are indescribably excellent.
We don't just want to have adventures across this here planet, we also want to save it a bit too. We're working with the lovely folks at Cool Earth trying to not just save a tiny piece of the world at a time, but by saving the whole thing in one go.
£1000We give all pilots a target of £1000, this can either all go to the official charity or half can go to the official charity and the rest can go to a charity of your choosing.
HOW?The best way to raise these funds is through your friends and families, people you work with or anyone who's got a dirty little secret only you know about. We've found that the best way to collect these funds is through Cool Earth's own fundraising platform as they make it easy for us to count the funds, the cash goes straight to the charity and also because it is possible for the charities to claim Gift Aid. Different charities can use different fundraising platforms in different countries so it's best to check with the charities which is best.
WHEN?You've got until 6 weeks after the adventure to collect that cash, this means you get as long as possible to raise funds including the duration of the event and shortly after.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I MISS THE TARGET?If you can't raise £1000, unfortunately, you will go to hell. Together with the charities we give you tips and resources to help and when the time to count up what everyone has raised comes about we will pester you somewhat, but we won’t set any dogs on you, or force you to sell your children. We will be very, very disappointed though and do a sad face at you.
Your chances of being seriously injured or dying as a result of taking part are high. Individuals who have taken part in past Adventurists' adventures have been permanently disfigured, seriously disabled and even lost their life.
This is not a glorified holiday, it's an unsupported adventure and so by its very nature extremely risky. You really are on your own and you really are putting both your health and life at risk. This is what makes them adventures.