Icarus X series guide

Icarus X Series

The Icarus X Series is (surprisingly enough) a series of weekend-long Icarus Trophy-esque races around the globe with a free place on the main race up for grabs for the winner. 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.

1. The Divisions

Through our different race divisions, the Icarus X Series races are challenging for pro-pilots and an excellent goal for newer pilots getting into cross country flying with an eye on the main Icarus Trophy race.

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 Division

Race Division Pilots must remain unsupported for the entire event - you can only progress by flying or walking. If you walk, you must carry your equipment. You can use 'open access' support - anything that the average person can access. You cannot use help offered by friends, distant relatives, other pilots or the race team to further your progress. Pilots must launch from 200 metres of their landing point. If you can't, you must travel back towards the previous checkpoint until you find a suitable takeoff. Pilots must be able to perform engine off landing from 500ft to within 10m of a target to be eligible for the Race Class. You also must be able to take off and climb on a completely straight path.

Adventure Division

Complete the race in the spirit of old school aerial adventure. Have some fun, camp in a barn, use as much support as you want.
Adventure Division will not be ranked on the leaderboard. Pilots who complete the course will be placed according to distance flown in pursuit of the finish as shown by the trackers. The Trophy will be awarded by the Race Committee to the pilot who finds the most adventure along the way. You should be able to perform an engine off landing from 500ft to within 40m of a target to take part. You also must be able to take off and climb on a completely straight path to clear barriers.

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2. Rules

To keep the competition fair and the pilots safe we have a rule book to guide the race. You can find these here..

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3. The Un-route

In 2019 we are planning a whole host of X Series events. Currently, we have races in the UK, Brazil and South Africa confirmed.

We work closely with some of the best pilots out there in order to come up with courses that offer just the right mix of awesome flying and spectacular terrain.

You can find exact dates for the 2019 races on the 'key details' page of the Icarus X website.

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4. Entry Requirements

To take part in the Icarus X Series in either Race or Adventure Division pilots must have:

● Sufficient flying ability and experience to participate safely including: a. Previous cross country experience b. Emergency landing procedures c. Advanced meteorology
● The required equipment (see below)
● The ability to navigate cross country and understand UK air laws
● The necessary third party liability insurance*

Any pilot who doesn’t meet the requirements will not be able to participate.

Mandatory Equipment

● Satellite tracker (provided by Icarus HQ)
● Mobile phone
● Navigation device
● Digital or paper air maps
● Reserve parachute
● Paramotor and wing in airworthy condition suited to flying experience
● Helmet
● Power pack for keeping tracker charged

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5. Self reliance breeds adventure

Probably the key part of any adventure is the adventurous bits. And that means setting out into the world and fending for yourself. Anything else becomes a bit less exciting and it starts to become a bit of a guided tour. So you have to carry all you need on you. Food, clothes, a way to sleep and some of the bits to fix up your aerial stead.

Live Race Tracking

You'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.
We’ll be posting updates from Race HQ, but what race followers really want is updates direct from you.

The Live Tracking Map will show your position every 5 minutes and you can add your own updates, commentary and photos while you race via our tracking and updates system.

Choose one of these options:
● Log in and post directly in a browser
● Log in and register your mobile to send updates by SMS. Info in My Adventures / Tracking Settings
● Using the email registered with the race email text and photos as attachments by email to [email protected] and it will post on your pilot profile

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6. Training

For those of you who want to take up paramotoring from scratch or for those who just require a brush-up, you will need to get out and learn some stuff. There are loads of well-recognised courses out there you can sign up to that will get you up to a good standard.

You'll probably fall somewhere in one of these three categories...


I know nothing except I know I want to do this.

It is perfectly possible to go from never having flown to taking part in an Icarus X Series race. It's unlikely that you'll get straight into Race Division but not impossible.
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.


I 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 an Icarus X race 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 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.


I'm a pro and could fly this backwards. Naked.

Hats off to you.
You're already bloody good at flying and this is the arena to prove it. If you win the Icarus X Series whilst in Race Division then you'll bag yourself a free spot on the Icarus Trophy, the biggest 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.

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7. Costs

Entry Fee

Depending on which X Series race you tackle will depend on the entry fee but they're generally good value and you'll get all this lot:

• Minute by minute satellite tracking of every pilot from the dedicated race office

• Local and international race crew managing the racecourse

• Live public tracking map and post-race reporting

• Start and finish parties including prize giving ceremony

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8. Saving the world

Since 2004 teams on Adventurists events have raised more than £7.5 million for charity. No mean feat by any yardstick.


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.


On all other events, we have a dedicated target of £500 for Cool Earth. Seeing as that's a less fair amount for a weekend-long event, we're going to suggest you just do your best. Funds 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.


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.


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.


If you can't raise much cash then, unfortunately, you will go to hell for all eternity. 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.

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9. Contacts

+44(0)117 9635513

[email protected]

Icarus Trophy


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10. The Warning

These are genuinely dangerous things to do. The website is written in a light-hearted fashion but you cannot overestimate the risks involved in taking part in this adventure.

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.

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