Icarus Trophy Report - Day 9

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.

As forecast, the windspeed's were uncomfortably high and flying was off the table for most of the day. En masse, our pioneering pilots refused to accept a forth day of restrictions due to weather.  They used the day to provide proof, if it were needed, that Adventurist Pioneers don't cope well with boredom. Rather, they cope brilliantly. 

The group centred around Willow Airport began the day with a trip to the local Walmart to procure a "number of inflatable items." Apparently, since they couldn't fly "we thought we might as well float." says SkySchool's Kester Haynes. 

Their creation: Donut-motoring.  The guinea-pig: Cayle Royce. Cayle's custom built Parajet trike was manoeuvered onto inflatable donuts, tied down with ratchet straps and the C-raft* was born. 

We are unsuprised to see Mr Tom, left, involved in this excellently hare-brained scheme. 

"It feels a little like a funeral" said a bystander. Voicing what we're all wondering about the fate of Cayle's trike. 

A feat of giddy engineering with a paddle for rudimentary steering, C-raft worked a treat. While not quite a boat perhaps, it was at least a raft on steroids. Huck Finn would be jealous. What's more, Cayle's trike has survived to fly another day.  

After a morning test run, the donuts have been retired and we are assured they will be revived at the finish line. According to Cayle - "If we could somehow get a solid hull, we could really zip along." A new hybrid sport is born - excellent work pioneers. 

Cayle on board the Double Up donuts. 

It turns out there is a less efficient way to cover distance than a paramotor.
— Harry Waugh

This wasn't the only boating adventure of the day. Ed and Harry wanted to paddle their own canoe and bought two hard-shell kayaks. An excellent idea in theory, until they remembered "rivers don't go in straight lines." It took them six hours and a lot of hard work to travel 20miles due south. Hopefully, they enjoyed the change of pace: slow to slower. Tonight they stay in unsuspecting Colusa where they hope someone will want "to buy a canoe or two" before rejoining the C-raft engineers on the final leg to the finish line.  

We had the message from HQ saying not to fly, we called Shane and he said not to fly, we called Blackhawk Paramotor Ranch and they said not to fly. On the basis of those three messages, we thought it would a good idea to set off.
My girlfriend’s a bit pissed off.
— James Borges

Only two of our pilots ventured into the skies today: James Borges and Jason Taylor. Stuck in their corner just north of the finish line, they threw caution to the winds and went for the final leg, arriving at Blackhawk Paramotor Ranch just before sunset. As team Wing It, they are the second and third pilots to make it from Adventure Class.

It’ll be quite nice to have a shower.
— Jason Taylor

To get there, Jason Taylor has travelled an stonking 1156km, whilst James Borges is on 1226km.  Bravo. According to Jason, it's been a "thoroughly good adventure." Likewise James is pretty pleased with his progress - except for one dicky landing at the end. "I've only crash landed twice and today was one of those days." Not to worry James, you've made it with a few days to recuperate before the final party on the 24th. Congratulations to both pilots. 

Back wax bloody stings. I’d take a broken ankle anytime.
— Toby Osborne

Meanwhile, Toby Osborne, broken ankle in tow, has been making his way down Oregon with teammate Jamie Fowler. Whilst "killing time" waiting for a bus, they decided to test their pain threshold. By getting a chest and back wax each. Apparently, it's more painful than breaking an ankle says Toby. Glad we know. 

Excellent work all. Tomorrow, the weather looks like it might be more favourable. With the bulk of our pilots only two sizeable flights from the finish line, it's possible given the right conditions they could make it by sunset. 


The shape of the field at the end of Day 9. 


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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.

There are still limited places on the October beginners training course at SkySchool, 29th October - 1st November in Figueres Spain. This is a four day course that could get you flying solo by the last day. There aren't many places left so email us if you want a spot.

If you're stateside, Team Fly Halo are having a holding training sessions December 4th-13th in Morro Bay run by Shane Denherder, race referee, and Byron Leisek, Icarus Trophy Race Class Pioneer.

For our Aussie chums, David Wainwright and High Adventure Paragliding is your port of call.