St Hilaire Coupe Icare 2004

Wednesday 22 September, 2004

A classic … Never Ending Thermal

The Coupe Icare festival, held in the French Alps on the 17-19 September 2004, was swamped by pilots keen to celebrate the free flying culture and the end of another European season.

Perched 1500 m above the Grenoble valley, the tiny village of St Hilaire was again road-blocked by thousands of visitors. The Cross Country crew – Val, Ian, Hugh, Jerome and Jim – were there in force, attempting to run a hectic stand all day long then keep up with the partiers late into the night.

We set up a gallery of Jerome Maupoint’s work to help promote his new book, and by Sunday Jerome had collapsed in a heap in his tent, exhausted by the effort of signing so many copies. Or it could have been the dodgy Fondue he’d eaten the night before. Who knows.

The International Film Festival saw Sean White’s Never Ending Thermal take top honours – he took the Grand Prix. Good work Sean!

In the trade exhibition, ACT, the new brand from Xevi Escaler, Raul Rodriguez and Peter Brinkeby, received huge attention. Meanwhile lightweight equipment seems to be the latest craze, with Independence introducing a new featherlight 1.6 kg reserve and lots of manufacturers – including NSD – getting in on the game with new light harnesses.

What’s so fantastic about this event is how everyone comes together for three days of total hedonism. It was great to meet so many subscribers and pilots from across the world – and especially exciting to have Sherry Thevenot, the founding editor of Cross Country, join us for the weekend.

A bientot!

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