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Comps and Events, News

Red Bull X-Alps 2017: Hachi withdraws before the race

Tuesday 27 June, 2017
Chi-Kyong Ha at the finish in 2015. Photo: Kelvin Trautman / Red Bull Content Pool

Hachi at the finish in 2015. Photo:
Kelvin Trautman / Red Bull Content Pool

Chi-Kyong Ha from South Korea has withdrawn from the Red Bull X-Alps before it has even started, citing financial reasons.

The 42 year old pilot, known as Hachi in competition circles, had completed the X-Alps before – coming 14th in 2015.

A Gin Gliders test pilot, he recently came first in the South Korean Nationals, again earning himself a place on the national team. In competition he flies a Gin Boomerang 11.

Organisers announced his withdrawal from the Red Bull X-Alps on Monday 26 June, just four days before the one-day warm-up race, the Prologue, in Fuschl am See. No reason was given for his withdrawal.

However, Hachi said it was down to finances. Taking part in the X-Alps is an expensive business – some teams have quoted $30,000 for a six week campaign involving international air fares, training, vehicle hire, team expenses and the competition itself.

Hachi said: “It’s down to sponsorship problems. It’s not easy for pilots from Asia [to take part] because of the money.”

He added: “I am really sorry for my fans. But if I have the chance I will try again. I am sad I can’t join everyone this time, and I wish all pilots success, and safe flights in the competition.”

With Hachi gone, there are now 31 pilots in the race which starts on 2 July 2017 in the centre of Salzburg.

www.redbullxalps.com

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