The Red Bull X-Alps 2021 will go ahead as planned in June, organisers have confirmed.
“We are full on for executing the race in June. It’s a go,” organisers said in a statement issued on Wednesday 28 April at 6pm local time.
After several weeks of uncertainty around the event caused by Covid travel restrictions and the pandemic, organisers said they had won Elite Event status for the Red Bull X-Alps in Austria. This will allow pilots and their teams to travel to Austria without quarantine.
The statement said: “The [pandemic] situation has improved quite a bit. Many countries are easing up on the lockdown and vaccinations proceed more quickly.
“We have already received elite sport classification in Austria, which ensures that athletes can travel without quarantine to Austria for the race and are free to move around, always obeying the governmental rules and our COVID plans for the race.
“Travelling to other countries is still a bit of an unknown but countries are opening borders towards the summer season. However, we are also applying in the other countries for additional elite sport recognition.”
The statement added that the national free flight associations of Switzerland and Germany had been “very helpful” in helping the X-Alps get elite event status.
“Associations like SHV or DHV have been very supportive on this. Thus we are confident that we also receive it those countries.”
Pilots had been desperate for the race not to be postponed until August, when conditions in the Alps are hotter on the ground and more stable in the air.
“From the race athletes committee we got the message that quite a few teams would not be able to participate if it was postponed into July/August,” organisers explained. “Therefore we have ruled out that option.”
They added: “This guides us to the following conclusion: We are full on for executing the race in June. It’s a go. There’s still a risk that things may change for the worse but that’s out of our control. But our assumption is it will hold and we are going to have a super cool adventure the world has been longing to watch.”
The Red Bull X-Alps will start as planned in Salzburg on 20 June 2021.