What’s On

Your free-flying calendar

May
18
Sat
X-Lakes Challenge 2019 @ Escape Flight Park
May 18 – May 19 all-day
The X-Lakes Challenge, 18-19 May 2019. Photo: Pat Holmes

The X-Lakes Challenge, 18-19 May 2019. Photo: Pat Holmes

Bag as many Wainwrights (peaks over 1,000ft in England’s Lake District National Park) as possible in under 32 hours, by foot or by paraglider.

Hike-and-fly rules – you carry your kit, or it carries you. All athletes must stop at night. They can choose to bivy with their kit where they finished up, or book a hotel in town (any transport allowed to get there and back) and return to the spot they stopped at, to restart the next day.

All the rules and sign-up form here.

Jun
7
Fri
Gruyere Fly 2019
Jun 7 – Jun 9 all-day
Gruyere Fly 2019 @ Gruyères | Fribourg | Switzerland

This three-day hike-and-fly competition starts and ends at the Gruyère Château.

Competitors have to complete a course around turnpoints, laid out in a figure-eight. If they complete the circuit before the time is up, they can go round again.

There are two categories: ‘Compétiteur’ is standard hike-and-fly competition rules – only your feet or your wing can be used for transport and the mandatory kit must be carried; the Mobilité douce” category offers a gentler approach, where public transport including ski-lifts can be used to help get pilots to take-offs. Between 9pm and 6am is rest time.

Pilots don’t need an FAI sporting licence, but IPPI level 4 or above is required.

gruyerefly.ch

Jun
8
Sat
Bornes to Fly 2019
Jun 8 – Jun 10 all-day

Bornes To Fly 2019

Annecy’s hike-and-fly competition, Bornes to Fly is now in its seventh edition. It runs from 8-10 June 2019.

It’s a three-day hike-and-fly competition with two bivouacs in nature (or beds in hotels, as you like). The exact route will be announced on departure day, but it will be between 100km and 250km in distance, around turnpoints in the beautiful landscape of France’s Haute Savoie, starting at Talloires beach on the shores of Annecy lake.

The route will be set where the weather dictates, and could encompass the Aravis, Bauges, Beaufort, Chablais or Mont Blanc massifs.

Athletes will carry trackers so home spectators can follow their progress. Night-time rests are obligatory.
Jun
13
Thu
Red Bull X-Alps 2019
Jun 13 – Jun 23 all-day
Red Bull X-Alps 2019 @ Salzburg | Salzburg | Austria

2019 is a Red Bull X-Alps Year! The ninth edition kicks off with the Prologue on 13 June, when all athletes race around a course, aiming to win one of three available extra night passes.

The race itself starts on 16 June. 32 athletes will be taking part, including five-times winner Chrigel Maurer (SUI1) and Romanian running man Toma Coconea who hasn’t missed a single race. Fourteen of the athletes to line up at the start are rookies, including the two female participants, Kinga Mastalerz (NZL2) and Dominika Kasieczko (POL).

The exact route for the 2019 event will be announced in March, and thousands will be following the athletes’ progress day and night via the live tracking and media updates.

redbullxalps.com

 

Jun
14
Fri
Tarent’Airtour 2019
Jun 14 – Jun 16 all-day

The Tarent’Airtour offers hike-and-fly pilots the perfect way to explore the Tarentaise – the Mont Blanc, Vanoise et Beaufortain regions of the Alps – by paraglider and by foot.

It’s a three-day hike-and-fly tour around a circuit, demarked by five refuge turnpoints. Pilots have to stop at one of the refuges each evening, which means no chase-cars or supporters are necessary, and everyone gets a hot meal and a bed for the night. The event starts with a meal and briefing at the Val Joli refuge in Séez on 13 June 2019.

Points are earned by tagging lakes, summits etc which are assigned different point scores. Pilots must  accumulate as many points as they can, before making their way to the finish at Bourg Saint Maurice by 3pm on the Sunday.

The €200 entry fee includes the meal on the first night, and the following two nights’ food and accommodation in refuges. Pilots can opt to stay in the Val Joli refuge on 13th for an extra €15.

tarentairtour.com

 

Jul
11
Thu
Parafest 2019
Jul 11 – Jul 14 all-day

Parafest posterThe UK’s music and flying festival, Parafest, returns to the stunning setting of Caerwys in North Wales in July 2019.

Parafest is the UK’s only event for all foot launched and single-seat trike aviation. The festival site is ideally placed for access to both coastal and mountain flying, with several North Wales flying sites a short drive away for free-flyers, and a dedicated field for powered craft to use from Thursday to Sunday.

There will be a trade show with demo equipment available, and the British Vintage Hang Glider Rally will be on site with up to 40 fully rigged gliders charting the history of UK hang gliding from its beginnings to the present day.

The pilot-run ‘Fly Inn’ bar will be stocked with Welsh real ales, gins, rums, Pimms, Prosecco, cocktails and more. In addition there will be arts and crafts markets, a children’s area, live music from 1pm to 1am on the Friday and Saturday nights, sideshows and much more.

Tickets are on sale now and cost £65 for pilots (Thursday to Sunday) or £55 for non-flyers. Under-16s are free and dogs are welcome. Organisers warn, “Parafest sells out to capacity every year and tickets must be bought in advance from the website”.

Parafest.co.uk

Sep
19
Thu
46th Coupe Icare
Sep 19 – Sep 22 all-day
46th Coupe Icare @ Saint-Hilaire | Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes | France

The magical mayhem of the Coupe Icare takes place on the third weekend of September at Saint Hilaire du Touvet and the Lumbin landing field near Grenoble in the south of France.

This year’s festival pays homage to the great Leonardo Da Vinci, who died 500 years ago! There will be an exhibition at the church of Saint Hilaire and shows on the theme of the great Italian inventor.

A huge trade show takes over two large marquees as well as outdoor stands; demonstration flights from all sorts of craft fill the sky, and the fancy-dress fly down is one of the event’s biggest draws, with some truly crazy costumes. Don’t forget the all-important film festival that runs throughout the long weekend. As well as all of this, the south take-off becomes a children’s wonderland, with activities from kite-making to science lessons to meeting birds of prey.

Paragliding from the sites during the daytimes is restricted to fancy-dress competitors and authorised pilots, but plenty make the early-morning hike to the Dent de Crolles if conditions allow, for a morning fly down among hot air balloons.

coupe-icare.org

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