World's first adventure air race takes off from Washington on October 12th

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The Icarus Trophy is a 1,300km long-distance unsupported adventure race on powered paragliders launching October 12th from Eatonville, Washington, USA.

The Pacific Northwest, as seen from the air

“It was unbelievable to me that there was no long distance adventure race on paramotors. They're slow and have virtually no space for luggage, perfect for a long distance unsupported adventure race. - Tom Morgan

"Paramotoring" or powered-paragliding expeditions have taken place before - but this is the first time a group of adventurists with mixed levels of flying experience have taken to the skies in an organised long-distance adventure race. It’s a proper world's first.

The field of 25 pioneering pilots includes brave amateurs that have taken up paramotoring from scratch and trained specifically for the race, right through to some of the world’s most experienced pilots.

The event is being organised by The Adventurists and was created by its founder, Tom Morgan who says paramotoring is one of the most “pant-browningly exciting forms of transport on the planet.”

According to the Adventurists, the pilots are expected to take between 7 to 10 days to reach the finish line at the Blackhawk Paramotor Ranch in Valley Springs, California near Sacramento - where the official finish ceremony & prizegiving is on Saturday, October 24th.

Two vehicles will follow the pilots to ensure race rules are followed and make spare parts available, but the pilots are racing unsupported day-to-day. The logistical mastery of day-to-day planning and diplomacy skills will be just as important as the ability to fly over seriously tough terrain. Everything the pilots need will have to be strapped to them making this about much more than straightforward flying skill - it’s also a full-on adventure.

The Icarus Trophy pilots will also be raising money for the official charity Cool Earth, who work alongside indigenous people to halt rainforest destruction. The charitable element of the race is also the reason for the support provided by Ninkasi Brewing who are supplying beer for the start and finish parties via their ‘Beer is Love’ donation program.

Tom Morgan, founder of the Icarus Trophy and The Adventurists said:
“We've been holding adventures all over the word but it's great to be finally staging an adventure here in the US"

Tom is not alone in bringing the Icarus Trophy to life. The Adventurists are working with paramotoring experts from the UK and USA. The Official Training and Kit providers and trainers are Team Fly Halo in the USA and Skyschool in the UK / Europe. Between them they’ve added the flying knowledge and expertise to design and manage the race.

Alex Ledger, Managing Director of SkySchool who has trained many of the pilots and will be an official Race Manager & Referee said:

“It's very simple. It's an engine you wear on your back. It looks like an oversized office fan. You attach it to your back. Once you've launched your paraglider above your head, you turn on your fan, you run and take off.”

Shane Denherder, Owner of Team Fly Halo who designed and researched the ‘racecourse’ and will also act as a Race Manager & Aviation Liason said:

“One thing we realized a few days into the recce is that the Icarus Trophy will be as much about diplomacy as it is about flying skill. Being able to charm the pants off of a landowner to talk them into assisting you is going to be the skill that pays the bills. That, and being able to launch your kit in less-than-ideal conditions without breaking it.”

For more details:
Visit the Icarus Trophy website -
Brief overview of the pilots -
On race day, follow the race by visiting –
To follow the race on Twitter - @IcarusTrophy
Join the Facebook discussion -
Ask for more pictures or an interview with Mr Tom – liz(at)lizampairee(dot)com / 0773 333 1945

The Adventurists have been fighting to make the world less boring since 2004. They currently organise six Adventures across the globe including the Mongol Derby and the Mongol Rally.

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