Red Bull X-Alps

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The Red Bull X-Alps is one of the world's toughest adventure races. Athletes must either hike or fly over 1,000 km across the Alps from Salzburg to Monaco in the fastest time possible. Every kilometer must be covered either on foot or flown in a paraglider. It's a formidable undertaking and takes place in one of the most breathtaking and unforgiving environments. Each team consists of one athlete and up to two supporters. No technical or outside assistance is allowed. It requires expert paragliding experience and a very high level of endurance fitness — it's not uncommon for athletes to hike up to 100 km in a day. The 2013 race will be the sixth edition of the Red Bull X-Alps and comes on the ten-year anniversary of the first race.

The Race[edit]

The race starts in Salzburg and finishes in Monaco, a distance of approximately 1,000 km as the crow flies. Athletes must pass 10 predefined turnpoints. For the 2013 race, these are: Gaisberg, Dachstein, Wildkogel, Zugspitze, Ortler/Sulden, Interlaken, Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Saint Hilaire, Peille. The idea for the race was developed by the Austrian pilot Hannes Arch. “Its simplicity is what makes it most appealing. We start in Salzburg and whoever arrives in Monaco first wins. That’s it. It’s about body and soul, not about hundreds of rules and regulations,” he says.[1] When conditions are good, athletes use paragliders to fly, and when they are not they must run or hike, carrying their paraglider and other mandatory equipment. No other form of transport is permitted. The winner is the first to reach Monaco and the race ends 48 hours later. The athletes are then ranked according to their distance from Monaco. In 2011, a new rule was introduced for safety reasons. Between 23:00 and 04:00 the athletes were forced to have a mandatory rest and stay within a radius of 250m of their resting position. In 2013, the mandatory break is being extended by 1.5 hours, from 22:30 to 05:00. Also new for 2013 is the Night Pass. This allows athletes to hike through the night but they can do this only once during the race and must inform organizers of their intention by 12:00 local time the same day. Another rule-change for 2013 is the banning of prototypes. All paragliders, harnesses, safety equipment and helmets now have to have an EN or LTF certification.

The Team[edit]

The team consists of the pilot and up to two assistants. The assistant(s) can provide information, food and equipment and act as a link to the race control.

Live-Tracking[edit]

Thanks to GPS-technology the athletes can be followed in real time via Live-Tracking by Red Bull X-Alps fans. The exact position of the athletes is monitored via data loggers and GSM cell phones and their live positions and traces can be viewed on the official website.

Red Bull X-Alps 2003[edit]

'The Course: 'The first course took the athletes from the Dachstein glacier in Austria to Monaco. It was defined by only two turnpoints. These had to be taken within a radius of 100 meters.

# Turnpoints Notes
1  France Mont Blanc so that it was not possible to go via the Po Valley
2  France Mont Gros so that the pilots arrived in Monaco from a mountain

Results: Out of the 19 competitors who started the race on July 14, 2003 on the Dachstein only three pilots made it to Monaco.

All other teams completed between 30 and 90 per cent of the course. Prince Albert presented the three teams who reached the goal with the Olympic Medal of Monaco.

Rank Team Athlete Time
1   Switzerland Kaspar Henny 11 Days and 22:55:30 Hours
2  France David Dagault + 5 Hours 25'
3  Germany Stefan Bocks + 8 Hours 45'

Red Bull X-Alps 2005[edit]

Red Bull X-Alps 2005 was the second edition of the adventure race. For the first time women took part in the race.

The course: The turnpoints of the 2005 X-Alps differed slightly from the ones in 2003:

# Turnpoint Notes
1  Germany/ Austria Zugspitze had to be taken from the North
2  France/ Italy Mont Blanc had to be taken from the North
3  France Mont Gros 100m radius had to be crossed

Competing Teams: The teams were able to register for the 2005 event on April 30, 2005. Next to the defending champion Kaspar Henny another 16 pilots from 13 different countries registered with their teams. With Kari Castle and Niki Hamilton two women entered the competition for the first time.

Results: In 2005, four teams reached the destination whilst three teams had to withdraw from the race due to injury. All other teams completed between 25 and 88 per cent of the distance.

Rank Team Athlete Time
1 SUI3   Switzerland Alex Hofer 12 days, 1:20 hours
2 SUI2   Switzerland Urs Lötscher + 25 hours
3 SUI1   Switzerland Kaspar Henny
4 AUT1  Austria Helmut Eichholzer
5 GER1
GER2
 Germany Stefan Bocks
 Germany Michael Gebert

Red Bull X-Alps 2007[edit]

Red Bull X-Alps 2007 was the third X-Alps competition and started on July 3 at 9:30 am.

The course: Like in pervious years, the route started on the Dachstein in Austria and finished in Monaco. The turnpoints in 2007 were:

# Turnpoints
1  Austria Dachstein
2  Italy Marmolada
3   Switzerland Eiger
4  France Mont Gros

Competing teams and results: In 2007, five teams arrived in Monaco. 12 out of the 30 teams had to withdraw. Martin Muller was the fastest athlete, however, he was penalized with 36 hours due to an air space violation in Sion. Muller was taken over by Alex Hofer and Toma Coconea at Mt Gros and only placed third. The winner Alex Hofer travelled 900 km (61% of the distance) in the air and walked 588 km (39%). In comparison, Coconea only flew 24% of the distance and walked the other 76% (1021 km).

Team Athlete Supporter
AUS  Australia Benn Kovco Bryan Anderson
AUT1  Austria Helmut Eichholzer Elisabeth Rauchenberger
AUT2  Austria Christian Amon Lars Pongs
ESP  Spain David Castillejo Martinez Madalena Alcañiz Soriano
GBR  United Kingdom Aidan Toase Jan Toase
GER1 [1]  Germany Stefan Bocks Hansi Keim
GER2  Germany Michael Gebert Florian Schellheimer
GRE  Greece Dimitris Bourazanis Marina Zannara
IRL  Ireland Niki Hamilton Petra Knor
ITA  Italy Andy Frötscher Florian Ploner
MEX  Mexico Santiago Baeza Christian Fernandez del Valle
ROM  Romania Toma Ioan Coconea Cornel Doru Calutiu
SUI1   Switzerland Kaspar Henny (Titelverteidiger) Elio Baffioni
SUI2   Switzerland Urs Lötscher Andreas Wild
SUI3   Switzerland Alex Hofer Heinz Haunschild
TUR  Turkey Semih Sayir Osman Grukan
USA [2]  United States Kari Castle (2005) Craig Goddard

Red Bull X-Alps 2009[edit]

Red Bull X-Alps 2009 was the forth competition and took place on July 19, 2009. It started at 11:30 am from Mozartplatz in Salzburg.

The course: Unlike the previous routes, the 2009 route did not start on the Dachstein but in Salzburg, Austria. The 2009 turnpoints were:

# Turnpoints
1  Austria Gaisberg
2  Germany Watzmann
3  Austria Großglockner
4  Italy Marmolata
5   Switzerland Matterhorn
6  France Mont Blanc
7  France Mont Gros

Competing Teams and Results: In 2009, two teams made it to Monaco. 12 teams had to withdraw, were disqualified or taken out of the race. Christian Maurer was the fastest athlete and the first who reached Monaco from the air (he landed at Roquebrune Beach and ran to the last turnpoint on Mont Gros, from where he flew to the final destination). Previous year’s winner Alex Hofer arrived one day later. The winner travelled 72% (999 km) of the overall distance (1,379 km) in the air and walked the other 28% (380 km). This included 35,520 meters of vertical gain by foot.

Rank Team Athlete Supporter Notes
1 SUI1   Switzerland Chrigel Maurer Thomas Theurillat Arrived in Monaco
after 9 days, 23:54 hours
direct route 818 km / 1379 km covered
2 SUI2   Switzerland Alex Hofer Nicole Schlotterer +1D 9:24
3 USA  United States Honza Rejmanek Dave Hanning 139 km from Monaco (jeweils Luftlinie)
4 GBR1  United Kingdom Aidan Toase Charlie Merrett 164 km from Monaco
5 RUS  Russia Evgeny Gryaznov Dmitry Gusev 193 km from Monaco
6 GER  Germany Michael Gebert Florian Schellheimer 203 km from Monaco
7 FIN  Finland Jouni Makkonen Toni Leskelä 230 km from Monaco
8 HUN  Hungary Pal Takats Mauritz Volkmer 231 km from Monaco
9 ESP  Spain Ramon Morillas Juan Morillas 237 km from Monaco
10 BEL  Belgium Thomas de Dorlodot Maxime van Dyck 238 km from Monaco
11 FRA2  France Julien Wirtz Adrien Vicier 245 km from Monaco
12 ITA2  Italy Andy Frötscher Raphael Graetz Murphy 288 km from Monaco
13 JPN1  Japan Kaoru Ogisawa Masaru Saso 297 km from Monaco
13 CAN  Canada Max Fanderl Penny Powers 297 km from Monaco
15 GBR2  United Kingdom Tom Payne Alex Raymont 321 km from Monaco
15 CZE  Czech Republic Jan Skrabalek David Bzirsky 321 km from Monaco
17 POL  Poland Filip Jagla Piotr Goc 423 km from Monaco
18 SVK  Slovakia Peter Vrabec Tomas Bernat 457 km from Monaco
AUT1  Austria Helmut Eichholzer Andreas Neubacher Disqualified (flew into forbidden zone)
ROM  Romania Toma Coconea Vasile Trifan, Daniel Pisică Disqualified (flew into forbidden zone)
SUI2   Switzerland Martin Müller Fabien Zuberer Eliminated (Injury)
JPN2  Japan Masayuki Matsubara Tetsuo Kogai Placed last and taken out according to rules
FRA1  France Vincent Sprüngli David Bibier Cocatrix Eliminated (Injury)
AUS  Australia Lloyd Pennicuik Lewis Nott Placed last and taken out according to rules
VEN  Venezuela Raul Penso Ismael Penso Disqualified (flew into forbidden zone)
NED  Netherlands Ronny Geijsen Hugo Robben Eliminated (Injury)
RSA  South Africa Pierre Carter James Braid Eliminated (Injury)
ITA1  Italy Leone Antonio Pascale Maurizio Dalla Valle Eliminated (Injury)
SLO  Slovenia Primoz Susa Igor Erzen Placed last and taken out according to rules
AUT2  Austria Christian Amon Manuel Goller Eliminated (Injury)

Red Bull X-Alps 2011[edit]

2011 Participants[edit]

For 2011, 30 athletes were selected. On November 23, two more athletes were added to the list. Two months before the race start  Lloyd Pennicuik (AUS) and  Ramon Morillas (ESP) dropped out due to health issues and injury. Therefore  Oriol Fernandez (ESP) made it from the waiting list into the circle of participants.

Team Athlet
ARG  Martin Romero (ARG)
AUT1  Heli Eichholzer (AUT)
AUT2  Christian Amon (AUT)
AUT3  Mike Küng (AUT)
AUT4  Paul Guschlbauer (AUT)
BEL  Thomas de Dorlodot (BEL)
BRA  Richard Pethigal (BRA)
CAN  Max Fanderl (CAN)
CZE  Jan Skrabalek (CZE)
ESP  Oriol Fernandez (ESP)
FIN  Jouni Makkonen (FIN)
FRA1  Vincent Sprüngli (FRA)
FRA2  Philippe Barnier (FRA)
FRA3  Clement Latour (FRA)
GBR1  Steve Nash (GBR)
GBR2  Jon Chambers (GBR)
GER  Michael Gebert (GER)
ITA  Andy Frötscher (GER)
JPN1  Kaoru Ogisawa (JPN)
JPN2  Masayuki Matsubara (JPN)
NED  Ferdinand van Schelven (NED)
NOR  Ivar Sandsta (NOR)
POL  Pawel Faron (POL)
POR  Nuno Virgilio (POR)
ROM  Toma Coconea (ROM)
RSA  Pierre Carter (RSA)
RUS  Evgeny Griaznov (RUS)
SUI1  Christian Maurer (SUI)
SUI2  Alex Hofer (SUI)
SUI3  Martin Müller (SUI)
USA  Honza Rejmanek (USA)

Red Bull X-Alps 2011 also started from Mozartplatz in Salzburg on July 17, 2011.

The course: The 2011 turnpoints were:

# Turnpoints Notes
1  Austria Gaisberg
2  Austria Dachstein on the ground, athletes had to walk through two flags, they could also fly over the gate (200 m)
3  Austria Großglockner a cylinder of 6 km radius had to be passed
4  Italy Drei Zinnen a cylinder of 1 km radius had to be passed
5   Switzerland Piz Palü a cylinder of 6 km radius had to be passed
6   Switzerland Matterhorn a zone consisting of a quadrant of 5,5 km radius northeast of the mountain peak had to be passed at the arc (enter and leave)
7  France/ Italy Mont Blanc had to be taken from the North
8  France Mont Gros (after rule changes on the 11. day of the race): A cylinder of 3 kilometers radius had to be passed flying or walking. The athletes had to pass a checkpoint on the ground at the starting point in Peille. From Peille they could fly or walk to Monaco.

2011 Route[edit]

Point Name Country Leg distance Total distance
Start Salzburg Austria 0 kilometres (0 mi) 0 kilometres (0 mi)
Turnpoint 1 Gaisberg Austria 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) 6 kilometres (3.7 mi)
Turnpoint 2 Dachstein Austria 52 kilometres (32 mi) 58 kilometres (36 mi)
Turnpoint 3 Großglockner Austria 81 kilometres (50 mi) 139 kilometres (86 mi)
Turnpoint 4 Tre Cime Italy 138 kilometres (86 mi) 198 kilometres (123 mi)
Turnpoint 5 Piz Palü Switzerland 181 kilometres (112 mi) 379 kilometres (235 mi)
Turnpoint 6 Matterhorn Switzerland 183 kilometres (114 mi) 256 kilometres (159 mi)
Turnpoint 7 Mont Blanc France 63 kilometres (39 mi) 625 kilometres (388 mi)
Turnpoint 8 Mont Gros France 234 kilometres (145 mi) 859 kilometres (534 mi)
Goal Monaco Monaco 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) 864 kilometres (537 mi)

Competing teams and results: In 2011, the Red Bull X-Alps committee picked 30 athletes. On November 23 two more competitors were nominated. Two months before the start of the race, Lloyd Pennicuik (AUS) and Ramon Morillas (ESP) had to cancel for health reasons. Oriol Fernandez (ESP), who was on the waiting list, replaced them. Alex Hofer (SUI2) also had to cancel due to an injury. The winner of the pervious year’s competition Christian Maurer was the first to arrive in Monaco after 11 days, 4h and 52min at 16:22 pm. He arrived by paraglider. On the 864 km long course he effectively travelled 1,807 km, 1,321 km in the air and 486 km on the ground.

Rank Team Athlete Supporter Notes
1 SUI1   Switzerland Chrigel Maurer   Switzerland Thomas Theurillat 24 hour penalty for flying into forbidden zone. Arrived in Monaco after 11 days, 4 hours and 52 min.
2 ROM  Romania Toma Coconea  Romania Daniel Pisică Arrives on the 14th day of the race
3 AUT4  Austria Paul Guschlbauer  Germany Sara Gudelius 9 km from the finish line at the end of the race
4 SUI3   Switzerland Martin Müller   Switzerland Boris Aellen 73 km from the finish line at the end of the race
5 GBR2  United Kingdom Jon Chambers  United Kingdom Richard Chambers 113 km from the finish line at the end of the race
6 GER  Germany Michael Gebert  Germany Florian Schellheimer 172 km from the finish line at the end of the race
7 NED  Netherlands Ferdinand van Schelven  Netherlands Anton Brous 173 km from the finish line at the end of the race
8 FRA3  France Clement Latour  France Sylvain Dhonneur 24 hour penalty for flying into forbidden zone; 174 km from the finish line at the end of the race
9 FIN  Finland Jouni Makkonen  Finland Toni Leskelä 176 km from the finish line at the end of the race
10 USA  United States Honza Rejmanek  United States Dave Hanning 181 km from the finish line at the end of the race
11 BEL  Belgium Thomas de Dorlodot  Belgium Gatein de Dorlodot 183 km from the finish line at the end of the race
12 RUS  Russia Evgeny Griaznov  Russia Anton Poliakov 241 km from the finish line at the end of the race
13 AUT1  Austria Helmut Eichholzer  Austria Wolfgang Ehgarter 246 km from the finish line at the end of the race
14 CAN  Canada Max Fanderl  Canada Penny Powers 305 km from the finish line at the end of the race - same rank as Frötscher/ITA
14 ITA  Italy Andy Frötscher  Italy Robert Mur 305 km from the finish line at the end of the race - same rank as Fanderl/CAN
16 BRA  Brazil Richard Pethigal  Brazil Dioclecio R. Filho 24 hour penalty for flying into forbidden zone; 327 km from the finish line at the end of the race
17 POL  Poland Pawel Faron  Poland Piotr Goc 350 km from the finish line at the end of the race
18 ESP  Spain Oriol Fernandez  Spain Armand Rubiella 389 km from the finish line at the end of the race
GBR1  United Kingdom Steve Nash  United Kingdom Richard Bungay disqualified (flew into forbidden zone) 385 km
CZE  Czech Republic Jan Skrabalek  Czech Republic Karel Vrbensky Placed last and taken out of the race according to rules on the 12th day, 478 km
RSA  South Africa Pierre Carter  South Africa James Braid Placed last and taken out of the race according to rules on the 10th day of the race, 516 km
ARG  Argentina Martin Romero  Argentina Martin Utrera eliminated (injury) on the 9th day of the race, 573 km
JPN2  Japan Masayuki Matsubara  Japan Shinichi Nagashima Placed last and taken out of the race according to rules on the 8. day of the race, 620 km
FRA1  France Vincent Sprüngli  France Jerome Maupoint 24 penalty for flying into forbidden zone, eliminated (withdrawal due to technical problems), 631 km
AUT3  Austria Mike Küng  Austria Eduard Kumaropulos eliminated (illness) 677 km
POR  Portugal Nuno Virgilio  Portugal Samuel Lopes 24 penalty for flying into forbidden zone, placed last and taken out of the race according to rules after 48h, 683 km
JPN1  Japan Kaoru Ogisawa  Japan Masaru Saso disqualified (flew into forbidden zone) 739 km
AUT2  Austria Christian Amon  Austria Mario Schmaranzer eliminated (illness) 755 km
FRA2  France Philippe Barnier  France Herve Garcia eliminated (withdrawal), 757 km
NOR  Norway Ivar Sandstå  Norway Oystein Dagestad 24 penalty for flying into forbidden zone, placed last and taken out of the race according to rules after 72 hours, 786 km

Red Bull X-Alps 2013[edit]

Route[edit]

At 1,031 km, the route is almost 200 km longer than in 2011, across some of the most challenging and inhospitable terrain in the Alps.

# Turnpoints
1 Austria Gaisberg
2 Austria Dachstein
3 Austria Wildkogel
4 Germany Zugspitze
5 Italy Ortler/Sulden
6 Switzerland Interlaken
7 Switzerland Matterhorn
8 France Mont Blanc
9 France Saint Hilaire
10 France Peille

Athletes[edit]

For 2013, 31 athletes have been selected to compete in the Red Bull X-Alps.

Team Athlete
ARG  Claudio Heidel (ARG)
AUT1  Paul Guschlbauer (AUT)
AUT2  Mike Küng (AUT)
AUT3  Thomas Hofbauer (AUT)
BEL  Thomas de Dorlodot (BEL)
CAN  Max Fanderl (CAN)
CZE  Michal Krysta (CZE)
ESP  Iñigo Gabiria (ESP)
FRA1  Clement Latour (FRA)
FRA2  Antoine Girard (FRA)
FRA3  Victor Sebe (FRA)
GBR  Jon Chambers (GBR)
GER2  Lars Budack (GER)
GER3  Max Mittmann (GER)
ITA1  Aaron Durogati (ITA)
ITA2  Peter Gebhard (ITA)
ITA3  Andy Frötscher (ITA)
JPN1  Kaoru Ogisawa (JPN)
JPN2  Shoichiro Tadano (JPN)
KOR  Pil Pyo Hong (KOR)
NED  Ferdinand van Schelven (NED)
NPL  Babu Sunuwar (NPL)
POL  Pawel Faron (POL)
ROM  Toma Coconea (ROM)
RSA  Pierre Carter (RSA)
RUS  Evgeny Griaznov (RUS)
SUI1  Christian Maurer (SUI)
SUI2  Martin Müller (SUI)
USA1  Honza Rejmanek (USA)
USA2  Stephan Haase (USA)
VEN  Raul Penso (VEN)

New rules in 2013[edit]

In 2011 athletes had to stop at the end of every day. In 2013, each athlete will be given the chance to break the mandatory rest stop on just one occasion and push on through the night!

“The idea behind the Night Pass is to allow athletes a chance to advance their position by tactical means. They may be able to hike to a key point where they can extend their lead or pass teams in front. But the price is a missed night of recovery. And they can only do this once,” says Red Bull X-Alps race director Christoph Weber.

Athletes cannot pull the Night Pass spontaneously but will need to announce their intention in advance to the race committee. Furthermore, they will not know who else is using the card until the race organizers announce this information before the night stage begins.

The Night Pass is not the only change of the 2013 Red Bull X-Alps, including an additional supporter for teams, the adjustment to the mandatory rest period — now 22:30 to 05:00 — and the banning of prototype equipment of any kind.

Athletes will also be required to carry a Pieps Globalfinder for safety reasons.

Winners[edit]

Year Winner Second
2003  Kaspar Henny (SUI)  David Dagault (FRA)
2005  Alex Hofer (SUI)  Urs Lötscher (SUI)
2007  Alex Hofer (SUI)  Toma Coconea (ROM)
2009  Christian Maurer (SUI)  Alex Hofer (SUI)
2011  Christian Maurer (SUI)  Toma Coconea (ROM)
2013  Christian Maurer (SUI)  Clément Latour (FRA)

• Athletes travel only by flying with their paragliders or by foot

• A paraglider, harness, rescue parachute, helmet, emergency signal rocket, reflector belt and tracking device must be carried at all times

• Athletes may choose any route they like, but must pass all turnpoints

• Each athlete has up to two supporters to provide logistical help

• Travel through tunnels that connect valleys is prohibited

• The athletes have to make an uninterrupted rest from 22:30 till 05:00

• International Visual Flight Rules (VFR) air regulations must be adhered to

• The race stops 48 hours after the winner arrives at the finish, but not before July 19

References[edit]

  1. ^ Red Bull X-Alps

External links[edit]