I've been worthless for the last few days, due to my addiction to the X-Alps - and I wasn't alone. The most active thread on the Paragliding Forum was the X-Alps thread, with many posters supplying play-by-play and local weather info. XC Mag seemed to take point in getting information to the masses. The XC Mag videos and interviews gave us access to the athletes in their glory and pain.
It was, up to now, the best use of technology and imagery; allowing this amazing race to be viewed by thousands. Chrigel Maurer absolutely dominated the field. Even after taking a 24 hour penalty he was almost 48 hours ahead of 2nd place (and only other competitor to make it to the raft) Romanian, Toma Coconea. The last hour race between Coconea and 3rd place Austrian Paul Guschlbauer was riveting, as Toma went into ultramarathon mode and literally ran the last 80km. while Guschlbauer flew most of the distance. The tortoise won this race though, as Guschlbauer was left 9 km short of goal when the 48 hours expired. American Honza Rejmanek was able to take 10th spot in the last 5 minutes. Big respect for all the athletes for their commitment in the last year of training, and their fortitude in attacking the 864km. course from Salzburg to Monaco.
The 2011 Red Bull X-Alps video looks like it will be amazing. I've already ordered a copy and the early teasers indicate that the production values will be fantastic this year. They used helicopters and personal HD cameras to provide POV of the athletes, their helpers, and inflight views of the spectacular scenery.
I would appreciate it if you ordered it by clicking through to the XC Shop by clicking one of the ads at the bottom of this site, or THIS LINK so I get credit for the sale.
Fly Safe -