Yes, I’m talking about the 864km Red Bull X-Alps paragliding and hiking race from Saltzberg to Monaco. And I challenge anyone to visit the live tracking page and not get hopelessly addicted after 10 minutes! There are two British athletes, Steve “Gnasher” Nash (GBR1) and Jon Chambers (GBR2) – they’re currently in 7th and 17th positions after 6 days of racing. They’ve still got 648km and 569km to go respectively, however I can’t keep my virtual eyes off the leader, Christian “Chrigel” Maurer (SUI1) who has flown an absolute blinder today and has extended his overnight lead from 30km to 160km! He’s more or less flown across the whole of northern Italy today, and it’s been gobsmacking to watch!
My rash prediction is that he’ll reach Monaco before any other competitors reach turnpoint 6 (Matterhorn). Ok, well, that might sound ridiculous, but he’s got 356km to go to Monaco, and his nearest rival, Toma Coconea (ROM) has got 219km to go to TP6 so I don’t think it’s beyond the realms of possibility!
Go, Chrigel, Go!
PS. Chrigel is an Advance “Factory” pilot and is flying a 3-liner prototype wing similar to the wing he won the last X-Alps on in 2009