Paramotoring has been around since the early 90s. Looking like flying armchairs, paramotors are in fact engine-powered paragliders. These remarkably simple craft are a cross between a parachute and a microlight.
Despite their simplicity they can perform remarkable feats. They have been flown at 7,500m in the Himalayas and have gone 1,200km without stopping.
The latest equipment developments enable pilots to fly even faster & with more manoeuvrability then before. Making way for a new generation of freestyle competition pilots that have come together to demonstrate their skills and acrobatic talent in a new aerial discipline called ‘Sky Racing’, created by the PARABATIX Team as a way of showcasing the sport.The sky racer pilots fly just meters above the ground at speeds of up to 70km/h as they skim, soar and perform tricks with incredible daring accuracy to an amazed crowd.Flying around giant inflatable pillars, the pilots perform ‘It’s a Knockout’ style tasks. Kicking giant balls, picking up super-sized rings and flying slalom figures-of-eight at high speed against the clock are just some of the tasks for these top pilots.
What is a Sky Race
Each sky racer must fly a defined aerial race course at low altitude. The track is defined by the layout of the giant 12 meter high pylons on every corner
Each sky race track is different.
When a sky racer enters the course they must start the time by touching the start stick to trigger the chronometer. They must then race round the track as quickly as possible and kick the finish stick on the way out of the course to stop the time.
Depending on the layout of the sky race sometimes there are some obstacles and/or interactive ground objects that must be picked up, displaced or interacted with in order to get bonus seconds off the finish time. So it is not all about speed but precision also.
For example: A Batixball situated along the race track must be picked up and placed in a drop zone situated further along the track.
Example of a typical Sky race track
Above is a typical example of a sky race course (over head view).
- As you can see the green track shows the path that should be flown and direction.
- The white dots are the positions of the pylons.
- In this particular sky race there is one stick that acts as the start & stop time trigger.
- The sky racer must also kick the giant blue balls out of the marked rectangle box along the track, then go for the finish!
How the scoring works
Each Sky race is timed and has its own ranking, the first being the fastest. The times of each sky race is cumulated into one overall Parabatix ranking (for the end result & podium).
Type of Sky Races
Speed Race (SR)
The aim is to follow a defined track around the pylons as quickly as possible. The sky racer is timed from the moment they touch the start time trigger (Electronic chronometer stick) to the moment they touch the finish time trigger.
Bonus Race (BR)
The goal is to complete the Sky Race and collect the bonus along the track. If the bonus is collected time is deducted from the sky racers track time.
Freestyle Race (FR)
As soon as the chronometer has been triggered and the time has started the sky racers must complete certain tasks before stopping the time.
The sky racer is free to choose his/her track and tactic in order to complete the race in the fastest time.
Special Sky Races: (SSR)
Mixed with the element of time and speed, special tasks can be proposed within the sky race, including takeoffs, landings and other spectacular actions!
(For example the ZAG Sky race in France / Montauban 2010)
Time Limit Rule
Each sky race has a maximum time limit. If the track is not followed correctly OR If the track is not completed within the set time limit, the pilot is scored at this maximum time.