Red Bull X-Alps

Tobias Grossrubatscher hit with airspace penalty

Tobias Grossrubatscher (ITA) has been hit with a 48-hour time penalty for an airspace violation yesterday.

© zooom / Vitek Ludvik

Race Director Christoph Weber said: ‘ITA2’s back-up instrument also shows that he flew into airspace LI-83E, which surrounds the town of Ivrea in Italy. This gives him a 48-hour penalty.’ The airspace LI-83E is a restricted zone.

Grossrubatscher’s supporter Lukas Hittaler said the airspace violation happened yesterday at about midday.

When Grossrubatscher was told about his penalty today he was in the air and 10km from Turnpoint 6, the Matterhorn. Rather than continue to try to reach the Matterhorn turnpoint he made the decision to turn south and fly down to the valley, ending his race early.

Hitthaler said: ‘We are very disappointed obviously. The airspace demanded ground clearance of 2,000ft (600m) and Tobias sunk into it by just a few meters.’

He added: ‘It is not the best obviously, it’s too hard, but we know these are the rules. It is a shame as we have been racing well these last few days and Tobias is fit - he is not tired at all.’

Photo by © zooom / Vitek Ludvik