Adventure Racing

Rules

Dive in and prepare for the world's toughest adventure race
Written by Red Bull X-Alps
21 min readPublished on
01

Preamble

1.1

Red Bull X-Alps (“Event”) is an adventure competition for selected international athletes.

1.2

The Event starts with the Latest Check-In Date and ends with the Race End. See section “Dates”.

1.3

This Event is run by zooom productions GmbH (”Organizer”) whose registered office is located at Felderstraße 12, 5330 Fuschl am See and with the support of the cooperation partners such as Red Bull GmbH whose registered office is located at Am Brunnen 1, 5330 Fuschl am See and its affiliates (“Red Bull”), agencies and service providers.

1.4

The Event consists of:
  • “Race”: The race is the challenge to cross the Alps as quickly as possible traveling only by foot and paraglider.
  • “Prologue”: In addition, a mandatory prologue is held prior to the Race.

1.5

The Race Committee (“Race Committee”) consists of:
  • Ulrich Grill (“Organizer”)
  • Ferdinand Vogel ("Race Director")
  • Jojo Pölzl (“Event Director”)

1.6

The Safety Director is Jürgen Wietrzyk.
The Race Doctor is Florian Wimmer MD.

1.7

The “Race Organization” is the Race Committee, Race Doctor, Safety Director and the Organizer with all its affiliates, agencies and service providers.

1.8

The location of the Race Office will be announced by the Race Committee.
02

General

2.1

All decisions regarding the organization and running of the Event are made by the Race Committee.

2.2

The Race Committee determines the selection of Teams (see section “General”).

2.3

The Event itself or parts of it (i.e. Prologue, Race) can only be canceled by the Race Committee.

2.4

The Race Committee has the right to change any rules and specifications before and during the race without any notice.

2.5

Any questions or enquiries for the Race Committee before the race start must be made to info@redbullxalps.com and during the race to the Race Director via race@redbullxalps.com.

2.6

All participating Teams accept the Terms of Participation during application.
In the event of any conflict between these Terms of Participation and the Rulebook, the Terms in the Rulebook shall prevail.

2.7

A Team consists of one athlete and one supporter.

2.8

The number of participants for the Event is limited to a maximum of 35 teams.

2.9

Only supporters with a valid official paragliding license, sufficient skills and equipment in compliance with the legal requirements are allowed to fly.
Additionally the mandatory insurances as listed in the Terms of Participation for Athletes apply to Supporters who want to fly during the Event as well.

2.10

The equipment and piloting skill of both Athlete and Supporter will be checked by the Race Committee prior to the Race.

2.11

The Supporter cannot be replaced during the race or quit unless due to sickness, injury, or exceptional circumstances. If this happens, the Race Committee must be informed. The Race Committee must approve any change of supporters beforehand.

2.12

Athletes or Supporters, who do not arrive and check-in at the Race Office by the last check-in date will not be permitted to start the race. In the event of unforeseen circumstances, the Race Director must be informed immediately. See section “Dates” for the last check-in date.

2.13

All Athletes may be requested to be available during the week leading up to the event. See section “Dates”, the schedule in the Race Office or the hand out.

2.14

All race briefings are mandatory for Athletes and Supporters. See section “Dates”, the schedule in the Race Office, or the hand out.

2.15

During the Prologue or Race, the Athlete has to pass Turnpoints (“Turnpoints” or “TPs”) in the order and type determined by the Race Committee. See section “Prologue Route” and “Race Route”.

2.16

During the Prologue or Race, the Athlete must fly their paraglider solo, hike, and carry the Mandatory Equipment (see section “Equipment”) without any form of physical assistance at any time. Any other transportation assistance, including any kind of motorized flying vehicles, from any third parties is strictly prohibited.
Snowshoes are allowed for walking over snow. Skis are forbidden. It's also forbidden to use modified snowshoes, which allow any kind of downhill-sliding. Snow covered terrain, where the use of snowshoes is required, has to be judged properly regarding the risk of avalanches. Entering any kind of snow covered areas with the risk of avalanches requires athletes to be accompanied by an UIAGM Mountain Guide and the following additional mandatory equipment: Avalanche transceiver, avalanche shovel, avalanche probe, and proper mountaineering boots.
Besides avalanche danger, the danger of sliding, which can cause injury or death, is real. It is therefore highly recommended to use mountaineering boots, crampons and ice axe in steep snow! If an athlete enters a potentially dangerous high alpine situation, the safety director must be informed by the athlete or supporter of the plan, route, equipment and status. If the athlete or supporter can not assure the safety director of the safety of the athlete, then the race organization will initiate the rescue of the athlete, which will result in the immediate disqualification of the athlete from the race.
Athletes are obliged to check the potential risk of avalanche and slide danger before they enter snow covered areas as a responsibility to themselves. It is highly recommended to hire an UIAGM mountain guide in dangerous high alpine terrain beyond areas of avalanche danger!

2.17

During the Prologue or Race the Athlete is not permitted to use any tunnel connection between different valleys and no highway or motorway tunnels.

2.18

The Supporter can use any means of transportation except for any kind of motorized flying vehicles.

2.19

The Supporter has to be available 24/7 to the Race Committee, Race Organization and for media requests. If needed the Supporter has to travel towards the Race Organization for collections or help with other handovers.

2.20

Athletes and Supporters are responsible for installing race-relevant Event apps onto their phones when requested by the Race Organization.

2.21

The Athlete is responsible that his Primary Tracking Device, Secondary Satellite Tracking Device and GPS Logger, as listed in the section “Equipment”, are always properly maintained, charged, and switched on during the mandatory time frames during the Prologue and Race. See section “Documentation”, “Prologue” and “Race”.

2.22

Each Team must be prepared for spot checks by the Race Committee or Race Organization during the Event. These spot checks will inspect the Teams’ equipment and their method of transportation or movement.

2.23

The Athlete can at any time during the Event be obliged by the Race Committee to take a doping test. The Race Committee will refer to the newest prohibited list published by the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA), which is available to view on www.wada-ama.org. Tests will be carried out by the Race Organization.

2.24

Any Athlete or Supporter can quit the Event at any time, after informing the Race Committee.

2.25

The Race Doctor has the authority to stop an Athlete in a medical situation and call a timeout from continuing further until the situation can be assessed and a final decision made in cooperation with the Race Committee.

2.26

In addition to the official rules of the Event, any Athlete or Supporter found to be in violation of local, regional, or national laws and regulations as defined by national parks, local authorities, or government organizations, is to be held solely responsible. Those who do not abide by the relevant regulations will be personally liable for any fines, punishments, or repercussions of any form which may result from their actions.

2.27

Officially provided clothing (at least the official race T-shirt) must be worn on all official dates as well as at the start of the Prologue and Race, certain Turnpoints and at the finish of the Race.
03

Dates

3.1

July 1, 2024, 12:00 PM CEST until August 31, 2024, 6:00 PM – Application phasenced

3.2

October 14, 2024 - Athletes announcement

3.3

March 19, 2025 - Route announcement

3.4

March 24, 2025 - latest date for Athletes to send a full list of equipment as in rule 4.5 as well as certificates of the used paraglider and harness as in rule 4.4

3.5

June 7, 2025: Start Athletes arrival, interviews, photo shoots and filming.

3.6

June 9, 2025, 11:00 AM CEST: Latest Check-In Date for teams at the race office (start race period)

3.7

June 12, 2025, 11:00 AM CEST – Start of Prologue

3.8

June 12, 2025 - Opening Ceremony

3.9

June 13, 2025 - Official press conference (TBC)

3.10

June 15, 2025 - Start of Red Bull X-Alps 2025 Race at 11:30 AM CEST

3.11

Race finish: The race finishes at 11:30 AM CEST on June 27, 2025. The time 11:30 AM refers to the latest landing or arrival on the float.

3.12

Award ceremony: The award ceremony will take place on Friday, June 27, 2025, at 6:00 PM

3.13

On June 18, 20, 22, 24, and 26, the team ranked in last place will be eliminated at 8:00 AM CEST.
04

Equipment

4.1

Paragliders with 16m² (laid out surface) or less, or of a surface loading exceeding 6kg/m², (so called speed gliders) are prohibited.

4.2

Harnesses must not exceed a length of 70% of the body length in the front and back combined. e.g. 180cm tall athlete: Maximum of 126 cm length in front of the tip of the feet measured at the foremost position of the foot plate in the direction of flight and after the harness measured at the back bottom neck to the rearmost point of the tail.
It must be possible to get the feet in and out of the harness from the normal flying position within two seconds and without using the hands.
The required life jacket must be able to be worn in the normal flight condition of the harness, according to the lifejacket manufacturer's instructions. No attachments at the harness may be allowed to be used that could result in the athlete being endangered if the lifejacket is deployed and when not deployed.

4.3

All flying equipment has to be certified and fulfill the latest edition of the following certification standards and must always be used according to manufacturer's instructions to ensure pilot safety:
  • Paraglider: EN 926-2 and 926-1 or LTF 91/09
  • Harness: EN 1651 with certified protection or LTF 91/09
  • Emergency parachute: EN 12491 or LTF 91/09
  • Helmet: EN 966

4.4

Athletes and Supporters who plan to paraglide must provide documentation that the equipment fulfills the requested standards at the equipment check. The certification of the paraglider and harness has to be finished by the certification institute by February 24, 2025 at the latest.

4.5

A complete list of the equipment that will be used in the Prologue and Race has to be provided by each Team latest by March 24, 2025. The equipment must be available to the athlete at this time.

4.6

Equipment to be supplied by the Athlete (“Personal Equipment”)
  • 1 (one) paraglider
  • 1 (one) harness including a protector
  • 1 (one) emergency parachute
  • 1 (one) helmet
  • 1 (one) climbing harness (CE certified)
  • 1 (one) via ferrata set (CE certified)
  • 1 (one) Spot or Garmin inReach tracker with online tracking ability with the fastest possible update setting (“Secondary Satellite Tracking Device”) The link to the online tracking of the used satellite tracker has to be forwarded to the Race Committee.
  • 1 (one) GPS device which fulfills the requirements for a “Backup Track Log” described in section “Documentation”. (“GPS Logger”)
  • 1 (one) distress flare with 2 (two) shots for sending a visible signal in case of emergency in remote areas
  • 2 (two) mobile smartphones for the Athlete and Supporter each, without “SIM lock” to be used with the provided SIM cards for communication with the Race Organization, content creation and social media
  • 1 (one) GoPro or similar ("Camera") incl. battery, loading cable, mounts and accessories

4.7

The following equipment is provided by the Race Organization (“Official Equipment”)
  • 1 (one) tracking device with online tracking ability (“Primary Tracking Device”).
  • 2 (two) SIM cards for the Athlete and Supporter each, to be used for communication with the Race Organization and social media.
All additional costs occurring from usage beyond the mobile phone rate for the SIM cards provided by the Race Organization will have to be paid by the Athlete and/or the Supporter. (For example costs for overseas calls, SMS and MMS will be fully charged to the team.)

4.8

The mandatory equipment to be carried by the Athlete during the Prologue or Race (“Mandatory Equipment”)
  • 1 (one) paraglider
  • 1 (one) harness including a protector
  • 1 (one) reserve parachute
  • 1 (one) helmet
  • 1 (one) distress flare with 2 (two) shots
  • 1 (one) official mobile smartphone for the athlete without “SIM lock” to be used with the provided SIM card (reference to 4.6)
  • 1 (one) Primary Tracking Device
  • 1 (one) Secondary Satellite Tracking Device
  • 1 (one) GPS Logger
  • For difficult climbing stages, which include a via ferrata, usage of 1 (one = climbing harness and 1 (one) via ferrata set
  • Avalanche transceiver, avalanche shovel, avalanche probe, and proper mountaineering boots in areas with the risk of avalanches

4.9

Official Equipment has to be returned to the Race Organization after the Event, including packaging and all accessories. Only complete returns can be accepted. Incomplete sets will be charged to the team.

4.10

If Official Equipment gets damaged by accident the Race Organization has to be informed to exchange it with a new one.

4.11

If Official Equipment gets lost or stolen the costs for a new device will be charged in full to the Team.

4.12

No item listed as Mandatory Equipment can be exchanged during the race. The only exception is if the equipment gets damaged, stolen or lost, in which case the Race Committee must be informed immediately.

4.13

In case an Athlete provides a back-up glider/harness: Switching to the back-up glider/harness or switching back to the main glider/harness must be confirmed by the Race Committee first.

4.14

All Teams must have the Mandatory Equipment checked and approved by the Race Director before the start of the Prologue.

4.15

We highly recommend that Athletes take the following equipment on all trails or flights that lead into high alpine areas and away from official roads: Wind- and waterproof jacket and pants, hat, gloves, sufficient warm layers (top and bottom), mountaineering boots, emergency food & water, headlamp, backup powerbank, whistle, silver blanket, first aid kit.

4.16

Every Athlete has to make sure that he/she is wearing appropriate lighting or reflectors to be easily visible from the front as well as from the back when walking on public roads. This applies to poor visibility conditions of any type (at night, in rain, in fog) in order to be visible to other road users.

4.17

It is forbidden to alter or modify the speedarm in any way after it has been issued. No additional stickers or branding may be attached, and no modifications made, such as adding zippers.
05

Flight Rules

5.1

Athletes are not allowed to fly between 09:00pm and 06:00am CEST.

5.2

The route covered (flown or by foot) has to be tracked by the Primary Tracking Device, the Secondary Satellite Tracking Device, and the GPS Logger. See section “Documentation”.

5.3

Athletes are obliged to respect VFR (Visual Flight Rules) regulations. Any Athlete violating VFR rules takes full responsibility for the legal consequences.

5.4

Athletes are obliged to respect forbidden zones defined by the Race Committee. The exact notification of the forbidden zones will take place at the Race briefings. The Race Committee will supply all Teams with electronic maps of the forbidden zones.

5.5

Planned and organized team flying by pilots not participating in the event, including supporters, is forbidden. Athletes violating this rule will be reported to the Race Committee. The violation of this rule may lead to disqualification. Flights are allowed as long as they don't give flying advantage to the athlete.

5.6

Launching is to be done without any assistance. Holding the paraglider or the athlete is allowed only for safety reasons on structural parts belonging to the normal flight equipment and must only be held by hand. E.g. no type of winch towing is allowed.

5.7

Supporters are not allowed to take off from the first official launch site until all Athletes have left the airspace.

5.8

Overloading of the paragliders is not allowed (takeoff weight has to be within the certified maximum loading of the paraglider).

5.9

The flight to the float is limited to Athletes only.

5.10

Supporters are only allowed to fly to the float after official approval of the race director.

5.11

For flights over wide water areas a life jacket (100N conform to DIN EN ISO 12402-4) is mandatory.

5.12

Official race speedarms must be worn on every flight.
06

Documentation

6.1

The Primary Tracking Device and the Secondary Satellite Tracking Device sends information to the website, where the Athletes' current position will be displayed (“Live Track Log”). The Live Track Log serves as a route confirmation for the Athletes and the Race Committee.

6.2

The GPS Logger records the Athletes’ movement (“Backup Track Log”). The Backup Track Log must show a sample interval of 1 second recording all movements on ground and in the air. The Backup Track Log must be running on MAP DATUM: WGS 84. The Backup Track Log must be stored in IGC file format with a G-record. Athletes should take into account that the recording must also be done on the ground, not only during flight.

6.3

An Athlete’s altitude is verified by the GPS geoid height (orthometric height) recorded in the Live Track Log. The Backup Track Log will be used to verify a violation. It must record GPS geoid height and is then used as evidence.

6.4

An Athlete has to be able to document his route by presenting a complete and clean Backup Track Log. The Race Committee understands “a complete and clean Backup Track Log” as follows:
  • Each time the track log is started anew, the Athlete must be within 250m of his last recorded position.
  • The track log must not have missing track points for more than 5 minutes.
  • On the ground, a speed of more than 5 m/s must not appear for more than 10 minutes.
  • In flight, a speed of more than 20 m/s must not appear for more than 20 minutes.
  • The Live Track Log has to show that no airspace violations were made.
  • If log points close to forbidden zones are missing and airspace violation is suspected, the Backup Track Log must clearly show that airspace was not violated.

6.5

The Race Committee reserves the right to inspect any Athletes’ Backup Track Log at any time.

6.6

The Race Committee will analyze each athlete's route every day, based on the Live Track Log. In case a backup track log is needed, the Athlete has to deliver his Backup Track Log within six hours of the Race Committee’s request.

6.7

Detection of airspace violations:
  • If a tracking point of the Backup Track Log is within a forbidden airspace, this is considered a violation of airspace.
  • If the observed line of two consecutive GPS tracking points intersects a no-fly zone, this is considered a violation of airspace.

6.8

Every Team is strongly advised to practice using the Primary Tracking Device, Secondary Satellite Tracking Device and GPS logger under race conditions before the Prologue and Race commences in order to avoid any technical issues or difficulties during the event itself.
07

Penalties

7.1

Athletes who fail to comply with any of these rules will be subject to a penalty, as assessed by and at the discretion of the Race Committee.

7.2

Penalties shall range from a minimum of 1 hour and no maximum, with disqualification the final option.

7.3

Penalties are subject to a final decision by the Race Committee.

7.4

Athletes with penalty times have to prolong their next Rest Period by the duration of their penalty time. In case the athlete reaches the goal before their next rest time, the outstanding penalty time will be added to their overall time.

7.5

If an Athlete receives a time penalty, which is longer than the remaining duration of the Race, the Athlete will be ranked according to his location backtracked by the remaining penalty time.

7.6

The Race Committee reserves the right to give penalties and disqualify an Athlete immediately who acts irresponsibly towards their own safety, towards others, the event organization or sponsors, or brings the sport into disrepute.

7.7

In addition, reckless, excessively risky and unsafe behavior, such as, but not limited to flying in clouds or reckless launches and landings will be investigated closely. Athletes may be issued with a yellow card as a warning at the first time, a penalty for a second yellow card and then a red card, which will result in a penalty or disqualification.
08

Prologue

8.1

The Athlete has to pass the Turnpoints in the order and type announced by the Race Committee (“Prologue Route”). The Turnpoints of the Prologue will be announced at the Route Announcement on March 19, 2025.

8.2

The Prologue is mandatory for all Athletes.

8.3

The three fastest Athletes of the Prologue will each be rewarded with an additional “Night Pass”.

8.4

Athletes who fail to finish the Prologue will get a penalty, which will delay the start of their Race for 24 hours.
09

Race

9.1

The Athlete has to pass the Turnpoints in the order and type announced by the Race Committee. The organization reserves the right to change the route or parts of the route. Race Route: To be announced on March 19, 2025

9.2

Athletes must stop for a minimum of seven consecutive hours everyday between 9pm (21:00) and 6am (06:00) CEST. This is defined as the Minimum Rest Period. The hours between 11pm (23:00) and 4am (04:00) CEST are Non Moving Hours for all teams. Athletes must communicate to the race director every time they start and stop their Race Period.

9.3

During Rest Periods the Athlete is not permitted to move away from his stop position (position where the Rest Period began) by more than 250m (see section “Documentation”).

9.4

Every Athlete can ignore the Rest Period once in the race by using the Night Pass. The first three winners of the Prologue each gain an additional Night Pass and therefore can ignore the rest period twice.

9.5

Use of the Night Pass has to be announced to the Race Committee by 8:00pm (20:00) CEST on the same day the Night Pass will be used.

9.6

All Night Passes expire 24 hours after the first athlete reaches the goal. At this point the mandatory rest period must be observed for all remaining athletes, and Night Passes can not be used, even if one has been drawn. If an athlete declares a Night Pass the same or the next day after the first athlete finishes, it is valid only for 24hrs from the time of first finisher. After 24 hours, the athlete must stop and observe the minimum mandatory rest period until 4am at the latest.

9.7

Delayed Start on day two of the Race:
  • Athletes who fail to finish the Prologue must add 24 hours to their first Minimum Rest Period of 7 hours.
  • Athletes who finish the Prologue must extend the duration of their first Rest Period by the amount of time between their finishing time in the Prologue and the finishing time of the Prologue winner. (For e.g. if an athlete finishes the Prologue 1h behind the winner, they therefore start day two one hour after the end of their Minimum Rest Period.)
  • Athletes who finish the Prologue and activate their Night Pass to travel through the first Minimum Rest Period of the Race may travel until 06:00 am but must then wait for a period of time equal to the time in which they finished behind the winner of the Prologue.

9.8

The Primary Tracking Device, Secondary Satellite Tracking Device and GPS Logger can be switched off during the Rest Period, except when the Athlete has pulled the Night Pass. Switching off the Primary Tracking Device, Secondary Satellite Tracking Device or GPS Logger while racing will be highly penalized up to disqualification. See section “Documentation”.

9.9

An authorized UIAGM mountain guide must accompany teams for dangerous hiking and climbing sections on glaciers or extreme alpine terrain. In case the athlete or supporter is a certified UIAGM mountain guide, no additional mountain guide is needed. The license has to be presented to the Race Committee during pre-week check-in. Glaciers with crevasses may only be crossed by a rope team, not by a single person, even if the athlete or supporter is a UIAGM guide.

9.10

Teams must report to the Safety Director before appointing a guide and attempting a difficult section. The Safety Director must approve the appointment and give permission for the team and guide to continue. The Race Committee will determine the most obvious of these difficult sections prior to the race start. If a team approaches any other difficult section, the Race Committee can insist on athletes being accompanied by a mountain guide before continuing.

9.11

48 hours after the first Rest Period ends the team ranked in last place will be eliminated. Thereafter the last team will be cut from the race every 48 hours at 08:00 am CEST. This rule applies only to athletes who have not voluntarily quit the race.

9.12

Touching the landing float corresponds to the official finish time.

9.13

A Team is seen as having completed the Race as soon as the Athlete has reached the landing float.

9.14

A final results table will be put together as soon as the Race is over. Athletes are judged according to the time it took them to reach the Finish Line (9.12) via all Turnpoints. Athletes with more correctly passed Turnpoints are ranked better. The race ends by reaching the Goal (9.12).

9.15

All Athletes with the same amount of Turnpoints passed are ranked according to their remaining straight-line distance from their final position to the goal, via all remaining Turnpoints.

9.16

All Teams, including withdrawn Athletes, are expected to attend the prize-giving ceremony and party.

9.17

The supporter must confirm to the Race Organization every day before their athlete has taken their first flight or latest by 10am, that their athlete has properly rested and has the physical and mental ability to continue to race safely – even when they have taken a Night Pass. Exact process to be confirmed before the start of the race.