The 50th edition of the Coupe Icare (aka “Icarus Cup”) was simply mesmerizing, featuring its legendary aerial costume contest, acrobatic demonstrations, as well as shows and concerts day-in and day-out. It’s always surreal to see 80,000 people gathering in the village where I grew up, all having lively conversations in Spanish, English, Brazilian, German, and French (but of course!). Event report with photos.
After a 25-year hiatus, I stepped back onto takeoff area carpet at the Icarnaval to rediscover, from a kid’s point of view, the joy and wonder of watching costumed paragliders flying through the sky. The Icarnaval is a costume contest where paraglider pilots dress up in the most bizarre outfits and costumes.
Poetry in flight at the Icarus Cup
For this 50th edition, I decided to take off dressed as a phoenix, with 100 poems written on ribbons trailing behind me. The poems were written by the kids from schools in the area (Plateau-des-Petites-Roches). Their poems were about air, flight, birds, childhood… They also decorated my helmet and designed my costume with help from Jean-Paul Budillon, a brilliant inventor and paragliding pioneer. It was a real pleasure to work on this project with so many kids, who also broke into song during my takeoff. I had to wrack my brain to figure out whether or not the drag from all the ribbons would alter my flying profile, but in the end, everything went well, and in perfect weather conditions, too!
Photos from the Icarus Cup
Coupe Icare photo gallery
TV Reports (in french)
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