Rules and Regulations
X–BERG CHALLENGE 2018
PARAGLIDER vs. RUNNER vs. CYCLIST
The following is subject to change without notice.
1.1 The X-BERG CHALLENGE is a paraglider vs. runner vs. cyclist adventure race for Athletes looking for a twist.
1.2 The challenge is to fly, run and cycle along a preset race route across the Drakensberg. The length of the route may differ from race to race (I.e. between 2012 and 2018) but will be around 110 km as the crow flies. The aim of the race is to finish as quickly as possible travelling only by paraglider, foot or bicycle (either you are carrying “IT” or “IT” is carrying you ). After starting teams will travel past pre-determined “turn points” en-route. These turn points along with the overall route will be defined by the Race Committee. (Please refer to the Race Details page). The Athlete who completes the route and reaches the finish first shall be declared the winner of the race.
1.3 A GPX route will be available on request. A proposed route for the mountain bikers and trail runners is also given. This route will be along single track and rural roads and is not the run of the mill race with cut paths, one may have to dismount to cross some rivers. The participant does not have to follow this route, but may find their own route to the turn point.
1.4 All decisions regarding the organization and running of X-BERG CHALLENGE are made by the Race Committee.
1.5 Any questions or queries for the Race Committee must be made to: info@BHandE.com All queries and concerns must be raised at least 48 hours before the start of the race.
2. Conditions for Participation and disciplines
The X-BERG CHALLENGE Race Committee reserves the right to deny entry without having to give an explanation.
2.2 Participants may register in the following Formats :
The disciplines in the X-Berg Challenge are:
SINGLE DISCIPLINE SOLO or TEAM (Completing the route by sticking to only one of the disciplines.):
Paragliding (Hike & Fly)
MIXED DISCIPLINE SOLO or TEAM :
Combining either trail running, mountain biking and/or paragliding to complete the route only changing discipline at official turn points.
Note: A Mixed Discipline athlete/team is not able to win the overall event, however, they can be 1st / 2nd / 3rd in Mixed Discipline class.
RE-LAY DISCIPLINE SOLO or TEAM :
Combining either trail running, mountain biking and/or paragliding to complete the route only changing discipline/athlete at official turn points.
Note: A Re-Lay Discipline athlete/team is not able to win the overall event, however, they can be 1st / 2nd / 3rd in Re-Lay Discipline class.
TEAM ENTRY: A team may consist of 2 to 4 participants. NB; The whole team must go to every turn point and must cross the finish line together. This may be executed in single discipline and or mixed disciplines.
It is strongly advised that one assistant/supporter be with you to aid the team or individual during the race. Please see point 2.7 for athletes who plan to enter unsupported.
2.3 All Athletes and assistants must be qualified and experienced in paragliding, adventure racing, mountaineering and/or mountain biking to participate in the event. It is up to the participant to decide on their own level of experience. The Race Committee will provide certain minimum standards but will not be held responsible for any participant’s level of experience. Please refer to the required Minimum Equipment list on the Race Details page.
2.4 Those Athletes that are paragliding can only do so with a valid paragliding license. A valid paragliding licence is considered to be valid either if it is a SAHPA issued SPORTS license (or higher) which is current for the period during which the race will take place OR an internationally FAI affiliated license/rating card together with an IPPI card. The IPPI card should be PARA PRO stage 5 (advanced cross country rating).
2.5 Every Athlete must provide proof of medical aid insurance prior to starting the race. In addition paragliders must provide proof of a third party liability insurance that covers the pilot during the competition for all reasonable eventualities. The Race Committee will assist during any accident but will not be held liable or provide the funds necessary to evacuate any Athlete.
WITHOUT THESE INSURANCES AN ATHLETE IS NOT ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE COMPETITION.
2.6 Athletes must sign a disclaimer that will be provided by the organization committee. The disclaimer is available for review on the official website on the Enter Here page.
2.7 For Individuals and Teams that do not have an assistant available please read on:
2.7.1 A re-supply service en-route is available for athletes who plan to enter the race unsupported. However, it is strongly advised that one assistant/supporter/second be with you to aid a team or individual during the race.
For Individuals and Teams that do not have an assistant available we offer a re-supply service. You will need to pre-book this service with entry.
The race organisers will issue you with a re-supply box per re-supply station. The re-supply box will be a plastic container with a lit. Cable ties will be provided for each box for you to secure it. Labels will be provided at registration so as to mark your bag clearly. The organizers will move your re-supply box for you to the appropriate re-supply point per indicated on your box label. The points along the route where the box will be available to the athlete are as below and will be re-confirmed at the race registration. These points will be roughly 24 hrs walking distance apart. At the end of the race all re-supply boxes remains the property of the X-Berg Challenge organisers.
There are charging facilities at these re-supply points as well as opportunity to refill with water.
Re-supply points are as below and the GPS co-ordinates of these points will be made available to athletes making use of these services.
2018 Re-Supply Points:
Re-supply point 1 – Witsieshoek HOTEL Reception area (not at Sentinel Car Park)
Re-supply point 2 – Mnweni Cultural Village Reception area (not at the bottom of Rockeries)
Re-supply point 3 – Didima Hotel Reception area (not at the base of Mike’s Pass or at the Didima Camping Ground)
Re-supply point 4 - Monk’s Cowl KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife Gate Car Park area
Re-supply point 5 - White Mountain Resort Reception area
3.1 For the 2018 – 4 day X-Berg Challenge: 110km as the crow flies, from 26 April - 01 May 2018.
3.1.1 Registration – 26 April 2018 (Thursday), 16h00 pm – 19h00pm at the Border Post (Phatt Chef Diner & BB/Windmill Farm) on the top of Oliviershoek Pass
3.1.2 Briefing – 26 April 2018 (Thursday), 19h00 pm at the in the pub, Phatt Chef Diner & BB. Briefing dinner 20h00 pm.
3.1.3 Start – 27 April 2018 (Friday), 07h00 am SHARP outside the restaurant, the Phatt Chef Diner & BB/Windmill Farm at the Border Post premises on the top of Oliviershoek Pass
3.1.4 Race End – 30 April 2018 (Monday), 16h00 pm at the Champagne Valley, Mountain Splendour Resort. Prize giving breakfast to be held on 01 May 2018 at 08h30 am.
3.2 Race finish: A team and or individual is seen as having completed the race as soon as the Whole Team and or Athlete has reached the finish having completed all turn points along the route. If an Athlete and or team reaches the finish not having completed all turn points their race will considered to be over with relevant penalties and time restrictions applicable.
3.5 The race can only be cancelled by the Race Committee.
4. General Conditions
4.1 A team shall consist of two, or more participants and an optional assistant. Each Athlete or group of Athletes must nominate their own assistant or give notice of their intention to use a re-supply bag upon entrance of the race.
4.2 During the race the Athlete must fly, walk or ride using the minimum equipment. If an athlete is found at any point during the race not carrying or having the minimum equipment with them they shall be disqualified. Any other transportation including aid from any third parties is strictly prohibited. Any Athlete contravening this rule will be disqualified.
4.3 Rest period; the athletes have to make an uninterrupted rest from 23h:00 till 5h:00. Athletes still moving after 23h:00 or before 5h:00 will be subject to the X Berg Challenge – minimal penalty. Participants should be mindful of fatigue and personal safety when deciding to rest or not during the race.
4.4 The assistant can use any means of transportation but is not permitted to fly alongside his team or athlete using any form of motorized, powered or sailplane flight.
4.5 Only the assistant can be responsible for the team’s organization and Athlete’s requirements. The teams must organize themselves before and during the event. Athletes are not allowed to seek out or accept professional third party advice during the event, except hiring local authorized mountain guides for safety reasons which has to be approved beforehand by the Race Director.
4.6 An authorized mountain guide can accompany teams for dangerous hiking and climbing if the team deems it necessary. Teams who decide to appoint a guide must report to the Race Director before attempting the difficult section. The Race Director must approve the appointment and give permission for the team and guide to continue. The Race Committee will determine the most evident of these difficult sections prior to the race start. If any other difficult section is approached by a team the Race Committee can instruct them to be accompanied by a mountain guide before continuing.
4.7 The assistant must be contactable by mobile telephone 24 hours per day. If you are an individual, you must carry your cell phone 24/7 and have a means of keeping it recharged.
4.8 Each team must be prepared for spot checks by the Race Committee during the race. These spot checks will inspect the teams’ equipment and their way of transportation or movement.
4.9 The minimum penalty for any deviation of the X-BERG CHALLENGE rules is 8 hours.
4.10 Any Athlete or team can quit the race at any time, after having informed the Race Committee.
4.11 The Race Committee has the right to change any rules before the start of the race.
4.12 The Race Committee has at any time the right to disqualify a team if the Race Committee feels that the Team’s safe participation in the event is at risk.
5. Flight Rules
5.1 Between official sunset and sunrise the Athletes are not allowed to fly. (GPS time)
5.2 All Athletes are obliged to respect VFR (Visual Flight Rules) regulations. Any Athlete violating VFR rules takes full responsibility for the legal consequences.
5.3 Launching of a paraglider is to be done without any help. Holding the paraglider or 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. Any Athlete contravening this rule will be disqualified.
6. Minimum Equipment for participants in the various disciplines as follows
6.1 A Paragliding is considered to be 16m2 (laid out surface) or more. With regards to Mountain Bikes any form of bike may be used as long as it is not motorized in any way. The runners may run in any shoes they wish.
6.2 The Athlete must always carry or fly with the minimum equipment. The X-BERG CHALLENGE minimum equipment must consist of the following:
6.2.1 Paragliders; at least one paraglider, one harness, one emergency parachute, one helmet, one mobile phone, one GPS-Tracking-Device, one Back‐up GPS – PLUS Minimum equipment (see 6.8 below).
6.2.2 Cyclists, at least one bike, one helmet, one mobile phone, one GPS-Tracking-Device, one Back-up GPS – PLUS Minimum equipment (see 6.8 below).
6.2.3 Runners, one mobile phone, one GPS‐Tracking‐Device, one Back‐up GPS – PLUS Minimum equipment (see 6.8 below).
6.3 The Athlete should carry an emergency receiver during the race. This is strongly recommended by the Race Committee but not mandatory. The correct clothing / survival gear as necessary for the race is also essential.
6.4 Every Athlete will carry a GPS-Tracking-Device and or downloadable App, which the organizers will put at their disposal for the duration of the race.
6.5 In addition to the GPS-Tracking-Device, every Athlete is advised to carry a GPS Logger. Each team is responsible for its own track log.
6.6 Any Athlete caught by the Race Committee during a spot check not carrying his X-BERG CHALLENGE Minimum Equipment will be disqualified immediately from the race.
6.7 The X-BERG CHALLENGE’s Minimum Equipment is not allowed to be exchanged during the race. The only exception is if the equipment is damaged or stolen, in which case the Race Committee must be informed immediately. Teams will be subjected to 24 hours penalty time for each failure to comply with this rule.
6.8 Minimum equipment
1 x live tracker (given by race organisers)
1 x live tracker spare battery / solar charger or similar devise for charging
1 x mobile phone
1 x mobile phone spare battery / solar charger or similar device for charging
1 x Race Tag with emergency numbers
Min 500 ml of water
1 x emergency blanket and basic
First aid kit
1 x warm jacket, and Wind Breaker with Hood
Emergency snack (enough food to survive 48 hours)
GPS logger – to use as back up navigation (and compass)
Paper map of area, if you feel you require one
7.1 Each team can choose their own route and or use the routes provided by the race committee, but must pass the official turn points in the listed order as described in rule 7.2.
7.2 The turn points are:
Start: The Border Post, Oliviershoek Pass, Northern Drakensberg, GPS: S28° 33.167' E29° 04.583' (start by crossing the line)
TP1: Point en-route to Witsieshoek, GPS: S28° 34.472' E28° 58.440’
TP2: Witsieshoek Car Park (not the Sentinal Car Park), GSP: S28° 41.181' E28° 53.936’
TP3: Sentinal Car Park, GPS: S28° 43.862' E28° 53.611’
TP4: Point top of Mnweni Valley Road, GPS: S28° 47.865' E29° 00.376’ - 1km radius
TP5: Mnweni Cultural Centre (carpark at the centre), GPS: S28° 49.160' E29° 06.102’
TP6: Point en-route to Mike’s pass (Cathedral Valley), GPS: S28° 55.740' E29° 12.095’
TP7: Top of Mike’s Pass (Cathedral Valley), GPS: S28° 58.345' E29° 14.166’ - 1,5km radius for TR and 400m Radius for MTB
TP8: Point near Arthur's Seat, GPS: S28° 57.459' E29° 21.151’ - 1,3 km radius
TP9: Point above Calfargie Valley, GPS: S28° 59.738' E29° 23.106’ - 1,3KM radius
TP10: Monk’s Cowl KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife (Champagne Valley), GPS: S29° 03.069' E29° 24.198’
TP11: House Wonder Valley, GPS: S29° 04.785' E29° 26.134’
TP12: Point near the entrance gate to Injisuthi KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife, GPS: S29° 06.538' E29° 29.835’ - 2,5km radius
TP13: White Mountain Resort, GPS: S29° 06.500' E29° 36.527’
TP14: Point above Adventure Centre, GPS: S28° 57.757' E29° 31.379’ - 600m radius
Finish: Mountain Splendour Eco-Resort, Champagne Valley, Central Drakensberg, GPS: S29° 00.963' E29° 27.678’
Total straight line distance: 110km
If the above co-ordinates change they will be declared before the first Athlete reaches the last turn point. The Athlete has to land or at least finish the race including his minimum equipment BY RUNNING/RIDING OVER THE FINISHING LINE provided, unless otherwise instructed by the race director.
GPX DOWNLOADS on request: info@BHandE.com
8. Route Documentation
8.1 The GPS-Tracking-Device sends information to the internet, where the Athletes’ current position will be displayed online. The online data serves as a route confirmation for the Athletes and the Race Committee.
8.2 The Race Committee reserves the right to inspect any team’s track log backup. (see rule 5.9).
8.3 The backup track log must display a tracking interval of 15sec or shorter.
8.4 The Race Committee understands “a complete and clean 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. Please see below points for specific requirements for each discipline.
On the ground, a speed of 5 m/s must not appear for more than 10 minutes. In flight, a speed of 20 m/s must not appear for more than 20 minutes.
On the ground, a speed of 5 m/s must not appear for more than 10 minutes
On the ground, a speed of 20 m/s must not appear for more than 10 minutes.
In any case where the backup and the primary log files show a difference, the least severe penalty will be applied.
8.5 Any team failing to comply with the rules regarding route documentation will be subject to penalties defined by the Race Committee.
8.6 If an Athlete is unable to document his route or present a complete track log, he loses the missing time - that is, the time between the last and the next valid recorded position. In this case, the Race Committee will treat the missing time (the duration of the gap) as a penalty. If there is the suspicion that during the missing time the Athlete was not moving according the rules he might be forced to go back to the last valid recorded position.
8.7 Every team is advised to practice using the track logging system and or provided App. under race conditions before the race commences in order to avoid any technical issues or difficulties during the event itself.
9. Route Evaluation
9.1 Every Athlete must be able to present a complete track log.
9.2 The routes will be evaluated on a daily basis. The Race Committee will analyze each Athlete’s route every day, based on the online track log. In the case where a track log was found to have infringed any of the X-BERG CHALLENGE rules, the Athlete or assistant has to deliver his backup track log to the Race Director within six hours after the Race Committee’s request to the Athlete.
9.3 If there is any abnormality in the online track of the Athlete a special icon will appear on the Live Tracking webpage.
10. Results & Prizes
10.1 The final results table will be put together as soon as the race is over. Participants are judged according to the time it took them to reach GOAL or the *number of kilometers missing to the goal of the event.
*Number of kilometers means the total straight line distance between the Athlete’s final position and the goal around the turn points which were not passed by the Athlete. Athletes with more correctly passed turn points in correct order will have a better ranking than others who have not passed as many turn points, even if they have a greater number of kilometers to the goal.
10.2 Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each category. Each participant will receive a X-Berg Challenge medal.
A special prize will also be awarded to those who have been seen to try the hardest by their peers in each category.