The Icarus Trophy paramotoring race has begun!

The Icarus Trophy race course map. From
Written by Lara

I like to say that skydivers were my first glimpse into the world of the unconventional — people who don’t necessarily follow the college > wedding > kids > retirement path. But that’s not entirely true; my FIRST encounter with this rare, live-the-dream specimen came in coastal South Carolina where I spent a year after college. The McLesters, Sarah and Donald, did have 9-5 jobs (which is where I met Sarah) but they didn’t at all subscribe to the mainstream idea of what life should be. They’d do crazy things like save up all their day-job cash to sail to the Bahamas for a few months, or drive broken-down heaps of junk up Peru, or drive a short bus around the world.

I’m not the only one who admires these two; Charleston-area brewery Freehouse Beer named one of their freaking beers Life of Don. “Named for a Wadmalaw Island adventurer and free spirit, the Life of Don is a summer frolic, a detour to a different place. Full of funky, bouquet-like aromas, it is both a smooth and complex summer beer. Life of Don just is.”

And here’s where we get to the relevance: The Icarus Trophy has launched in Washington this morning. It’s a 2-week, unsupported powered-paragliding race to California and Don McLester, complete air-sports newbie (aside from a tandem at Skydive Carolina), has learned and gotten certified just to compete. As he says, “I proudly include on my aerial resume that I have flown a number of jets as well as a helicopter and several smaller planes. Always as a passenger enjoying cocktails and treats while others did the heavy lifting of getting them off the ground and to the proper destination and a proper landing.”


Whether you care about Don or not (BUT YOU SHOULD), this should be an interesting one to watch — and there are tons of ways to follow along:

Read about all the pilots:
Follow on Twitter:
Facebook group chat:
Check out the race course:
Follow live GPS tracking:
Don’s entourage is on Periscope if that’s your jam:
Or a blog:

The Icarus Trophy race course map. From

The Icarus Trophy race course map. From


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