Rules and Regulations

Updated 30 March 2020


X–BERG CHALLENGE 2021

PARAGLIDER vs. RUNNER vs. CYCLIST
The following is subject to change without notice.

17 – 22 March 2021 (4-day Extreme event)
19 - 22 March 2021 (2-day Mini event)


1. OVERVIEW

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 pre-set race route across the Drakensberg. The length of the route may differ from race to race (i.e. between 2012 and 2021) but will be around 90 km - 180 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. 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 downloadable from the website under "ROUTE / GPX". A proposed route for the mountain bikers and trail runners is also given. This route will be along existing single track/paths 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 mountain bikers are to only use public roads and jeep tracks within Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife areas and not footpaths to navigate their route. All competitors are to adhere to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Rules.

1.4 All decisions regarding the organization and running of X-BERG CHALLENGE are made by the Race Committee. The Race Committee consists of: Linda Willemse, Pierre Carter and Alistair Stuart.

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. ENTRY CONDITIONS, FORMATS & REQUIREMENTS

2.1 ENTRY
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 Trail Running, Mountain Biking and Paragliding)

SINGLE DISCIPLINE SOLO or TEAM (Completing the route by sticking to only one of the disciplines.):
Trail Running
Mountain Biking
Paragliding (Hike & Fly)
Note: A Single Discipline athlete/team is able to win the overall event and can be 1st / 2nd / 3rd in their Single Discipline class.

MIXED DISCIPLINE SOLO or TEAM:
Combining either trail running, mountain biking (not E-Biking) and/or paragliding to complete the route only changing discipline at official turn points.
Note: A Mixed Discipline athlete/team is able to win the overall event and can be 1st / 2nd / 3rd in Mixed Discipline class.

RE-LAY DISCIPLINE SOLO or TEAM:
Combining either trail running, mountain biking (not E-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.

E-BIKE DISCIPLINE SOLO or TEAM:
Participants in this category are to E-Bike the entire route and not mix it with any other discipline/s.
Note: An E-Bike Discipline athlete/team is NOT able to win the overall event, however, they can be 1st / 2nd / 3rd in E-Bike Discipline class.

E-BIKE MIXED / RE-LAY SOLO or TEAM - own category.

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.

Please note teams and individuals must declare their selected category at race registration.  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 section.

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. This insurance should cover you for the sport discipline/s you are doing in the race as well as include medical as well as search & rescue evacuation. 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.

2.5.1 PROCEDURES FOR A MEDICAL EMERGENCY
Should an Athlete have a medical emergency, the Race Director should be notified first. Depending on the severity of the emergency, the Race Director will co-ordinate medical assistance needed either with the Officer in Charge at the National Park, or Mountain Rescue Service and /or Medical Services on standby.

Medically Qualified race assistant/s, second/s and / or fellow Athletes are to assists if they are on the scene of any incident. They should report the situation immediately to the Race Director, who will then action as above.

All athletes, seconds and race assistants will receive the contact details for emergencies at registration. This is on their Race Tags that they should wear on them at all times throughout the race.

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 RE-SUPPLY BOX SERVICE & POINTS
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 lid. 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 (please request this service upon entry).

2.7.3 Re-supply Points 2021   

AVAILABLE FOR EXTREME RACE

Re-supply point 1 – Base of Mike’s Pass (not at Didima Lodge Reception or at the Didima Camping Ground)

Re-supply point 2 – Mnweni Cultural Village Reception area

Re-supply point 3 – Base of Mike’s Pass (not at Didima Lodge Reception or at the Didima Camping Ground)

Re-supply point 4 - Monk’s Cowl Ezemvelo Gate Car Park area

 

AVAILABLE FOR MINI RACE

Re-supply point 4 - Monk’s Cowl Ezemvelo Gate Car Park area.

3. RACE SCHEDULE

3.1 Dates and times for the 4-day Extreme X-Berg Challenge Race 2021:

Wednesday, 17 March 2021
Venue: El Mirador Airfield, Champagne Bistro at the airfield, Champagne Valley, Central Drakensberg, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa
Registration 16h00-18h00
Race briefing 18h00-19h00
Briefing dinner 19h00 (included for athletes / pre-book for supporters)
Accommodation for own account throughout event. Recommend staying in the Champagne Valley (own account) - suggested accommodation at Monk’s Cowl Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (camping) or Mountain Splendour Eco Resort or Inkosana Lodge or Champagne Sports Resort.

Thursday, 18 March 2021
Venue: Venue: El Mirador Airfield, Champagne Bistro at the airfield, Champagne Valley, Central Drakensberg, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa
Start 07h00 am
Race day 1

Friday, 19 March 2021
Race day 2

Saturday, 20 March 2021
Race day 3

Sunday, 21 March 2021
Race day 4
Finish venue: Venue: El Mirador Airfield, Drakensberg Brewery at the airfield, Champagne Valley, Central Drakensberg, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa
Finish cut-off time 16h30 pm
Prize giving 16h30 for 17h00: Drakensberg Brewery at the airfield (dinner included for athletes / please pre-book dinner for supporters)
Accommodation for own account throughout event. Recommend staying in the Champagne Valley (own account) - suggested accommodation at Monk’s Cowl Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (camping) or Mountain Splendour Eco Resort or Inkosana Lodge or Champagne Sports Resort.

Monday, 22 March 2021 (public holiday in South Africa)
Optional Post-race breakfast 09h00 am in Champagne Valley for those wanting to join (own account).


3.2 Dates and times for the 2-day Mini X-Berg Challenge Race 2021:

Friday, 19 March 2021
Venue: Venue: El Mirador Airfield, Champagne Bistro at the airfield, Champagne Valley, Central Drakensberg, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa
Registration 16h00-18h00
Race briefing 18h00-19h00
Briefing dinner 19h00 (included for athletes / pre-book for supporters)
Accommodation for own account throughout event. Recommend staying in the Champagne Valley (own account) - suggested accommodation at Monk’s Cowl Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (camping) or Mountain Splendour Eco Resort or Inkosana Lodge or Champagne Sports Resort.

Saturday, 20 March 2021
Venue:  Venue: El Mirador Airfield, Champagne Bistro at the airfield, Champagne Valley, Central Drakensberg, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa
Start 07h00 am
Race day 1

Sunday, 21 March 2021
Race day 2
Finish venue: Drakensberg Brewery at the airfield, Champagne Valley, Central Drakensberg
Finish cut-off time 16h30 pm
Prize giving 16h30 for 17h00: Drakensberg Brewery at the airfield (dinner included for athletes / please pre-book dinner for supporters)
Accommodation for own account throughout event. Recommend staying in the Champagne Valley (own account) - suggested accommodation at Monk’s Cowl Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (camping) or Mountain Splendour Eco Resort or Inkosana Lodge or Champagne Sports Resort.

Monday, 22 March 2021 (public holiday in South Africa)
Optional Post-race breakfast 09h00 am in Champagne Valley for those wanting to join (own account).

3.3 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.

3.4 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 boxes 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 take an uninterrupted rest from 23h:00 till 05h:00. Athletes still moving after 23h:00 or before 05h:00 will be subject to a minimal time 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

6.1 A Paraglider 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 – PLUS Minimum equipment (see 6.8).

6.2.2 Cyclists, at least one bike, one helmet, one mobile phone, one GPS-Tracking-Device – PLUS Minimum equipment (see 6.8).

6.2.3 Runners, one mobile phone, one GPS‐Tracking­‐Device – PLUS Minimum equipment (see 6.8).

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 Each team is responsible for its own track log & navigation device.

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 LIST

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

Minimum 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)

Paper map of area, if you feel you require one

Whistle


7. ROUTE (GPS co-ordinates)

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 for the 2021 X-Berg Extreme Challenge 4-day race are:

There are 10 turn points plus the Start and Finish points.

  • Straight line distance from Turn Point to Turn Point = 137 km (this is as the crow flies)
  • If Trail Running you can expect to cover between 150 km (this depends on your route finding)
  • If Mountain Biking you can expect to cover 345 km (this depends on your route finding)
  • Elevation gains 8,000 m Mountain Biking and 7,000 m Trail Running
  • Straight line distance approx. 137km

Start: El Mirador Airfield, Champagne Bistro at the airfield, Champagne Valley, Central Drakensberg, GPS: S28° 59.346' - E29° 28.515’ - by crossing the finish line

TP 1: Point above Drakensberg Sun Hotel, Radius 1.5km - GPS: S29 1.620 - E29 23.281

TP 2: Point at bottom of Organ Pipes, Radius 3km - GPS: S29 0.596 - E29 11.323

TP 3: Point near Mnweni cutback, Radius 11.5km - GPS: S28 57.105 - E28 57.818

TP 4: Point near entrance to Mnweni Valley, Radius 4km - GPS: S28 52.479 - E29 11.397

TP 5: Radius point up uMlabonja Valley Cathedral, Radius 3.1km - GPS: S28 56.554 - E29 09.646

TP 6: Point near entrance to Valley of the Pools, Cathedral Valley, Radius 1.5km - GPS: S28 57.206 - E29 18.046

TP 7: Point between Jacobs Ladder and Arthur Seat, Radius 1km - GPS: S28 57.291 - E29 21.221

TP 8: Point behind Monks Cowl, Radius 1.5km - GPS: S29 3.535 - E29 23.104

TP 9: Point near Injisuthi Camp, Radius 4km - GPS: S29 7.470 - E29 23.929

TP 10: Point near Ardmore, Radius 3km - GPS: S29 1.998 - E29 30.455

Finish: El Mirador Airfield, Drakensberg Brewery at the airfield, Champagne Valley, Central Drakensberg, GPS: S28° 59.346' - E29° 28.515’ - by crossing the finish line.

For GPX/GPS tracks and suggested routes contact us: info@BHandE.com

 

7.3 The turn points for the 2021 X-Berg Mini Challenge 2-day race are:

There are 5 turn points plus the Start and Finish points.

  • Straight line distance from Turn Point to Turn Point = 66 km (this is as the crow flies)
  • If Trail Running you can expect to cover between 75 km (this depends on your route finding)
  • If Mountain Biking you can expect to cover 190 km (this depends on your route finding)
  • Elevation gains 4,500 m Mountain Biking and 3,200 m Trail Running

Start: El Mirador Airfield, Champagne Bistro at the airfield, Champagne Valley, Central Drakensberg, GPS: S28° 59.346' - E29° 28.515’ - by crossing the finish line.
TP A (TP 1): Point above Drakensberg Sun Hotel, Radius 1.5km - GPS: S29 1.620 - E29 23.281

TP B (TP 6): Point near entrance to Valley of the Pools, Cathedral Valley, Radius 1.5km - GPS: S28 57.206 - E29 18.046

TP C (TP 7): Point between Jacobs Ladder and Arthur Seat, Radius 1km - GPS: S28 57.291 - E29 21.221

TP D (TP 8): Point behind Monks Cowl, Radius 1.5km - GPS: S29 3.535 - E29 23.104

TP E (TP 9): Point near Injisuthi Camp, Radius 4km - GPS: S29 7.470 - E29 23.929

TP F (TP 10): Point near Ardmore, Radius 3km - GPS: S29 1.998 - E29 30.455

Finish: El Mirador Airfield, Drakensberg Brewery at the airfield, Champagne Valley, Central Drakensberg, GPS: S28° 59.346' E29° 28.515’ - by crossing the finish line.

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.

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.

For GPX/GPS tracks and suggested routes contact us: 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 15 sec 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.

8.4.1 Paragliders:
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.

8.4.2 Runners:
On the ground, a speed of 5 m/s must not appear for more than 10 minutes

8.4.3 Cyclists:
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 analyse 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 kilometres missing to the goal of the event.

*Number of kilometres 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 kilometres 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.

11. Cancellation and Refund policy:

Medical and evacuation insurance is compulsory (for own account).

11.1 Full entry fee is due within 72 hours of entry. We reserve the right to cancel your entry if payment has not been received timeously.
11.2 Once entered and paid up, you may substitute your entry with another athlete at R300 per person up to 7 working days before the event (08 March 2021). Substitution have to be done in writing to info@bhande.com and payment need to be received within 24 hrs of the substitution. The athlete taking your place should complete the online registration on the same day.
11.3 Cancellations 31 days or more before the event: entry fee is refundable less R850 cancellation fee. Cancellations have to be done in writing to info@bhande.com
11.4 Cancellations 30 days or less is 100% non-refundable and not transferable to a future event.
11.5 If the race is cancelled due to terrorism, acts of god, natural disasters, or any unforeseen reasons etc., the organizers will make every effort to refund as much of the entry fee as possible to the athletes. Though, you should be aware that any refunds will be made after event costs have been taken into consideration. Given the high number of fixed costs associated with organizing the event any refund is likely to be minimal. The race is not to be re-scheduled.