Today is the day that everyone has been waiting for. Everything seems to be in place, even the weather has turned out favorably. This lovely town of Sulden in South Tyrol has woken up to a beautiful sunny day in March. This is the day when Armin Senoner is going to attempt to beat Francois Bon's 2006 speed riding world record. The air is already full of tension and everyone, who has been working hard towards this event in which the Italian sportsman is attempting this dangerous mission, is more than excited to finish off the last touches.
As Armin appears on the balcony, he looks longingly towards the mountains and the clouds. He seems rather nervous but that's understandable. What might he be thinking of right now? Perhaps he thinks about the past events, the preparations, the consistent hard training, or the LYO food diet which he has strictly stuck to. However, the latter one shouldn't have been an issue as this diet is varied, tasty and can easily be prepared on the mountains whilst at training too. Nonetheless, Armin is now completely focusing on the event. Then, it is time to try his new wing sent especially produced for this world record attempt by Swing Paragliders, which he would like to try out once more before the trail. Afterwards, there is only one more action to be taken, which is to fit his professional, X-BIONIC suit of a unique design for this special encounter.
Armin's manager, Bartolomeus Kohl is having his last talks with the film crew, who will be documenting the attempt. Then soon after the cameramen place the GoPro cameras onto Armin's skies as the key to a successfully document film is that the best image gets captured, therefore it is necessary to film from the speed rider's own angle as well as to rely on the external cameras.
During the last minute preparations the photographers get into position too. It has really paid off spending the last couple of days researching the best location so they can encapsulate the most beautiful images.
In the meantime, member of the FAI have arrived to finish validating all the equipment worn. The team of digitalalps.it is very excited to follow the steps taken by the FAI, as after all, they have provided every support technically, and they are also responsible of the GPS recommended, as it was specifically made to use in aero sports to measure speed, as well as to gather data. Other than the GPS factor, a multifunctional Smart-watch is also necessary to be used and to control the experience. This item also includes a GPS function, so enables to calibrate the tools by the team of engineers.
During the final preparations on the top of the mountains, Pilot Maurizio Folini is taking good care of checking the safety of the helicopter down below. Although the technical team has done their checks in advance, it is the pilot's responsibility to inspect the inside of the helicopter, examine the fuel level and the main parts. He also needs to make sure there is no frozen ice or snow on the propellers.
No one is waiting around, not even the rescue team of the Alpinschule Ortler who is responsible for Armin's safety during extreme circumstances. Before they leave to their position, they have to do their final tests by operating the RECCO avalanche technology too.
RECCO reflectors what Armin’s racing suit also includes, the mountain rescuers placed at various points in the snow, and the hand-held detectors to sweep the area, and send out a search signal to search for reflectors placed in the snow. In case of emergency with help of sophisticated radar technology the maximum range of this system is 200 m through air, and 30 m through snow.
In order to support the speedrider's safety, the mountain rescuers are carefully considering every step and always ready for action.
Once the technical support team has done all the tests with all equipment, the attention turn back on Armin. The always smiley Armin is so composed and focused as he gets into the cable car, which then takes him to the base camp in the foothills of the Königspitze. Although he has done this journey many times, on this occasion this trip seems to take forever nonetheless Armin treats this trip just like it was a routine day of his and lets his thoughts take over his mind.
Maurizio, his pilot friend and the rescue team are waiting for him to board the helicopter at the base camp. It seems as if his manager is about to give his last prep talk but actually he is just sending some encouraging words to him. Nevertheless no one can hear this now it's becoming too noisy here. Finally Armin manages to pack up his Salomon skies in to the helicopter and boards the aircraft.
The helicopter has now taken off and is ready to transfer Armin to the 3859 meter high Königspitze. As soon as they land on the top of the mountain, Armin starts to prepare the skies and wing into position, there is no way he would lose focus now. The build-up has been huge, he is filled with full of adrenalin and realizes his time has come. There is no one else in this universe right now, just him and the mountain to take on. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…