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You saw them here first… Pierre and Maxime harness the race

Published on
19 June 2024

This edition of the X-Pyr there won’t be only rivalry for the podium between the second and third placed athletes in the last edition, but their harness designers also have been busily developing new, super-lightweight “submarine-style” harnesses for the hike & fly market.

Both Maxime Pinot and Pierre Remy will be showcasing and going head-to-head with their brand-new harnesses during the 2024 X-Pyr.

Pierre will be flying the Supair ALP, which the company says was the result of “a big reflexion for Supair to come back to high level competition in hike & fly. The idea was to adapt the concept of a ‘submarine-style’ to H&F equipment. The challenge was to develop a ‘user-friendly product’ with performance and optimised weight.

In pursuit of this goal, Supair has produced a commercially available harness which will be available to the public soon after the race. Pierre will be flying the first such available model, so the X-Pyr is the first time the public will be able to see how it looks and performs. The harness weights around 1.6 kg fully equipped, ready to race. The only thing needed is to connect the parachute.

To achieve the weight of the ALP, Supair had to choose the right material to have the best compromise between lightness and durability. This was a major consideration in the design, and the company says:

We wanted to design the good product to fit H&F pilots’ needs while being fully aerodynamic. It was quite tricky because we did not have another product to compare with during the development. We are very happy with the result”.

In terms of safety, the ALP features an inflatable protector, which also allows the harness to be more compact.

Maxime will be flying NEO’s Moonlight Pro Model. It is made-to-measure for him to optimise drag, weight, ease of use and the compactness in the backpack.

The French company said about the idea behind the design that:

“This harness is a first step into a global “high performance project” at NEO.  We are doing many tests this year aiming to get the best harness possible for hike and fly races. The main point we’ve been working on is the drag reduction, of course, but we also had to find solution to get something light and as easy-to-use as classical harness.

We’ve been doing more than 70 different 3D shapes with different settings that we’ve been numerically testing in CFD (computational fluid dynamics) to check the drag. Then we’ve selected the best one and did a prototype in our workshop in Annecy, did test flights with Max and did this loop all over again before getting the harness he will be flying at the X-Pyr!”

The harness weighs only 1.5k g, including the protector. This compares favourably with the Neo Stay Up Pro model he was flying at the X-Alps 2023.

To effect this weight reduction in this bespoke Pro model, Neo could do away with any buckles/system to adjust the settings of the harness, use ultra-light fabrics for the external shell but also ultra strong Dyneema fabrics in crucial parts (such as the seat and the bottom part of the shell), as H&F harnesses need to be very durable. Tim Alongi was recruited to do some tests in competitions, but the X-Pyr 2024 will be the real practical testing ground for this harness.

The protector is made of NEO Koroyd, which offers the best ratio between size/protection.

Both the ALP and Moonlight Pro are fully certified, as required by the X-Pyr rules.

We are excited to see how these two harnesses perform. Stay tuned for footage and race news. These two harnesses will give Pierre and Maxime the edge – but who will win the race?

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