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From the Beginning

In from the beginning - and often in front! ADVANCE and the X-Alps – a combination with a series of successes to its credit since 2003. Two wins, a second place, and a truckload of know-how gained; to find its way into serial products.
Picture: Andreas Busslinger

Whoever would like to get involved in the most important paraglider competition in the world has to subject his products to the highest demands. This is the challenge that ADVANCE has taken up without a break since 2003, and entry was soon rewarded with a podium place in 2005: Urs Lötscher was the second pilot to reach Monaco.

2003 bis 2007: Lötscher, Eichholzer and Morillas

  • Urs Lötscher, zweiter Rang 2007
  • SIGMA 6 Xalps
  • Heli Eichholzer
  • Omega Xalps Proto 2007
  • Ramon Morillas
  • Ramon Morillas

Now, ten years later, the X-Alps is not much like the first race. Then, it seemed enough for ADVANCE to make a SIGMA from light cloth: today the total equipment is specially developed for the event. Company boss Rolf Zeltner sees it like this: “At the beginning we worked in kilos. Today we count every gram”. ADVANCE and its pilots are presented with this challenge anew, each time.

At the beginning we worked in kilos. Today it’s grams.

Rolf Zeltner

It was no less than Chrigel Maurer who had meticulously prepared and questioned everything for his debut in 2009. He personally exercised the greatest influence in developing his equipment, and, in ADVANCE, found a partner who shared his sense of perfection. Finally there was a harness without a seatboard and the first purpose-built collection of complete equipment on the scales – less than 10kgs. This aroused so much interest that at the next X-Alps one third of the pilots had changed to a light harness. Chrigel’s harness went into production as the LIGHTNESS and founded a whole harness generation - one of today’s enduring ADVANCE successes.

2009 to 2011: Chrigel Maurer, perfectionist with Great Expectations

  • X-Alps OMEGA Proto 2009
  • X-Alps LIGHTNESS Proto 2009
  • Sieg für Chrigel und ADVANCE
  • Picture: Michel Ferrer / LIGHTPACK, optimal abgestimmt

But that was not enough: even the ADVANCE PI is an indirect X-Alps offspring. Light wing prototypes served Chrigel Maurer and Thomas Theurillat as rehearsal equipment during their preparations for X-Alps 2011. It’s no surprise that Thomas stayed with his and followed Chrigel into goal with a PI. Today a complete PI set up, including rucksack and harness, can weigh in at 3.14 kgs.

The lightweight trend was given its decisive impetus by X-Alps development. For ADVANCE this means developing wings and harnesses that are resilient as well as light, so that pilots can enjoy the Hike&Fly adventure with ideally-suited equipment that lasts. In other words, top quality at the best possible weight.

The rucksack has become important. It has to be an integral part of the equipment. Today, ADVANCE delivers a purpose-designed rucksack with each harness.

For an X-Alps tour everything has to fit; wing, harness and rucksack must go perfectly together. X-Alps experience has been game-changing. Something of every scrap of knowledge gained by the venture finds its way, somehow, into the serial product. So today ADVANCE offers a rucksack that goes perfectly with its harness. 

2015: Title Defender Maurer & Rookie Huber - The Show must go on!

  • Title Defender and Rookie
  • The Interview
  • Team Training
  • Harness Protype 2015

ADVANCE still cannot include the necessary quantum of luck on a regular basis - but the better your equipment the less luck you need. ADVANCE continues to stand for these values, and wishes Chrigel Maurer and Sebastian Huber the best of good fortune and success this year!


X-Alps Series 2015