Fun in the Sun at the Amaxa Xathlon!
The Amaxa X-Athlon is held annually in July on the weekend of "Umi-no-hi" or "Ocean Day" in Kuratake Town, Amakusa City, Kumamoto Prefecture, JAPAN. The X-Athlon is a multi-sport race that includes sea kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, mountain biking, trail running and paragliding. We have developed exciting and challenging race courses for each of these disciplines. We cordially invite athletes from around Japan and overseas to participate in the Amaxa X-Athlon.
Registration is open from April 1st to mid May.
Register early to guarantee your spot!
＊Summer Fun for family and friends
This year`s X-Athlon is not only for athletes but for family and friends too. The main venue for the Amaxa X-Athlon is Ebisu Beach; a beautiful white sand beach located in the historical village of Kuratake. At the beach you can enjoy: watching paragliders flying and landing on the beach, sea kayak and SUP workshops, live music and dancing, locally produced food, a BBQ (evening), swimming and relaxing.
What exactly is Amaxa X-Athlon?
The Xathlon is a challenging outdoor multi-sport race created mainly for the adventurous intermediate-level athlete. Push your limits while kayaking, paddleboarding, mountain biking, trail running and paragliding in Amaxa's beautiful mountains, sea and sky. Participants are welcome to join as few or as many events as they want. Become the ultimate X-Athlete by competing in the maximum possible four events. Team participation is also possible.
Here is a brief summary of the outdoor sports and their race courses as featured in the X-Athlon:
Sea kayaking/SUP (8.4km)
Start at Ebisu beach and weave your way around some beautiful uninhabited islands before returning to the beach. The sea kayak and SUP races take place simultaneously, on the same course.
Ready your lungs for a long and demanding climb from the beach to the summit of Mt.Yahazu, then hold on tight as you negotiate a technical downhill single track. Descend a twisty forest road at breakneck speed, then cruise along the seacoast back to the beach.
Trail Run (4.9km)
Don't let the short distance fool you, this is a difficult course! Run from the beach through the idyllic, rock wall lined village of Tanasoko. Enter the welcome shade of the forest and continue the grind up a hiking trail to the paragliding launch, 455m above sea level. Enjoy the view and watch paragliders take off from the trail run finish!
Soar high above the hamlets, islands and mountains while attempting to fly around 18 preset pylon points. Finish your flight by hitting the target at Ebisu Beach.
Contact and Inquiries
Amaxa Xathlon Committee e-mail address: kuratakepara[at-mark]yahoo.co.jp
Please feel free to write us in English!
- 1. Description of the different racing styles:
The race includes five different disciplines: sea kayaking or SUP, mountain biking, trail running and paragliding.
The Full Entry Category is when one person does all disciplines.
The Team Category consists of 2 to 4 people. On a team, it is possible for one person to do up to 3 different disciplines.
The winners of the sea kayak/SUP race, mountain bike race, and trail running race are determined by time. However, the winner of the paragliding race is determined by the number of pylons obtained as well as the target points at the beach.
The 2 km sea kayak/ SUP Challenge Course is a completely separate race and can’t be used in conjunction with the Full Entry Category or the Team Category.
- 2. Race Course
In the sea kayak/ SUP, mountain bike, trail run course, there are check points that must be passed between the start and the goal. The route that the athletes take between these check points is completely free. Please refer to the course maps for more details.
The paragliding race winner’s ranking is decided by the number of pylons the flyers are able to take during their flight, as well as the points from the beach target. There is no time limit to the flight and the route the pilots take between points is completely up to each pilot. The final landing area where target points are obtainable is at Ebisu Beach. However, there are 7 different emergency landing areas, and so long as the pilots land in one of these areas, there are no penalties.
Although there is no time limit to the paragliding flight, we do record the time of take off and the time when the pilot enters the landing cylinder. In the case of a tie, the winner is determined by the shortest time.
Please refer to the paragliding pylon course map for more details.
- 1. Sea kayak/ SUP course
The start and the goal of these races is Ebisu Beach.
The race goes around the uninhabited islands of Hirase Island, Hyotan Island, Kusumori Island. There are 2 check points along this 8.4 km circuit, the westernmost point of Hyotan Island is check point A1, the the southernmost point of Kusumori Island is check point A2. There will be sets of buoys at each checkpoint where the paddlers will be expected to go between. There will be boats monitoring visually at each checkpoint. In order to assist our staff, please shout out your bib number when passing through these check points.
There will be a 30 minute time penalty if an athlete fails to pass a check point. In the case of 2 missed checkpoints, the athlete will be penalized with a 90 minute time penalty. Near the goal on the left side (west side) of the beach, there is a buoy which athletes must paddle around. If the athlete is unable to go around this buoy, they will be penalized with a five minute time penalty.
Besides these buoys that must be passed, the course is free and there are no other direction signs. It is the responsibility of each athlete to choose the course in between. It is possible to gain quite an advantage if the athlete chooses their course cleverly, using the wind and the current to their advantage.
This freedom of course is what makes the Amaxa Xathlon special and unique.
Next is an outline of the course. It is recommended to read this description while looking at the course map.
Starting at the beach, paddle through the opening in the net that encloses the beach on the left side. Turn right by 90 degrees, and paddle in a southwest direction. Aiming for Hyotan Island, which is approximately 3 km away, cross the straight and pass by Hirase island on your left. In one kilometer you will pass by the Challenge Course buoy which is located 200 m from the westernmost point of Hirase Island. This buoy is not a checkpoint, but it is a good course marker as it is on the way to Checkpoint A1. Pass by this buoy and continue in a southwesterly direction for 2 km to Checkpoint A1.
May special attention when crossing between the beach and Hirase Island, and the strait between Hirase Island and Kusumori Island as the boat traffic is heavy. Also, watch out for strong currents and wind once you leave the shore. When paddling toward the westernmost point of Hyotan Island, it is a good idea to orient yourself by looking at the islands on your horizon (Hyotan Island, Dateku Island, Maki Island, and Shishi Island), in order not to get off course.
Once you pass Checkpoint A1 on the westernmost point of Hyotan Island, make an 80 degree left turn and aim for the southernmost point of the island shaped like a mini Mt.Fuji (Kusumori Island). In contrast to the open crossing you just completed, now you will enter an inland sea with many small islands. Here, there are also many boats passing through, so it is a good idea to stay out of their path by hugging the left coastline.
Checkpoint A2 is at the mouth of this small strait. Once you pass by this point, you will make a 60 degree left turn and continue in a northeast direction. In approximately 350m you will pass between the coast and a fish farm.
As you pass by the easternmost point of Kusumori Island, adjust your direction to go basically north toward the southernmost point of Hirase Island. As you cross the large strait, be careful not to get swept off course. There is no checkpoint by Hirase Island, so feel free to go on either the right or the left side of the island. The distance to the beach is basically the same no matter which direction you go, so do your best to assess the wind and the tide and choose whichever direction you like.
Cross from the northernmost point of Hirase Island and return to the beach. As you once again enter the beaches` net, you must pass to the left of a buoy before you reach the goal. If you go on the right side of this buoy your time will be docked 5 minutes.
Once you reach the beach, your finishing time is calculated when you cross through the Amaxa Xathlon gate. (feel free to leave your equipment at the beach, and run to the goal)
- 2. The Sea Kayak and SUP Challenge Course