Second "Red Bull Flugtag London" lands in Hyde Park
Saturday, June 7, 2008
The Red Bull Flugtag, an event that is hosted by 55 cities around the world, today returned to London, England's Hyde Park for the second time in the event's history. Wikinews was at the waterside of The Serpentine to report on the events of the day.
The ticket-only event was last held in London in 2003. This year, 41 teams of inventors will be hoping to scoop one of the prizes on offer, with first prize being a choice of a full set of flying lessons (for one person), a group day out in an aerobatic aeroplane, or £5,000 (~$10,000 USD), along with the title of Red Bull Flugtag Champions 2008. Second prize is a choice of gliding lessons for the whole team, or £2,500 (~$5,000 USD). Third prize is a tandem parachute jump for the whole team, or £1,000 (~$2,000 USD).
The teams are required to launch their inventions - some of which are as wacky as a giant Trifle or an aerodynamic toilet - from a 6 metre ramp into The Serpentine. The teams are scored based on their distance flown, level of creativity, and entertainment value of their on-ramp pre-flight performance. The judges for this years' competition include Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel-Horwood, model Jodie Kidd, BBC Fame Academy judge Carrie Grant, and Red Bull Flugtag London 2003 winner Tim Simpson.
On arrival at the Media Area, with the judges in tow, competitors are preparing for their plunges! The weather is beautiful, and the public have turned out in force for the event. A large ramp dominates one end of the Serpentine, with large screens dotted around the venue.
The days entertainment has now begun, the large screens now filled with documentaries on the teams, hosts chatting, and team interviews live from the ground. The atmosphere is charged - people are ready for the day, which has turned out beautifully, sunshine with a cool breeze.
The first team, the Loo-ny Tunes, are on the ramp, performing their opening performance. Wikinews has a correspondent on The Serpentine to take photographs from a head-on angle, and a correspondent in the media area to bring updates as they happen - watch this space!
The Red Bull Flugtag 2008 has officially launched! The first team is ready on the ramp, giant screens displaying camera shots around Hyde Park - the emcees are on the ramp getting the crowd revved up for what promises to be a fantastic day of entertainment and humour. The judges are taking their positions in the pontoons - details of them are above!
After a good number of teams, the cloud has started to come in and the weather is getting colder - but that hasn't stopped 80,000 people turning out to watch these truly entertaining performances and nosedives! The scoring system has changed - please see the updated scoreboard below!
We have been treated to some sychronised swimming - undeterred by the building rain and the freezing cold of the Serpentine. The judges are currently showing off their bribes - including balloon sculptures, t-shirts, and alcohol!
As the next team plunges off the ramp, doing a backflip as they go, and with angels falling into the Serpentine, we reach the halfway point. The rain is holding off for now, although a cold breeze has come along. Wikinews is stationed inside the Media Area on the South bank of the Serpentine, with a perfect view of the ramp and a reply screen next to us - and we have a photographer out and around the site. More photos will be available after the event - as our bandwidth is limited here.
We have just had the longest distance flown today by The Cullinan Bird, gaining the maximum 30 points for distance (15 metres, however the glider flew much further than that).
The show is currently on hold due to a problem in the lake - they are unable to retrieve one of the flying machines. We are being treated to a kite show with music - and the crowd has a chance to use the extensive on-site facilities!
As the last competitors start plunging off the ramp, it's time for Wikinews to leave the scene! Below are the final scores that we caught with 5 competitors left to take the dive.
- Press Release: "Red Bull Flugtag Event Release" — , June 4, 2008