Three kiwi lads have recently returned from the other side of the world, after traveling 18100 kilometers to the Red Bull Paper Wings World Finals, in Salzburg, Austria.
Set against the idyllic backdrop of Red Bull Hanger 7, home to an incredible display F1 cars, helicopters and vintage aircraft, Red Bull Paper Wings brought together the worlds best paper plane pilots from 63 countries in a test of A4 skill and technique over three categories; Longest Airtime, Longest Distance, and Aerobatics.
The kiwi lads put up a valiant effort, with Richard Jeffcote (Canterbury), Max Betteridge (Massey, Palmerton North), and Josh Stewart (Otago), finishing 17th, 19th and 23rd respectively.
Richard put on a fantastic aerobatic display, opening with a blind dart fold and throw, before going on to a single loop and catch, and simultaneous double loops, to a great crowd reception and a solid score of 33. Richard qualified 10th at the time, however was unfortunately knocked back out of his super-finals-qualifying position by the final few participants.
Max threw a couple of personal bests, with 8.82s and 9.29s of hang time in each of his two qualifier attempts. Max too was placed within the top 10 at the time, but was bumped out as the competition intensified.
Josh threw some incredible practice darts, teaming up with his Australian and British counterparts to refine the ultimate aerodynamic design, while smashing is own personal bests with 50m to 60m throws while in training. Unfortunately he didn’t manage to cement a place in the final, as his best qualifier throw sailed into the roof, a disappointing result for Josh, but a motivator for him for next time!
No trip to Austria with Red Bull would be complete without some serious party time, and this was no exception. After the competition wrapped up each day, the competitors were treated to some of the best restaurants and clubs the city had to offer. All in all, Red Bull Paper Wings was about having some incredible times and meeting some incredible people, as so many nations, cultures, and languages came together around the humble paper plane. Bring on 2015!!
Results: Airtime: 1. Elie Chemaly (LIB), 2. Goekhan Emiroglu (TUR), 3. Robi Fiser (SLO); Aerobatics: 1. Tomasz Chodryra (POL), 1. Ryan Naccarato (USA), 3. Alfredo Ramirez (MEX); Distance: 1. Tomas Beck (CZE), 2. Almir Kisija (BOS), Jovica Kozlica (CRO); Team: Turkey.