SOURCE: Red Bull Flugtag USA

August 03, 2008 01:18 ET

Big Wheels, Big Crowd and Big...Balls?

Red Bull Flugtag Soars in Portland With Capacity Crowd of 80,000

PORTLAND, OR--(Marketwire - August 3, 2008) - More than 80,000 fans crowded Portland's riverbanks today for Red Bull Flugtag's triumphant return to the Rose City. Legos, pink Vikings and University of Oregon students took to the skies above the Willamette River, but it was Beaverton's Team Yakima who soared into first place with their larger-than-life Big Wheel craft, and in turn, won a trip to Salzburg, Austria, and a tour of Hangar-7 for the entire team.

Portland's own Greased Lightning screeched into second place with Danny, Sandy and the whole T-Bird gang wowing the judges with their off-off-off Broadway rendition of the seventies classic show tune and flight distance of 55 feet.

The judges saved some love for third place finishers, returning 2004 team, FreeBallin, whose theme was a throwback to basketball's glory days of short shorts, high socks and slam dunks. "There were so many people; it had to have blown 2004 out of the water...No matter what craft you're in and no matter what place you got, it was awesome!" said teammate Shon Boulden. One of the day's judges, Portland Trailblazer Channing Frye, seemed to share Boulden's feelings: "Honestly Red Bull Flugtag is one of the greatest, funniest things I've been associated with since I've been in Portland."

The crowd though sang the praises of People's Choice Award winner Team Space Balls with a whopping 6700 text votes!


While Portland packed in the crowds in 2004, today's event set a new local record as swarms of Oregonians came out to watch the brave, creative and often slightly crazy launch human-powered flying machines off a 30-foot ramp at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Though "Flugtag" means "flying day" in German, there weren't any average aviators today: a Chinese takeout box, a pot of gold and a giant wiener were just a few of the crafts that took to the skies.

While there has never been a limit on creativity, there were a few rules and regulations. First off, all flying machines had to be entirely human-powered (no external energy sources or stored power). Secondly, all crafts had to be less than 30 feet wide. And finally, no matter what they say, size does matter -- all crafts had to weigh no more than 450 lbs. (including the pilot).


The first Red Bull Flugtag took place in Vienna, Austria, in 1991. Since then, more than 40 Red Bull Flugtags have been held around the world -- from Ireland to San Francisco -- attracting nearly 300,000 spectators. The record for the farthest flight to date currently stands at 195 feet set in 2000 at Red Bull Flugtag Austria. The U.S. record stands at 155 feet set just last year at Red Bull Flugtag Nashville.

Portland marked the second stop on this year's Red Bull Flugtag national tour. The event visited Tampa Bay on July 19 and will make its final touchdown in Chicago on September 6.

For media information including interviews, please contact Ellie Applen at (310) 460-4532 or For hi resolution photos visit

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