Close to Home : A look at the Red Bull Flugtag, Sydney

One of the many fitness-related things you can do locally.

Bean's Green Flying Machine
Bean's Green Flying Machine. And no, it didn't.
This month Blaine and I will be taking a look at the many fitness-related things you can do locally. Kicking things off, I'll be talking about yesterday's Red Bull Flugtag, Sydney. A day in the sun by Sydney Harbour? Perfect.

The Red Bull Flugtag ('Flying Day') has become a regular event in many parts of the world. It involves teams of people constructing home-made 'aircraft' (and I use the term very loosely), and launching themselves from a ramp above the water.

Some of them make 10 metres*; most of them manage 2 or 3. That isn't really the point.

Why do people do it?

Good question. The competitors all have reasonable levels of strength, intelligence and foolhardiness. Of these, I suspect 'foolhardiness' is the major component.

Quite simply - they do it because it's fun.

Why do people watch?

I must admit, it feels a little odd to watch an event without the usual expectations. With most things I see, the person who lifts the most, runs the fastest, swims the smoothest etc is generally the winner. In the case of the Flugtag, it's quite different. All competitors have crowd support.

I want to watch one. When is the next Flugtag near me?

There are regular Flugtags held in over 20 cities across the globe. In addition to the event listings on this site, this dynamic calendar keeps a pretty close eye on the German events.

Looking for more?

If you want to take a look at the event itself, here are a few of the many places to check out :

More photos and video on the way.

Final thoughts on the Red Bull Flugtag

I love watching amateur events such as this - where competitors take part simply because they enjoy it. After all, isn't that the perfect thinking behind any sport or activity?

* If you're wondering, the record is an astonishing 60m, set in Austria 8 years ago. Most competitors don't travel anywhere near that distance.

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Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 37) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

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