The scene was packed with everyone from the young to the young at heart with roaring cheers heard for miles. Judged on distance, creativity and showmanship, these wacky, fun loving crews inevitably all took the plunge, but it was returning 2008 champions who surfaced with the title. From Tampa Bay Watch in ’08 to Willy Wonka’s Amazing Flying Flugtag Adventure, they continued their winning ways to take the title yet again.
Plunging to the Podium
With a hint of luck, a swirl of spirit and the most famous chocolate connoisseur behind them, there was no stopping these reigning Tampa Bay champions. Willy Wonka’s Amazing Flying Flugtag Adventure flew their scrumdidlyumptious flying machine into the history books with two wins. “We weren’t sure we could fly and the pressure as reigning champions was incredible,” said team pilot Keith Humphrey who was joined on the podium by his trusty Oompa Loopa crew- Kevin Riley, Dave West and Christopher Elmore. “We went good distance despite the winds and are just so excited to take the title again.”
Team BigStuff took Back to the Future to a whole new level when they launched their Danny McFly inspired DeLorean off the flight deck and into a second place finish with high creativity scores from the judges. The U.S.A Team wasn’t pittin’ the fool today when they took the podium for third place and a special place in Judge Evan Longoria’s heart as his favorite team of the day.
The crowd did more than cheer as soaring crafts and future Top Ten Best Crash List nominees rolled off the flight deck. The SMS voting for “People’s Choice Award” went to Stumble Force, a local Tampa team. “We just went all out with everything and just had fun,” said James Bell team member. “We knew what the people wanted to see and put as much work into marketing our team as we did our craft.”
Going the Distance
The teams had to blow away the panel of celebrity judges, including Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay Rays), Lexi Thompson (youngest LPGA winner), Ryan Nece (former NFL player), Jaime Edmonson (PlayBoy Playmate), MJ (93.3 Morning Show host) and Tarah Gieger (female motocross rider). “It was fun, it was exciting, we saw creativity and craziness with teams just going out on a limb enjoying life and having a great time,” said Ryan Nece. “This is what Red Bull Flugtag is all about and I was honored to be a part of it.”
Tampa Bay was the only US Red Bull Flugtag this year, but this wild and crafty competition has deep Austrian roots with the first flying day held in Vienna in 1991. Since then, more than 90 Red Bull Flugtags have been held around the world from Rome to San Francisco. While the winds were strong today the world record stood even stronger, with a distance of 207 feet which was set last year in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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