Red Bull Flugtag: Behind the building process
After making trips around the world, Red Bull Flugtag brings competitors to Louisville Saturday. Teams from around the nation will launch their homemade craft across the Ohio River. Before that, WDRB caught up with some of them during crunch time.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After making trips around the world, Red Bull Flugtag is bringing competitors to Louisville Saturday.
Teams from around the nation will launch their homemade craft across the Ohio River. Before that, WDRB caught up with some of them, during crunch time.
Calling all thrill seekers, the fearless and the wacky. Red Bull Flugtag promises shenanigans and lasting memories. One team got to work several months ago in the backyard of a friend's house.
"When you have an event like Red Bull Flugtag -- that doesn't come around, it's almost a once-in-a-generation event, and for Louisville to get it is a really big deal," Kenny Colston said, Team Captain of Thrilla in Lou-villa.
The group submitted its idea back in March.
"We're inspired by Muhammad Ali, and so for our craft, we thought we'd take his famous saying, 'float like a butterfly and sting like a bee; and modify it and just try to float like a flugtag, right?"
Of hundreds of applications, theirs was one of just 40 approved. The real work on what is now known as "Thrilla in Lou-villa" started months later.
"I've never taken an engineering class before, but you're supposed to balance things out, make sure they're level. That's just not stuff I deal with on a daily basis," Colston said.
They're using their work for good, selling wrist bands that will benefit the Ali Center. They hope their creativity and attitude are a winning combination.
"Maybe just a strong wind will take us and you never know, when it comes to bees, sometimes they go down and they pick right back up. So, we're just hoping that we'll have a little bit of luck and if not, we know we'll be the most stylish," Colston said.
The teams will travel off a 22-foot-high flight deck in front of thousands. The goal is to break the 258-foot distance record, set in 2013. It's a feat that Crosley Brand employees said they're prepared to do.
"Our craft is supposed to be a vinyl record but it also kind of looks like a UFO," Jason Menard said, marketing director of Vinyl Frontier.
Their team has been building and practicing in their garage and they're hoping this parachute will get the job done.
"The two pushers in the front -- they're going to have to go in the water, and the pushers in the back are going to be have to commit to all the way to the edge of the pier. Just run as fast as you can and commit and hopefully it flies," Menard said.
Forty outrageous craft will be trying to take to the sky with each team member behind it ready to impress.
"Well, to be completely honest, we've been hitting the weights and practicing a lot, and we're just hoping that we all of us are really strong guys, and we're just going to push so hard that it just goes," Colston said.
It will be a day of friendly competition.
"When other teams have said, 'we're going to win.' What I like to tell them is a famous Ali quote which is, 'if you even dream of beating us, you better wake up and apologize,'" Colston said.
They said regardless of what happens, they're all just happy to be a part of something so big, happening so close to home.
"We were super-stoked when we found out Flugtag was going to be in Louisville this year...instead of Chicago or Portland or another big city. So, it was something we jumped on immediately," Menard said.
Teams are judged based on flight distance, creativity and showmanship. There's also a people's choice award that you can vote on. For more information, click here. Gates open Saturday at 11 a.m. at Waterfront Park. The first craft launches after 12 p.m. It's free and open to the public.
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