Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tel Aviv Flugtag

You may have seen the commercials – oddly dressed people pushing makeshift flying contraptions off a platform to their imminent crash into water below. I’m referring of course to Red Bull Flugtag (German for Flight Day). Flugtag is a traveling competition held by Red Bull in cities all around the world. Two days after my Birthright trip ended, a group of friends and I headed to Tel Aviv’s Park HaYarkon to watch the Tel Aviv Flugtag.
The competition is judged on three aspects distance, creativity and showmanship. The distance means how far from the edge of the platform the flying craft get. Creativity speaks for itself, and showmanship relates to the performance that each team puts on before launching their craft.
The day was a scorcher, and shade limited. We arrived about an hour early and had ourselves a picnic as we watched teams across the lake prepare for “flight”. The event was well attended – they were expecting upwards of 50,000, but I am not sure if it reached that level. The festivities took off (great pun) about an hour late, which was not appreciated, as we sat out baking. When things did get going, we they were pretty amusing. Many of the teams did not put a lot into their performances, but the crafts were well designed. Most gliders looked as though they were doomed for failures from the get go and that they were going nowhere. Others looked promising, but they too did not impress on the distance. There were a few clear malfunctions – the builders had intended their gliders to come off the bases, and when they didn’t there were major crashes with limited distance.
Although Flugtag was fun, the turnover of the teams took a frustratingly long time. Each craft had to be pulled out of the water, which took a while, and even when this was done, there were delays between launches. Between the heat and the delays, we became a bit impatient and decided to leave in the middle of the event after Angry Birds, who I must say had an awesome presentation including costumes, walls and eggs.
Here are some pics from the day and a video that pretty much sums up Tel Aviv Flugtag 2011:

Flips on its side to fail as a glider
Christmas tree in Israel

Kibutz puts together Cow on Water Tower - watch the video link below for an awesome crash.

 Angry Birds - great and funny performance (also in video below) - almost successful flight.

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