Nabeeh, Afrah and “Champi” Nihan will represent Maldives in the Global finals of Red Bull Paper Wings 2015

The youthful trio of Ahmed Nabeel, Ali Afrah and Yoosuf “champi” Niham won the first Red Bull Paper Wings qualifiers in the Maldives and booked their place to compete in the Word finals.

More than 550 self-trained pilots took on stage to show their skills on developing the perfect paper rocket, but Ahmed Nabeel, Ali Afrah and Yoosuf “champi” Niham produced the most exceptional paper rockets to win the 3 categories in the first ever Red Bull paper wings world qualifiers held in Maldives.

Champi, a student of Cyryx College won the aerobatics discipline category qualifiers held in Kulhivaru Ekuveni on Friday after beating over 100 participants. Champi impressed the judging panel, which consisted of experienced Pilots of Mega Maldives Airlines Javeed Hussain, Dawit Bedje and Abdulla Shamin of the Maldives RC federation. Champi, from the island of Kaashidhoo, scored 25 points out of a possible 30. Two other pilots were close to first place with a score of 24.

“I never expected I would be able to win, to be able to get a prize to Austria for the world finals,” said Champi who is currently enrolled in the Certificate 3 in Informational Technology program in Cyryx College said. “I didn’t really get ready for the competition, came here with a friend actually to watch him compete and decided to throw a plane and test my luck.”

Champi will definitely try to improve his aerobatics techniques as he celebrated the moment, and gears up for much tougher level of competition at the World Finals in Hangar 7, the home of the flying Bulls.

Ahmed Nabeel won the Airtime discipline category held on Friday night. Nabeel’s plane glided through the air for an impressive 7.88 seconds. Nabeel came on top in the airtime category beating over 150 participants.

Nabeel, who is a student studying in Maldives National University, said he “felt proud” to win the chance to represent Maldives in the world finals.

“I didn’t expect that I could win, it was a tough competition. I really am very proud and will try to show my best when I represent my country in the global finals,” Nabeel, who is completing his Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism said.

Afrah, won the distance category qualifiers held on Saturday, with his plane covering a distance of 37.26 meters. Afrah beat over 170 participants, to win the opportunity of a lifetime to represent Maldives in the world finals due to be held in Salzburg, Austria.

“I wanted to win and I expected to win,” said Afrah, a student of Maps International High School. “I really prepared for the tournament when my friend told me about it. Really happy to have a spot at the global finals. I can’t wait.”

Qualifiers for one of the world’s most international event and the top paper plane contest will be held in more than 80 countries on four continents. The finals will be held in Salzburg, Austira on May 8th and 9th, 2015. .

Fold it, calibrate it and check the aerodynamics before releasing the plane for a place in the record books. More than 37,000 fierce competitors from 83 countries took part in the qualifiers in 2012 and that number is set to rise this year as they chase to dethrone Lebanon’s Elie Chemaly, who won with the longest airtime of 10.68 seconds in 2012.

Tomas Beck, from the Czech Republic is the title holder when it comes to distance with a flight of 50.37 meters. Ryan Naccarato and Poland’s Tomasz Chodryra both shared the aerobatics world title last time.