Thousands of paper planes took to the air on Friday as the Red Bull Paper Wings World Finals got under way in what promises to be a sensational event at the iconic Hangar–7, home of the Flying Bulls, in Salzburg.
A dazzling official opening ceremony in the famous Residenz Salzburg set the stage for a scintillating competition that will crown the best pilots on planet earth in the Red Bull Paper Wings World Finals 2015.
But after the welcoming event in one of the cities’ landmarks, things got serious on Friday afternoon when competitors got down to folding and flying their paper planes in the pre-elimination for the longest distance category. Selman Aydin from Turkey qualified first with a distance of 57,10 meters. The top-ten participants out of the pre-elimination qualify for the Super-Finals on Saturday.
Close to 200 representatives from 80 countries will be putting their skills to the test for the title of longest air time, distance and aerobatics in the two-day competition that includes a star-studded jury.
Excitement will be building up to Saturday’s super finals for all three categories as the aspiring champions attempt to dethrone the 2012 winners, Lebanon’s Elie Chemaly, Tomas Beck and Ryan Naccarato and Poland’s Tomasz Chodryra who both shared the aerobatics world title last time.
Whether it is paper plane legends and world record holders such as John Collins or Ken Blackburn, both of whom are returning judges to the competition, or double Olympic champion sailor Hans Peter Steinacher, daredevil wing walker Peggy Walentin or social media sensation Zach King. All five judges are true experts in what they do. They will crown the aerobatics champion.
The Super-Finals will start at 1700 local time. Entrance to Hangar-7 is free.
With more than 70 accredited media from 16 nations covering the Finals, the world’s paper plane elite have gathered in Austria after a grueling 535 qualifiers and more than 46,000 contenders world wide.
Pre-Elimination Results Longest Distance (Friday): 1. Selman Aydin (TUR) 57,10 m, 2. Yuki Kajiya (JPN) 51,05 m, 3. Veselin Ivanov (BUL) 50,16 m, 4. Phillip Gustke (GER), 49,51 m, 5. Ian Perry (USA) 48,77, 6. Jovica Kozlica (CRO) 48,20 m, 7. Tomas Beck (CZE) 47,11 m, 8. Ryan Jantz (USA) 46,34 m, 9. Helge Dimmen (NOR) 45,60 m, 10. Fahad Kamil 44.05 m