VIDEO ALERT: Watch a 56 metre flight at Red Bull Paper Wings final

Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team

176 paper pilots compete in Longest Airtime, Aerobatics and Longest Distance.

The 2019 Red Bull Paper Wings World Finals hosted 176 pilots from 58 countries across an intense two-day competition that finished with Super Finals in Salzburg’s Hangar-7. The fifth edition of the event determined global champions in three categories. Here is all you need to know:

–  The 2019 Red Bull Paper Wings World Finals was the culmination of 437 qualifiers and the efforts of over 52,000 global hopefuls in total. For many of the participants, the event marked their first time in Austria, and even in Europe.

–  The three events competed for were Longest Distance, Longest Airtime and Aerobatics. The pilots had to qualify for the Super Finals through a Pre-Elimination Round.

–  Anticipation was high for the Aerobatics Super Finals, where pilots launch their planes in a 60-second creative presentation. The winner was the sole woman to make it into this year’s Super Finals in any category, and the first woman ever to earn a Red Bull Paper Wings championship, Kateryna Ahafonova of the Ukraine. Her rhythmic gymnastics routine earned the only perfect 10 of the night. Ahafonova said:“I wanted to do this because I thought it was a very good opportunity, I still can’t believe I’ve won. There are no words for how I am feeling. I trained every day, and maybe that is how I got this result, but I don’t know. It’s a dream come true!”

–  A back and forth duel developed in the Longest Airtime final between Cameron Clark of Australia and Vince Scholl of the UK, ending with Clark winning the championship with a launch-to-landing time of 13.33s. Clark said: “This is unexpected. I didn’t expect to make it to the World Finals in Austria let alone to win it! This is my first time not just in Austria, but in the European Union, and it’s fantastic. Hangar-7 is beautiful and it’s amazing to compete with people from so many other countries.”

–  The evening climaxed as pilots faced off in the Longest Distance Super Final, which was measured to the millimeter on a 70 metre apron. The USA’s Jake Hardy topped the podium, launching his plane to 56.61m to overtake Serbia’s Lazar Krstic for the win. Hardy said: “Winning here is unbelievable. I just saw that there was going to be a qualifier at Long Beach State and thought I would go to watch professional paper airplane throwers, and the next thing you know, I was in the World Finals! There’s nothing else like this.“

–  The judges were B-Boy Wing, Red Bull Air Race pilot Mika Brageot and BASE jumping legend Cédric Dumont.Brageot said: “To me, Red Bull Paper Wings is kind of a mix of aerobatics, freestyle performance  aerodynamics, all in a very fun environment. It’s quite interesting because flying paper airplanes is something anyone can do, any time, at any age. I flew paper planes as a child, and I’m still doing it.”

Final Results, Red Bull Paper Wings World Finals 2019

Longest Airtime:
1. Cameron Clark, Australia, 13.33s; 2. Vince Scholl, UK, 12.25s; 3. Marek Lentsius, Estonia, 10.59s

Aerobatics: 1. Kateryna Ahafonova, Ukraine, 27 points; 2. Tomasz Chodyra, Poland, 25 pts; 3. (tie) Zachary Horowitz, USA, 23 pts / Taichi Deguchi, Japan, 23 pts

Longest Distance: 1) Jake Hardy, USA, 56.61m; 2) Lazar Krstic, Serbia, 52.28m, 3) Robert Teršek, Slovenia, 46.36m

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