The New Zealand Red Bull Paper Wings Qualifiers have finished and with outstanding results. Paper Wings took flight at 8 universities across the country with 496 pilots entering with hopes of representing their country in the Red Bull Paper Wings world finals in Austria.
This unique event allowed students to enter one of three disciplines - longest distance, longest airtime or most aerobatic with one winner from each section across the country flying to Austria for the finals on the 4th and 5th of May.
The overall winner of the distance section, Joshua Stuart from Otago, flew his paper dart 43.60 metres. A result that will take him on an all-expenses-paid trip with the New Zealand Team to Salzburg, Austria, to compete in the Red Bull Paper Wings World final. The current record for distance is 226 feet and 10 inches. “It's all about the paper dart”, he says. “Mine's narrow like a javelin that can just be thrown as hard and fast as possible and it spins through the air like a bullet, keeping it going straight. The American's might be ahead so far but I'm sure with some practice the New Zealand team could give them some stiff competition.”
The winner of the airtime section, Max Betteridge from Palmerston North, kept his plane in the air for 6.82 seconds. “I just copied what I saw on YouTube this morning and practiced for about 3 hours after hearing about the event today”. He will be one of the three students representing New Zealand in the world finals, which he says is “unexpected but amazing”.
The aerobatics section is the only section with a winner still to be chosen. This is now over to a public vote with all 8 winning aerobatic pilots from each category uploaded online to http://www.redbullpaperwings.com/en/voting/NZ. The voting has commenced and will stay online until Tuesday 10th April. An overall winner will be announced that day with judging help from Chuck Berry, a Red Bull athlete and Steve Dunstan of Huffer clothing – the perfect two judges to find a winner based on creativity, flight performance and construction.
The three winners will be departing on Wednesday 2nd May to Austria in time for the World Finals at Hanger 7.