Barcelona Skyline

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

“The daring young men in their flying machines” return to Barcelona

So, you think you’ve seen everything in Barcelona? Just wait until October 3rd and 4th when Barcelona has the honour of hosting the season-ending climax to the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, sponsored by Red Bull energy drink. Small airplanes will be doing crazy leaps, dodges, and spins over the Mediterrean sea and Barcelona’s beaches. And Gaudi, the cathedral, and the Gothic Quarter will make up their backdrop. This season started in April in Abu Dabi, then went on to San Diego, Windsor-Onterio, Budapest, and Oporto but Barcelona will crown the champion. The last time “the Formula One for airplanes” was in our city an estimated 1,300,000 watched the celestial acrobatics from our beaches. And this year’s championship finale will be quite a show for those who love excitement, speed, bravery, skill, and flair. The daring pilots take their “racing cars with wings” to estimated speeds of 400 kilometres/hour and there are always moments of high drama.

If this seems a little crazy to you, you are not alone. Not everyone in Barcelona thinks this is a great idea, and the negotiations with the Barcelona City Hall were intense and drawn out. Finally the date was pushed back to low beach season and no temporary runway will be built on the beach.

The Red Bull Air Race World Championship is intended to cap off the Semana de la Aeronáutica which in its turn is to be a kind of desert to the Festas de la Mercè (23-27 Sept), the most important of Barcelona’s local festivals.

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