A Red Bull Air Show will be held near Male’s Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) on 16 December, featuring air racing champion Péter Besenyei and famous Russian Base Jumper Valerie Rozov.
The show will be followed by an air race over Hulhumale’ near Club Faru on 17 December, according to the local organiser, Euro Marketing Pvt Ltd, the country’s sole distributor of popular energy drink Red Bull.
The air show aims to bring new entertainment to the Maldives community, said Euro Marketing Head of Operations Lawrence Miranba. “We want to bring an international event into the Maldives,” he said. “Péter is an eight-time world champion, and he will flying here.”
In addition to the main events, base jumper Rozov will be performing a jump into Male’, Miranba said.
“We are looking to create smaller events as well,” said Miranba. “For instance, there’s a remote controlled plane group in Hulhumale’. We haven’t finalised anything yet, but we’d like to do something with them.”
Miranba said Euro Marketing has informed the Maldives government and airport management company GMR, and is currently sorting out permissions. Event partners include Island Aviation and MNBC media.
Besenyei, a renowned Hungarian aerobatics pilot and world champion air racer, was asked to develop the concept of an air racing competition by Red Bull in 2001. He is accredited with formulating the rules and regulations of the sport.
Valerie Rozov is a Red Bull Freestyle Base Jumping world champion, and Europe Free Style champion. He holds a world record and a gold medal from X Games.
The Red Bull Air Race was first held in Zeltweg, Austria in 2003. International pilots compete against the clock on obstacle courses of pylons, or “air gates.”
Races are typically held over water near cities, air fields or near natural wonders. They are broadcast live and taped around the world. The culminating production of the World Championship claims 300 million viewers in over 130 countries.
In 2009 and 2010 the show received back-to-back Sports Emmy Awards, as well as the International Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) award for ‘Most Innovative Use of Technology in Content Creation’.
IBC called the race program one of the most technically challenging in the world.
“The race programme travels the world, and at each venue the engineering team is faced with the challenge of bringing pictures and sound from across a huge area, and from the planes themselves.”
The air race in the Maldives is not connected to the Red Bull World Championship.
State Transport Minister Adil Saleem confirmed that the air show had received clearance for the event, but said he had made a request that all necessary precautions be observed.
“The area of Hulhumale’ where the race will be held has many safari boats. It’s as good as land. I’m sure this will be a very successful event, but we need to take precautions.”
Saleem said there is potential for more vehicle-based events in the Maldives. “I think it would be good to have a car race in Addu, to involve locals and make use of the longer roads, for instance,” he said.