Hundreds gathered on Male’ yesterday to watch Red Bull Air Race champion Péter Besenyei perform air stunts in a specially-designed plane over the Ekuevni Stadium area.
The event was organised by Euro Marketing Pvt Ltd, the sole distributor of energy drink Red Bull in the Maldives.
Hungarian national Besenyei, age 55, is a skilled aerobatics pilot and eight-time air race world champion. Since being approached by Red Bull in 2001, Besenyei has developed the company’s air racing competition and formulated the sport’s rules and regulations.
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.”
An air race was originally scheduled for December 17 over Hulhumale’, however due to the boat traffic in the area authorities could not approve the event, Euro Marketing Managing Director Ali Waseem informed Minivan News.
Renowned Russian base jumper Valerie Rozov had also planned to perform a jump into Male’, but technical difficulties have forced Euro Marketing to re-schedule the event for next year.
“We will be hosting events in Male’ and from North to South of the country throughout 2012, including go-cart competitions and bicycle tournaments,” Waseem said.
Waseem noted that turnout for the air show was “very good,” and said Euro Marketing is seeking other events suitable to the nation’s island geography.
Head of Operations Lawrence Miranba previously told Minivan News that Euro Marketing booked the show “to bring an international event into the Maldives.”
“We are looking to create smaller events as well,” said Miranba at the time. “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.”
Famed local bodu beru group Harubee performed at this weekend’s event, while a street style football competition and remote-controlled airplane race engaged onlookers throughout the show.