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High winds add to excitement at Flugtag

Oct. 9, 2011 at 1:29 PM   |   Comments

TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 9 (UPI) -- More than 125,000 people watched as 38 teams pushed crafts off a 30-foot bridge into the Hillsborough River in Tampa, Fla., at this year's Red Bull Flugtag.

High winds of up to 32 mph made the Saturday event all the more interesting, The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported.

"When we got up on the ramp, a gust of wind came over the top of the Convention Center and snapped our right wing," said Keith Humphrey, 41, the pilot of Willy Wonka's Amazing Flying Adventure team from St. Petersburg.

After repairing the wing with a broom and some duct tape, Humphrey went on to fly his team's craft 50 feet, winning the competition.

Other teams didn't fair so well in the wind, the Times said.

The 2nd Basemen team of Tampa built a giant pink bra as their craft, which went crashing straight down after launching.

"It happened really fast," said Chris Coleman, 50. "We'd still do it again."

A panel of five judges, including former Bucs player Ryan Nece and Rays player Evan Longoria, judged Flugtag teams on distance traveled, creativity, and a 30-second skit each team performed prior to takeoff.

Spectators watched the event from boats on the river.

"It's one of those kinds of events that sets us apart," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who attended the event Saturday with his two daughters. "We want to be a hip city, and events like these are what will do that."

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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