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AN ALMOST INDEPENDENT MONTHLY MAGAZINE /JANUARY 2010 Exclusively with The Belfast Telegraph on the first Tuesday of every month

The man who skied down Everest Japan’s mountain hero who’ll go back up, aged 80

M.I.A. In Action Rebelling against the rebellion with the Wal-Mart lovin’ pop pixie

Going… going… Vonn

Street to the beat Breakdance superstar Lilou turns NYC’s sidewalks upside-down at Red Bull BC One

A day on the Alpine slopes with the snow-queen of skiing


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SMALL ENOUGH FOR YOUR POCKET, STRONG ENOUGH FOR THE HOME STRAIGHT. Ah, physical exercise. Getting your limbs and lungs working is the perfect antidote to a stressful day. But sometimes, it’s difficult to keep enough fuel in the tank for the final straight. So why not work out with a friend? The new Red Bull Energy

Shot delivers Red Bull energy in a sip, without carbonation and with no need to chill. It fits snugly into your pocket or gym bag along with your water bottle, and provides the boost you need to not simply go the extra mile, but to fly it.


ICEMAN ON FIRE? It’s winter and, appropriately, the Iceman cometh. Yep, that’s right, one of the fastest, most exciting drivers ever to drift four fat wheels across tarmac, this month becomes part of the family, by joining the Red Bull Junior World Rally team. Fresh from his Ferrari Formula One seat, Kimi Räikkönen, the 2007 F1 World Champion, will be bringing his thrilling speed and car control to an entirely new petrol-powered discipline – one that will call on all his remarkable talents, but now on mud, snow and gravel instead of the hard surfaces on which he has always excelled. There will be, perhaps, a new freedom for him to showcase his skills as well as the more relaxed ambience of the World Rally Championship to enjoy. Perhaps, too, after nine seasons in F1 we’ll see the Iceman thaw a little. You can read Kimi’s thoughts on his latest adventure on page 42 and whatever the outcome, when a driver like Kimi is at the wheel of a World Rally car, the results can only be spectacular. That much we expect of any athlete associated with Red Bull – a man such as Jasper Felder (page 40), for example – multiple champion of a piece of sports theatre known as Red Bull Crashed Ice. This insanely fast pursuit, in which skaters tear down purpose-built city ice courses at speeds of up to 50mph, has been created very much in the spirit of taking the action to the people, rather than forcing the masses to trudge to a distant stadium. It starts its 2010 championship tour in Munich, Germany, and will be making its dizzying way around the world throughout the year. Catch it where you can. Also unmissable, should you find yourself near a stage where she’s playing, is mash-up chanteuse M.I.A., otherwise known as Mathangi Arulpragasam. Never less than challenging, the welltravelled lass, originally from West London, is fast becoming one of those people you simply have to know something about. And you can find out why in an exclusive interview on page 50. All these delights, and more, await you with just a flick of this piece of paper…

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Your editorial team


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Print 2.0




Your Red Bulletin can do more

than you thought possible Go to page 7 or online at



Inside your chilled Red Bulletin this month…


10 PICTURES OF THE MONTH 14 NOW AND NEXT This month’s best sport and culture 17 WHERE’S YOUR HEAD AT? A look into the mind of New Zealand film director and Lord of the Rings head honcho Peter Jackson 20 KIT EVOLUTION It’s all downhill for skiers but the technology in ski boots climbs even higher 24 ME AND MY BODY The original material girl, Madonna is actually made of much harder stuff. Muscle, bone and a fitness routine to make young pretenders wince 26 WINNING FORMULA Brace yourself: Dakar Rally rider Cyril Despres talks us through impact protection 28 LUCKY NUMBERS Winter sports might only come by at this point in the calendar but pub knowledge has a year-long season



32 JEREMY PHILLIPS When he’s not trying to become IFWA jet-ski world champion, the South African joins the jet set, training film stars such as Angelina Jolie 34 YUICHIRO MIURA The Japanese mountaineer was the first to ski down Mount Everest in 1970 and he plans to return. Oh, and he’s 77 years old 40 JASPER FELDER Red Bull Crashed Ice is part ice-hockey, part sprint race, part wacky races. Swedish professional bandy player (another ice sport you’ve never heard of) Jasper Felder is the main character

66 34

42 KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN Goodbye F1, hello Word Rally Championship – the Finn joins Citroën’s junior team 46 HERO’S HERO Swiss Formula One star Sébastien Buemi thinks fellow countryman Roger Federer is the ultimate all-rounder 06




50 M.I.A The new global star gets vocal at Red Bull Studios, Los Angeles


56 RED BULL BC ONE Hip-hop comes home as Red Bull gathers the world’s greatest breakdancers under one roof in New York


66 SKIING WITH LINDSEY VONN The world ski champion gives a masterclass on the mountain 72 SKATEBOARDERS OF KABUL Oliver Percovich is reclaiming the streets of Afghanistan for young skaters

More Body & Mind

80 HANGAR-7 INTERVIEW Six-time trial-riding world champion Adam Raga jumps at the chance of a free meal at Red Bull’s artistic and culinary wonder 82 GET THE GEAR Three chords and the truth will get you halfway; let our band gear guide help with the rest 84 SNOW WONDER Austrian extreme-skier Axel Naglich shares his favourite mountain locations 86 LISTINGS The world’s best day and night entertainment. The weekend starts here 90 NIGHTLIFE Backstage in Dublin with J.Rocc, upfront with Fat Freddys Drop in New Zealand and being seen in Frankfurt and Madrid 96 SHORT STORY Colin Bateman tells a grisly tale 98 STEPHEN BAYLEY Celebrity in sharp focus



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Wisecracks and wisdom from the world of Red Bull and beyond. Tell us what you think by emailing “IF I EVER HAVE TO DRIVE HUNDREDS OF KILOMETRES AND GET BORED, I STOP BY MCDONALD’S AND BUY EVERYTHING I CAN THINK OF. THEN AFTER THE FIRST THREE BITES I THROW IT ALL AWAY, AS I HATE MYSELF FOR IT. I THINK, I CAN’T DO THIS – I’M AN ATHLETE!” PflbefnpflnXek`k#X[m\ekli\Zc`dY\i JK<=8E>CFN8:Q%P\j#pfl[f


“At first, Sir Edmund Hillary told me I was mad to ski down Mount Everest. Then he thought about it and decided that he’d probably come along with me himself if he was a better skier” PflËi\efkdX[#PL@:?@IFD@LI8#pflaljk[feËkk_`ebc`b\k_\i\jkf]ljkliekf?\if\j

“I’ve never tried skydiving in a wingsuit and that’s OK – I’d probably scare myself silly” I\[9lcc8`iIXZ\g`cfkB@I9P:?8D9C@JJaljkjk`Zbj kf^ff[fc[[\Xk_$[\]p`e^jklekgcXe\j 

“I am not sick. I’m just wearing a mask so I don’t get sick. I don’t have cooties!” K_\\m\i$gi\j\ekk_i\Xkf]`e$Õ`^_k_\\Y`\$a\\Y`\j _Xlekj]i\hl\ekÕp\iXe[Nfic[:lgjb`Z_Xdg`fe C@E;J<PMFEEkliekf8Zk`fe




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Your Letters Cfm\[k_\BiX]kn\ibXik`Zc\ R;\Z\dY\i`jjl\T%Cfm\ XY`kf]BiXlkifZb`e^\e\iXc XZklXccpXe[@Xcjfcfm\ i\X[`e^XYflkZiXqp jefnYfXi[\ijXe[jb`\ij# \kZ#jfpflicXjk`jjl\nXj g\i]\Zk]fid\ %JkldYc`e^ lgfeXeXik`Zc\XYflkk_\ ]flidXe$dXZ_`e\j`j XcnXpj^i\Xk%K_\pi\d`e[ d\f]\okiXj]ifdk_\ ÔijkJkXiKi\bj\i`\j% ;\XeIXe[Xc JfJ_XleN_`k\R;\Z\dY\iT _Xj_`jfnegcXpgXib#[f\j _\6>\kk`e^XY`kfc[]fik_Xk b`e[f]k_`e^dpj\c]#Ylk`] _\ZXe[\cXpk_\fej\kf] dfik^X^\j#YXY`\jXe[ ]X`c\[dXii`X^\j#^ff[fe _`d#@jXp%8ck_fl^_n`k__`j ZXj_#@Ëdjli\_\[f\jeËk nfiipjfdlZ_c`b\k_\ i\jkf]lj#\m\e`]dfe\p j\\d`e^cpZXeËkYlppfl X[\Z\ek_X`iZlk% D`b\9X`c\p PfliÊ=XZ\jf]<m\i\jkËjkfip R;\Z\dY\iTnXjjklee`e^% K_\g\fgc\`ek_\g_fkfj Xcccffb\[jfk`i\[#Ylkp\k k_\i\nXjXb`e[f]\cXk`fe `ek_\`i\ogi\jj`fejkff%@k i\Xccp^fkkfd\%DX[\ d\nXekkf^fZc`dYX dflekX`efijfd\k_`e^% G\i_Xgj@n`cc%GifYXYcp efk<m\i\jk#k_fl^_% JdXccjk\gjXe[Xcck_Xk¿ DXc`XJd`k_ J„YXjk`\eCf\YR;\Z\dY\iT `jXdXZ_`e\J`ok`d\j Nfic[IXccp:_Xdg`fe Xe[jk`cc_\nXekjdfi\% ?\`jXe\oXdgc\kfXcci\[$ Ycff[\[d\e%@jXclk\pfl# J„YXjk`\e%N_\eXi\pfl ^f`e^kfY\c\kcffj\`e Xe=(ZXi6I\[9lcc_Xm\ Xk\Xd?\Ëjefjgi`e^ Z_`Zb\e#Ylk@Y\k_\Zflc[ k\XZ_k_\?Xd`ckfejXe[ M\kk\cjf]k_`jnfic[X k_`e^fiknf%Fik_i\\% :XccXe>flc[

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Print 2.0

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Dive in for news on the best sport and culture from around the globe


GRAVEL RUSH K_\:`kif‡eAle`fiNfic[IXccpK\Xd`j[\j`^e\[kf^ifn k_\e\ok^\e\iXk`fef]kXc\ekj%Fecpk_\m\ipjb`cc\[#k_\ m\ipYiXm\#Xe[k_\m\ippfle^Æc`b\Q`dYXYn\Xe :feiX[IXlk\eYXZ_#g`Zkli\[_\i\cffb`e^#\id#\m\ip Y`k`eZfekifcfek_\IXccpGfikl^Xc`ek_\8c^Xim\Æe\\[ Xggcp%Jfn_Xk_Xgg\ejn_\eX=fidlcXFe\Nfic[ :_Xdg`fe]`ccjflkk_\Xggc`ZXk`fe]fid6N_Xk`]k_Xk dXe`j=`ee`j_=\iiXi`XZ\Xe[)''.=(b`e^B`d` I€`bbe\eÆXdXef]]\nnfi[j#Ylk^i\Xk[\\[j6N_p# DiI€`bbe\e#@k_`ebn\d`^_kY\XYc\kfXiiXe^\ jfd\k_`e^NXkZ_flk#b`[j#k_\@Z\dXeZfd\k_kf XNfic[IXccp\m\ekjfd\n_\i\e\Xipfl`e)'('%


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ARE YOU STRONG ENOUGH? Win one of six places in the Fisherman’s Friend Strongman Run 2010 in Germany Over-indulged this Christmas and looking for a challenge to kick-start your New Year fitness regime? Then here’s your chance to get back in shape by taking on one of the toughest events in Europe. We’ve teamed up with the guys at Fisherman’s Friend to bring you the ultimate New Year challenge. You could win a chance to test your strength and stamina in one of Europe’s toughest challenges; the Fisherman’s Friend Strongman Run 2010 at Weeze, Germany, on April 18, 2010. Now in its fourth year, the Fisherman’s Friend Strongman Run has a reputation as the most hardcore race in Europe and although entry is closed and the 8000 available places were sold out within two weeks, we’ve got SIX to give away. Fisherman’s Friend has long been known as the strongest lozenge so it’s only fitting the brand should be behind this event. The lozenges were created in Fleetwood, Lancashire, in 1865, when it was the centre of the fishing industry.

James Lofthouse, a young pharmacist, developed a strong liquid using menthol and eucalyptus, which the fishermen took to help relieve their many ailments. Today, Fisherman’s Friend lozenges are still produced in Fleetwood, by the Lofthouse family, but are enjoyed by tens of millions of people. Menthol and eucalyptus are the perfect combination to keep your nose and throat clear while you’re training. Fisherman’s Friend retails at 69p, for a 25g pack (approx 20 lozenges) and is available from leading independent and multiple grocers, pharmacies, newsagents, convenience stores and forecourts.

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EVERY SHOT ON TARGET Email your pics with a Red Bull flavour to Every one we print wins a pair of Sennheiser PMX 80 Sport II headphones. These sleek, sporty and rugged stereo ’phones feature an ergonomic neckband and vertical transducer system for optimum fit and comfort. Their sweat- and water-resistant construction also makes them ideal for all music-loving sports enthusiasts. c\kk\ij7i\[Ylcc\k`e%Zfd


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Top triathletes head to New Zealand for Challenge Wanaka

On January 16, a small town in Otago, about two thirds of the way down South Island, is hosting a race that rings a bell with Challenge Anneka, the TV show that featured a breathless, Lycra-clad Anneka Rice marshalling community projects. Challenge Wanaka channels Anneka, in that over 800 breathless, Lycraclad triathletes will test their mettle, over a challenging 226km course. “It’s the globe’s most scenic triathlon,” says race director Victoria Murray-Orr. “And although it is spectacularly beautiful, it’s also a very tough and honest course that attracts top athletes.” Now in its fourth year, the event starts with the arm-sapping swim leg, a gruelling 3.8km crossing of Lake Wanaka, followed by the 180km Racer’s Edge bike leg that passes by three alpine lakes in Mount Aspiring National Park. The race is completed with the 42.2km Infinity Run back into Wanaka town centre. New Zealand’s Commonwealth Games silver medal-winning triathlete Sam Warriner, race announcer, is aware of the Rice link. “It’s a total coincidence,” she insists. “But no one talks to camera during Challenge Wanaka. The athletes don’t have the breath for it.” :flij\dXgj1nnn%Z_Xcc\e^\$nXeXbX%Zfd

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Mountain bike freestyle – on snow Welcome to the sport of mountain bike slopestyle, also known as freeriding. The basics are simple. One finds oneself in snowy climes at altitudes of 1000m, where the air is thinning. It’s generally night, and there’s a freestyle course designed for mountain bikes. Mainly, they’re regular mountain bikes that have been tweaked for performance tricking, and some of the jumps propel bike and rider 20m off the ground. There is a growing number of riders now only performing this brand of wintry acrobatics, and White Style is celebrating its fifth year as the only winter slopestyle contest for the international freeriding elite. Big-air loving pro rider Grant ‘Chopper’ Fielder, from Southampton,

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England, has designed, built and competed on every White Style course. “My rule is, ‘Oh sod it, why not just chuck another massive jump in there?’” he says. “It’s scary competing on snow at first. It’s really slippy, so you’re using balance and speed to push through. There are times where you’re literally moving sideways, but it’s awesome fun.” Last year’s victor, Spanish flip master Andreu Lacondeguy, will defend his crown under the floodlights in Leogang, Austria on January 29, where he’ll be looking to trump the backflips and superman seat grabs that won him the title in 2009. But with 20 more of the world’s best trick bikers looking to triumph in the cold, the heat is on.

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South Africa’s biggest water race welcomes all who sail in her


WHEREâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S YOUR HEAD AT?

PETER JACKSON From elves to apes, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the Lord of the Blockbusters. Just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ask him to cook dinner, wear shoes or go to parties



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HARD & FAST Top performers and winning ways from across the globe

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What do leathery old ski boots have in common with today’s hi-tech footwear? Then as now, good ones don’t pinch

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How an annual gathering of breakthough talent has grown from a music industry secret to become one of the must-see festivals on the calendar In the car-free city centre of Groningen in the Netherlands, the bicycle is king. However, riders of a very different, no-brown-M&Ms kind will take centre stage later this month for the Eurosonic Noorderslag Festival on January 14-16. More than 270 up-and-coming bands, including Los Campesinos! (above), Serena Maneesh and We Were Promised Jetpacks, will fill the city’s venues and recording studios during a long weekend dedicated to exposing new international talent. Eurosonic Noorderslag differs from your average fest in that there’s a particular focus on getting Europewide exposure, via the medium of good old radio, for artists unknown outside of their homelands. Think of it like Eurovision, but more sound than vision, and not awful. “Most of the music that you hear on the radio comes from the UK or the US,” says the festival’s creative director 22

Peter Smidt. “Why don’t you hear bands from Poland or Portugal, or from Spain or Slovenia? The idea behind what we’re doing is to present the public with an overview of European acts by using our radio partners, such as the BBC in the UK, to broadcast from the festival.” The European Border Breaker Awards, hosted by Jools Holland, will take place at the Oosterpoort Theatre in Groningen on January 14. The prize celebrates 10 acts that have sold albums internationally and toured beyond their home countries in the last year. Previous winners include the Fratellis, the Ting Tings, Basshunter and Carla Bruni (yes, the one who’s married to the President of France). The award, and the festival as a whole, is growing to become a must for those with a love of new music. So best get on your bike. Kf]`e[flk]lccc`e\$lgjXe[k`Zb\kXmX`cXY`c`kp# kle\pfli[`Xckfnnn%effi[\ijcX^%ec

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Get your rocks off with your skates on




The queen of pop turns 52 this year, but she’s in better shape than pretenders to her crown 35 years younger. Here, she and others give a physique lesson we can all learn from. And don’t underestimate the power of marshmallows LATS ENTERTAINMENT

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At the 2010 Dakar Rally, many bikers will use a piece of kit that could prolong their careers like nothing else: a Leatt-Brace. Here’s how, and why, it works THE REALISATION Two-time Dakar Rally winner Cyril Despres won’t get on his bike without a Leatt-Brace around his neck. “Now my neck brace is like my boots or helmet,” says the 35-year-old Frenchman. “The problem with riding a bike is that we don’t have protection. In a crash, the bike is going one way and we’re going the other. The movement of the head, towards the shoulder or the chest or the back, is potentially lethal. When I’ve crashed wearing the brace, I could still move my head right and left, up and down, with the brace limiting movement. “I started wearing mine when Dr Chris Leatt, the South African who developed the brace, visited me during the Dubai rally in 2005. This came in the wake of two accidents involving my KTM team-mates: in 2004, Richard Sainct died during the Pharaohs Rally and a few months later, in 2005, Fabrizio Meoni was killed during the Dakar Rally. Both men had broken their necks. Before Dr Leatt, no one had marketed a product like this. “Now I’m trying to push for this protection to become compulsory. I’ve been racing for 10 years and seen a lot of accidents. I’m trying to get those riders that still don’t wear it to embrace this brilliant piece of technology.” THE EXPLANATION “The principle of the Leatt-Brace is simple,” says Dr Thomas Schrefl of the St Pölten University of Applied Sciences in Austria. “It restricts motion when used with a helmet and avoids bending the spine beyond its natural limits, which can result in a burst fracture. The limitation range for flexion and extension is 50-60 degrees using a neck brace, as compared to 85-90 degrees without using a neck brace. Sir Isaac Newton can help explain just how the rider is protected: a change of velocity within a short time leads to high acceleration or deceleration, a. According to Newton’s Second Law of Motion, a change of velocity in an object requires an external

force. The larger the change of velocity, the larger the force acting on that object (F = ma). Protective gear changes the kinematics of the head and cervical spine so that the resulting neck loads are reduced. If an object comes to a complete stop, the deceleration, a, is given by a = –(½)v²/d, whereby v is its initial velocity and d is the distance travelled during deceleration. Head accelerations of 80 times the acceleration due to gravity or more are measured using crash-test dummies. A force on the head leads to a bending moment that in turn induces a compressive stress in the spine. “The distance and time, t, over which a change in the relative velocity between head and body occurs, strongly influences the forces and moments. The larger the distance over which a change in velocity occurs, the less force is required to change the kinetic energy, mv²/2, of an object. The longer the time over which a change in velocity occurs, the less force is required to change the momentum, mv, of an object. The cushioning effect of the neck brace increases the distance of deceleration and reduces the corresponding forces. “Also, the neck brace is made of energy-absorbing materials that increase the time over which the change in velocity occurs. Measurements on dummies show that the neck brace can reduce the compression force channelled through the neck by 30 per cent and the bending moments by up to 50 per cent. Here, another evident physics formula comes into play. “The neck brace distributes the applied force, F, over a wider area. If A is the area to which the force is applied, then the stress on the cervical spine is reduced according to S = F/A. The core of the neck brace is fibrereinforced plastic with a predefined breaking point. If the external forces are too high, the energy is used to break up the molecular bonds in that plastic, instead of being transmitted to the human body.” :pi`c;\jgi\j`jkXb`e^gXik`ek_\;XbXiIXccp ]ifdAXelXip($(.%Qffdfm\ikfnnn%[XbXi%Zfd




WINTER SPORTS Some stats are clear-cut: two skis, plus five gluhwiens to numb the pain in your ankle. Here are the ones you don’t know already

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Heroes The guys ’n’ gals who put the ‘rock ’n’ roll’ into ‘role model’ 32 JEREMY PHILLIPS 34 YUICHIRO MIURA 40 JASPER FELDER 42 KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN 46 ROGER FEDERER



He’s a big-wave rider with a difference, and although he’s more used to being behind the camera, he’s also responsible for Lara Croft’s jet-ski skills in the second Tomb Raider film Words: Tim Spicer Portrait: Craig Kolesky

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With a wave building into an arc behind him, Jeremy Phillips drops back, encasing himself inside a glassy tube. Re-emerging triumphant, he cuts low on the wave then charges up the face of it, bursting off the lip into an enormous barrel roll. The hundreds of people standing at the shorebreak at Doodles, Phillips’ local break in Cape Town, fall silent. After completing the 360-degree rotation, he lands perfectly. “I like to go really big,” says Phillips. “I think a move looks much better when it’s done at 20 or 30ft (6 or 9m).” Such fearlessness is typical of the South African: a technical innovator, Hollywood stunt co-ordinator and a star of the nascent, if underexposed, freeriding scene. Freestyle jet-skiing is a constantly evolving hybrid of surfing and freestyle motocross, where riders use lightweight stand-up craft with moving handle-poles and snarling two-stroke engines. And if the heart of the sport is wave-riding, its soul is defined by big-air tricks. In 1995, American Rick Roy set the pace for everything that was to come by pulling the first-ever backflip on a jet ski. Since then, the establishment of the International Freeride Watercraft Association (IFWA) has taken place and a worldwide tour now happens every year. “Jeremy is one of the most hardcore freeriders out there,” says Tchello Brandão, president of the IFWA. “He is a very good surfer and goes huge with his jumps. I’m a big fan of his style.” The Durban native’s youth was spent both surfing and riding motocross bikes, a perfect blend of the skill sets needed in freeriding. “Since I could walk, all I wanted to do was motocross,” says Phillips. “I used to ride Italjets before moving onto 80cc.” That was in 1985. Ten years later, riding in the surf off a dusty Mexican beach, Phillips tried jet-skiing for the first time. “I absolutely loved it. Freeride jet-skiing was both of my passions combined,” he says. In 1997, when a national contest hit Cape Town, Phillips entered and

won five out of the six heats. At the same time, a small jet-ski shop called Off The Wall opened at his local beach and they needed a rider to represent them. They recruited Phillips, or ‘Hutch’ as he’s more commonly known, and a pro career was born. His passion for surfing remained, however, and he helped out at contests at Dungeons, South Africa’s perilous big-wave surf spot, patrolling the waters to retrieve surfers who got caught in. With the popularity of big-wave riding climbing with each jaw-dropping bit of footage, Phillips saw another opportunity, and brought a cameraman out on his jet ski. “It proved effective, but it wasn’t very easy to shoot and get out before being eaten by a 40ft (12m) wave,” he says. So he set about designing a seat mechanism with a steady-cam attachment that allowed the cameraman to stay in position while Phillips placed him in the critical section of a wave. The ‘Hutch Mocean-cam’ is now used by Red Bull for any water-based footage they need in South Africa. “The footage,” says Phillips, smiling, “is insane.” His flair for the cinematic was fed further after a chance chat while filming a Pirelli tyre commercial in Malta. Phillips was talking to director Jan De Bont, who directed the Speed movies and Twister, and mentioned that he jet-skied professionally. “Two months later, I got a call asking if I could oversee a stunt in the second Tomb Raider movie, and if I could teach Angelina Jolie how to jet-ski,” says Phillips. “Of course, I agreed.” During the film, directed by de Bont, he worked closely with the actress. “She’s a great girl – very cool. She loved jet-skiing and wasn’t scared at all,” he says. “The scene we worked on is at the beginning of the movie, where Angelina is being chased by some other skis and then barrel rolls off the wake of a ship – in true Lara Croft style.” With a little inspiration courtesy of Jeremy Phillips, of course. Kfm`\nn_XkG_`cc`gjj\\jn`k__`jDf$:\Xe:Xdm`j`k nnn%jli]c`e\%ZfdXe[j\XiZ_]fiOOC;le^\fejJlg\iJ\jj`fe

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In 1970 the Japanese adventurer skied down Mount Everest. Two years ago, he reached the summit without skis – aged 75. He wants to get up there again when he’s 80. And why not? His father was scaling French Alps aged 99 Text: Werner Jessner Portrait: Jacob Hodgkinson

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what was an early form of trail running. Miura got the Everest bug when, as a 20-year-old, the news broke of Sir Edmund Hillary’s first ascent. “I was shocked,” Miura remembers. Everest, the tallest mountain on Earth, had been conquered. He had a photograph of the south face of mountain that he would gaze at every day. That part of the mountain seemed navigable to him. In 1966, when he was 33 years old, Miura became the first person in the world to freeski down Japan’s holy Mount Fuji. He used a parachute to brake, and found the descent easy. In Japan, mountains are seen as the home of the gods. For Miura they are where the body, mind and soul converge. The taller the mountain, the more intense the experience and the more those three human components come together. The Everest project gradually became inescapable for Miura. He spent the four years between Fuji and Everest preparing at length. During this time he skied Mount McKinley in Alaska and Popocatépetl in Mexico. In Italy he set a speed-skiing world record of 107mph (172kph). The government of New Zealand invited him to ski the Tasman Glaciers, and while in the country he met its most famous son. “For me, Hillary, along with Roald Amundsen, is the pioneer of the 20th century,” says Miura. “At first, he told me I was mad to ski down the mountain that he’d been the first in the world to climb. Then he thought about it and decided that he’d probably come along with me himself if he was a better skier. I’ve often come close to death, but skiing down Everest was probably the craziest thing I’ve ever done. Just because of the dimensions. The mountain is so daunting.” In the run-up to his craziest descent, Miura worked with the Japanese Army and Fujikura Aerospace to develop a parachute. His helmet and oxygen supply system were those used by pilots in Phantom fighter jets. The Japanese government was footing the bill, and yet with time and money and resources to call on, the groundbreaking

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nature of the project meant that no one, Miura included, was exactly sure what would happen and what equipment he’d need. There was a lot of debate about the required shape of the parachute and the effect of the low air pressure on the equipment, and on the man using it. “I felt like an astronaut who had to come back from outer space,” says Miura. Indeed, NASA took an interest in him, but without passing on knowledge that Miura and his team would have found invaluable. “In their tests, parachutes had only started working at 6000m: any higher and the air was too thin. I was a guinea pig,” Miura says now, with a smile. The injuries he suffered in his descent down the Lhotse Face of the mountain, from about 8000m above sea level – nine-tenths of the way up Everest – were minimal. “I think I mainly damaged some brain cells,” he says, with a grin. “Coming down into the valley as an old man hurt more than the 1970 descent, in spite of the bruises.” In 1970 Miura didn’t have a permit for the summit – this was years before the pay-as-you-go, all-arewelcome Everest experiences so memorably and shockingly chronicled by Jon Krakauer in his book Into Thin Air – but at the time he didn’t care. “Not going to the summit was no big deal for me. All I cared about was the downhill. If anything, I was upset for the guys from my own expedition, some of Japan’s best mountaineers. They could have made it to the top easily.” Years later he would think differently, and in May 2003, aged 70, he reached the roof of the world. Five years later, after two heart operations, he did it again. The 2008 Chomolungma Expedition (named after Everest’s original Tibetan designation) was a Miura family affair. Accompanying the old man up the mountain was son Gota (altitude sickness almost did for Miura Jr before the summit). Daughter Emili took time out from her work with a Japanese Americas Cup entrant to handle logistics. Brother Yuta, a computer scientist, stayed at base camp, where he was responsible for communications. This is normal behaviour for Miuras, especially venerable patriarchs. “My father Keizo told us on his 80th birthday that he would go to Europe to ski,” says Miura. “In the Vallée Blanche near Chamonix. Firstly when he turned 88, and then again at 99.” Keizo Miura died aged 101 and, of course, kept his promises before he passed. “My father was and remains a great inspiration to me.” Other sources of inspiration include artists and adventurers, but for Miura, true motivation comes from within, and only then “can you share it with other people”. It is at this point during the conversation that Miura surprises everyone present, not least Emili, who gasps as she interprets, by sharing something else. He plans to ski down Cho Oyu the year after next. Cho Oyu, in the Tibetan Himalayas, is the world’s sixth-tallest mountain. It is 20km west of and, at 8201m in height, 647m shorter than Everest. “Why do you want to do that, Dad?” asks Emili. “Because I was up there in 2002 and think I could ski down it. Dreams come true by me saying them out loud.” There’s more. In 2013, Miura wants to conquer Everest again. This would be his third ascent, and

he’ll be 80 when – or if – he does it. He asked his friend, the British mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington, who’s two years his junior, to accompany him, “but he refused. He says he prefers to choose his peaks in accordance with his age.” Last winter, as can often happen to men of his age, Miura fell and broke his pelvis. The way he did it, however, was unusual. “I jumped over a snow bank, but they’d dug away the snow behind it without marking the spot. So I landed flat on my back.” Two months in hospital and a further two months of recuperation were the severest punishment possible for such an active, lively man. He began working on his fitness again as soon as he was physically able. “I would take a two-hour walk around Tokyo every day,” he says. He wore special shoes each weighing 1.7kg – a ski boot is lightweight in

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“Coming down into the valley as an old man hurt more than 1970’s descent” Miura reflects on Everest 37


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comparison – and a rucksack filled so it would weigh around 30kg. And just to make sure the exercise didn’t get too easy, he strapped extra weight around his ankles. “I’ve been able to devote far more time to training since I’ve been a pensioner. I can do it at my own rhythm.” Miura can’t say exactly how many times he’s been to the Himalayas, but a focal point of every one of his trips is a visit to the grave of the six Sherpas who died during his 1970 expedition, following a cave-in at the Khumbu Icefall near Everest’s Base Camp. One of the six was the father of Little Elephant, an adolescent Sherpa who makes a memorable cameo in The Man Who Skied Down Everest. “He’s 50 now,” says Miura, “has just become a proud grandfather and owns a lodge. I sleep at Little Elephant’s place whenever I’m in the area. We’re in regular contact. We think of each other

a lot.” Incredibly, the 1970 expedition required the input of about a thousand people. Today’s adventures require less manpower, thanks in no small part to the pioneering work of previous efforts, such as those of Miura. Despite being easier logistically, for Miura the challenge posed by the mountain has not diminished. The final line of the film, spoken by its leading man, is, “I am a pilgrim.” Four decades on, Miura is still making his pilgrimage. “You have answers at the end of every expedition and every answer raises new questions.” Miura will tell you that it wasn’t Everest that changed him; he changed for himself. One step follows the other, in life, as in the mountains, whether taken by a little boy or an old man: “When it comes to your dreams, age has nothing to do with it.” Kfn`ke\jjgXikf]D`liXËjZiXq`\jk[\jZ\ek#cf^fekfnnn% pflklY\%ZfdXe[j\XiZ_]fiÊk_\dXen_fjb`\[[fne<m\i\jkË


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He’s the human equivalent of an avalanche. Stockholm’s best babysitter is hot favourite to become the first-ever Red Bull Crashed Ice World Champion this year Words: Alex Lisetz Photography: Carl Johan Paulin

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Jasper Felder decided to learn to skate when he was two-and-a-half years old. In the 37 years since, he’s only left the ice for things that really couldn’t be put off any further, such as having two sons with his girlfriend. (The oldest is now five, the youngest 15 months.) Or going breakdancing or learning some other sport. (He’s a veritable sporting polymath, indeed.) Or giving sports lessons in a Stockholm primary school. (For the boys there who worship him he’s an action hero made flesh. For their parents he’s the guarantee that their children channel their energy into something constructive.) But when Jasper Felder steps onto the ice, he becomes a little boy again himself. His alert, blue eyes gleam out over rosy cheeks. His 191cm and 92kg of muscle are never still for a minute. He walks back and forth, stomps around on the ice, gesticulates. “I think it’s important to keep a little bit of the child inside you. To stay curious, adventurous, to be a bit crazy on occasion,” he explains. “Far too few people do. Mind you, I wouldn’t want to live in a world where everyone was as silly as me...” Felder’s childlike willingness to experiment got him noticed at Red Bull Crashed Ice in 2000. The concept behind the idea is refreshingly simple: skate from A to B faster than your three opponents. Thing is, ‘B’, is some 60-70m lower than ‘A’, via a hair-raisingly steep man-made ice course embellished with jumps and chicanes which, in its quickest passages, makes for top speeds of 30, 40 maybe even 50mph. For Felder, this is “the most enjoyable thing I’ve ever done in my life.” But that might have something to do with the fact that no one can compete on two blades with the same talent, fearlessness and skill. When Felder comes tearing down the track like an avalanche, even the toughest guys – brawny icehockey professionals and hard-nosed four-crossers – make room for so much raw elemental force. The result is that Felder has won exactly half the 14 Red Bull Crashed Ice events held to date. “And that’s plenty,” he explains. “Winning isn’t important to me any more. I have enough fun just

being there, meeting friends and giving younger participants advice.” Such as firing psychological smoke grenades at the competition before big events. This year will see the first Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship and it goes without saying that Felder is hot title favourite. To win it he’ll have to go head-to-head with the world’s best downhill-skaters – twice. The first race will be held on January 16 at Munich’s Olympic Parc, the second on March 20 in Quebec. He’ll be cheered on by many thousands of spectators, considerably more than were at his last win in Lausanne last spring – an event at which some distinctly un-Swiss anarchy was unleashed. “The police came and interrupted our training,” he reveals, “because no one thought that 10,000 people would come and line the track on the day of the race.” Training is a big deal in itself. Because besides Red Bull Crashed Ice, there are very few 500m downhill tracks made of tonnes of steel and bare ice. Which is why Felder is preparing for that World Championship by trying to win the Bandy World Championship. Bandy – the Scandinavian sport that mixes football and ice hockey – has been Felder’s breadwinner since his youth. As with Red Bull Crashed Ice, you need to be springy, have great skill and not be afraid to use your elbows. But in contrast to downhill skating, Bandy is tolerant of the odd mistake. In Red Bull Crashed Ice, however, “you’ve got to concentrate fully from the first to the last metre of the race”, says Felder, who won one race with a torn muscle and in unbearable pain. “Once I decided that I had the victory in the bag 30m from home. I took my eye off the ball for a second and, bang, I crashed into the boards at 30mph. I won’t be doing that again.” But the fact that you can still win or lose the race right up to the final metre is what makes Red Bull Crashed Ice so exciting. “At the World Championships I want to come fourth in the worst-case scenario,” he explains. “Because if I come second or third, I’ll know that things might have turned out even better.” I\[9lcc:iXj_\[@Z\Nfic[:_Xdg`fej_`gY\^`ejfeAXelXip(- Xkk_\Fcpdg`ZGXib`eDle`Z_%J\\nnn%i\[YlccZiXj_\[`Z\%Zfd

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KIMI RAIKKONEN For almost a decade, the name ‘Kimi’ has been shorthand for outrageous F1 speed and car control. This year, with a switch to the Red Bull Junior World Rally Team, he reckons he’s taken on the biggest challenge of his career Words: Werner Jessner Photography: Gian Paul Lozza

The carbon-fibre disc brakes on his Formula One Ferrari have barely cooled down, but already Kimi Räikkönen has moved on to something new: a drive for the very same Red Bull Citroën World Rally team that has just taken Sébastien Loeb to his sixth consecutive world title. The arrival of Räikkönen is a huge coup for the World Rally Championship: for all his occasionally mute press conference performances, the guy’s a superstar. And while some might question the move from the ‘pinnacle of motorsport’ into a parallel universe of mud and trees and ice and snow rather than lap upon lap of pristine tarmac, the man himself has no doubts: this is a hugely serious attempt on an equally prestigious world series, one which he’ll attack with all the commitment for which he became famed in F1. So, Kimi, let’s talk dirty. What’s the earliest rally car you can remember? My brother’s Ford Escort. Of course, as a good Finn, I saw rally cars on TV from an early age. I liked Ari Vatanen and Juha Kankkunen’s Peugeot 205 T16s the best. The first rally I actually went to must have been the 1991 1000 Lakes Rally, which Kankkunen won in a Lancia Delta Integrale. Were rally drivers your childhood heroes? I didn’t have any childhood heroes, I was a fan of the sport, not individual drivers. During my childhood, Kankkunen, for example, was a worldclass driver so he could have been an idol. I’ve met him since then. He’s still got a Peugeot 205 at home and a Group B Audi Quattro from the 1980s. He might even lend it to me if I asked nicely. Was it inevitable that you would end up on the racetrack? I always wanted to give rallying a shot, but I did get into F1 very quickly [Räikkönen was only 21 when he made his F1 debut, for the Red Bull Sauber team at the Australian GP, scoring a point for sixth place]. So it became difficult to move sideways into 42

rallying, which meant I just had to lump it. I didn’t get the chance until very late – I was almost 30 [Räikkönen competed in the 2009 Rally Finland, in a Fiat Grande Punto Abarth]. I also think F1 helps you as a rally driver and vice versa. But it would be a bit ungrateful to say that you were biding your time for nine years in F1 and had to become World Champion so that you could ultimately become a rally driver? That’s just how my career has worked out. Now it’s the right time to go for it with the right people and the right car for however long. I did negotiate with another F1 team for next season, but we couldn’t agree 100 per cent. Then Red Bull came and made me an offer to drive in the WRC for a season. It felt like the right thing to do straight away. A lot of racing drivers in your position would have just bought themselves a world rally car and had some fun in it. But you’ve joined the Citroën Junior Team for a whole season where you’ll be up against Sébastien Loeb, the best rally driver in the history of the sport. Haven’t you made things difficult for yourself? It’s definitely the biggest challenge yet. I’ve got to learn everything from scratch. But I want the challenge. I have to get to know the car, the rallies, how to work with my co-driver [Kai Lindström], everything. I’m looking forward to it. And you’ve got to set yourself some competition if you really want to know how good you are. I’ll still be able to drive around the forest in a private rally car. But when you entered the WRC last year, at the Rally Finland, it was a much more professional effort compared with other well-known converts. If you’re going to do something, do it with the best team. My car’s been prepared by Tommi Mäkinen’s team; these guys are super professional. Of course it’s a smaller operation than an F1 team, but they’re professionals. Even though the driver plays a bigger overall role in rallying than in F1, the best driver won’t win in a bad car. That’s why I wanted an

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“Over the course of the WRC there are bound to be a couple of shunts. Everyone makes mistakes in this sport and, as a rule, a mistake usually means you wreck the car”

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experienced co-driver so at least one of us would know what he was doing. I met Kai Lindström through Tommi and we were ice spies for Chris Atkinson during the 2006 Monte Carlo rally. Kai is outstanding; he and Tommi were World Champions together. Kai was also the one to make first contact with Citroën Sport. Does entering the World Rally Championship feel a bit like it felt when you first test-drove for Sauber F1 in 2000? Yes, I’m finding a bit of the young Kimi in me again. A world rally car is quicker and tougher than the S2000 car I drove last year on the Rally Finland; it’s 10 times better to drive and has more power. It’s why you can still come out of critical situations. If the Fiat ever went sideways with its non-turbo engine, it was game over. So what about rolling the car in Finland last year? It wasn’t because I was going too fast! It was the opposite. The car had already begun falling apart, so I just wanted to get it to the service park. The Fiat definitely wasn’t the quickest car in the S2000 class, nor the most stable. My line going into the left-hand turn was maybe 2m off and we turned over. Why was your line bad? I was driving with my eyes and not my ears. But in rallying you’ve got to pay 100 per cent attention to what your co-driver says. Is that something you still have to learn to do? It is. The driving itself shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If you know the special stage, there’ll hardly be any difference usually. What makes the difference is the pacenotes [the co-driver’s notes on the road conditions for each stage of the rally] and your trust. That’s my main disadvantage starting out – I only know the Arctic Rally and Rally Finland. I’ve got to work the rest of the events out for myself. Can you use other crews’ pacenotes? It’s always better to have your own. If you want to be really fast, you’ve got to have trust. And you’ll never have complete trust in someone else’s notes. Does it help to follow other drivers’ tracks to get your bearings? No. There’s no way of knowing what the car in front of you might have done. You’ve got to do what the co-driver tells you. When was your first roll? I was 14. I rolled my brother’s Lada. We had a 3km track close to home. Marcus Grönholm [Finland’s two-time world rally champion] also trained there. I over-braked the rear axle and rolled twice. The roll-bar [the car’s internal safety cage] also broke.

Your brother Rami was seen as a great rallying talent. Does he still drive? No, he’s a family man now. One year he was runnerup to Mikko Hirvonen [runner-up in the 2008 and 2009 World Rally Championships]. Have your nephews caught the motorsport bug? Absolutely! They’re only three and four and they already go karting. I’ve bought them a quad bike. Are you a good co-driver? No. I’ve been co-driver to Tommi Mäkinen [fourtime World Rally Champion] once. I have complete confidence in him, but I wouldn’t want to repeat the experience. Maybe I’ll sit alongside Loeb during a test. I don’t think he’d do the same for me. Are you expecting a couple of rolls next year? Of course. Over the course of the WRC there are bound to be a couple of shunts. Everyone makes mistakes in this sport and, as a rule, a mistake usually means you wreck the car. How many cars must Jari-Matti Latvala [WRC winner] and Hirvonen have destroyed before they won their first World Championship rally? The only driver who hasn’t rolled is Loeb. He’s an exception. Do you think you’ll be more intuitive on tarmac or gravel surfaces? We’ve been amazingly fast on gravel, but tarmac will probably be more my thing. Snow will be the hardest. Your lines have got to be spot-on in the snow, whereas on tarmac it’s no big deal if you brake a metre too late and have to turn more sharply. You have to be able to read the gravel. On some types of gravel you’ve got incredible grip with rally tyres and on others you haven’t. What sort of results are you expecting? The first few rallies are bound to be tough. Until I know how fast the other drivers are, I’m holding back on any personal expectations. I’m sure I won’t manage to keep up with the top four (Loeb, Dani Sordo, Hirvonen, Latvala). Your team-mate Sébastien Ogier is also seen as a future star. Yeah. He’s really good. He’s a perfect yardstick to measure up against. When you look back on your F1 career, is there a single moment you value above all others? In F1, every lap is more or less the same. It’s more difficult if it rains, but otherwise it soon becomes routine. In rallying, every corner or hill might be different from what you expected. The most fun I’ve had in recent years was fooling around with friends on snow-scooters, for example. I’d find it difficult to pick a single moment from the last nine years. How about this as a moment to go down in history? Kimi Räikkönen overtaking Giancarlo Fisichella on the outside at Suzuka on the last lap of the 2005 Japanese GP, to win the race? Yeah, that was really good. The 2009 Ferrari must have been really difficult to drive when we see how badly Giancarlo Fisichella struggled when he stepped in for the injured Felipe Massa. Not to mention [Ferrari test driver] Luca Badoer. The car wasn’t bad. It just didn’t have enough grip. It was hard to drive but I liked the 09 Ferrari more


than the 08. I didn’t cope too badly [Räikkönen won the 2009 Belgian GP]. But it made Fisichella age 10 years in two races! If you couldn’t get a neutrally balanced car, would you prefer oversteer or understeer [a car that has more or less front/rear grip]? I’ve never liked understeer. How can you push the car if you don’t know whether it’s going to steer? You lose time on a circuit but in rallying, you end up in the trees because you run out of space. How much communication does motorsport need? As a driver, there are some things you just can’t communicate. No F1 driver in the world can talk to an aerodynamics engineer on an equal footing because they have completely different levels of understanding. All you can do is tell your race engineer what you’d ideally like. Mechanics are important too but they do what the engineers tell them to. So your communication is limited to two or, at most three, people in the team. And then what’s made of your input depends on the team. In rallying, you’ll sometimes have to work on the car yourself. Do you know how to? I enjoy it. In Finland, I’ve always repaired my own cars. I tweak my bikes too. There’s nothing wrong with getting your fingers dirty. Did you foster the ‘Iceman’ image to survive in F1? No. ‘Iceman’ goes back a long way. In F1, politics gets in the way of the exciting side of things. The

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“In F1, it becomes routine. In rallying, every corner or hill might be different from what you expected”

atmosphere in rallying is much nicer and there’s a lot less politics involved. It’s much more about how the driver performs. You’re a celebrity, especially in Finland. Now that you’re moving over into Finland’s national sport – rallying – you probably won’t dare to go out on the streets of Helsinki at all. I don’t care about that. It can’t be any worse than it already is. I’ve learned to deal with it. You did military service. What did you find most difficult about it? The first couple of months were stressful. We were constantly roared at. By the end we were bored and messed around. Apart from military films where everyone’s roaring, getting up early was the worst. Rally drivers often have to get up early too. I know. But I had to get out of bed early for F1 sometimes too. It’s part of the job. What’s your favourite toy during the off-season? A snowmobile. It’s huge fun tearing around Lapland with friends on one. But Motocross comes close. What makes a good road car? Space. What’s the last sport you’ve tried? I started climbing last year on the recommendation of my fitness trainer, and it’s fun. Who’s going to win ice hockey’s Stanley Cup? The San José Sharks. Who’s going to win snowboarding Olympic gold in the half-pipe? I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the Finns, but it’ll probably be hard to beat Shaun White. Who’s going to be the next World Rally Champion? Loeb or Hirvonen. Loeb. And MotoGP? Have the teams changed much? No. So – Rossi. Formula One? Hard to say. I don’t know what Ferrari’s plans are. Mercedes will probably have a good car, so will McLaren. Red Bull Racing probably will too. So I’m going to have to award the title based on who I like: Sebastian Vettel. He’s so down-to-earth. Do you have much contact with him? I know Heikki Kovalainen [a fellow Finn] better. As a rule, I don’t have that much contact with people from F1. Sometimes I play badminton with Vettel. He’s moving to my part of Switzerland so we’ll probably see more of each other. How interested will you be in F1 if you’re not in an F1 car yourself? I’ll watch a race on TV every now and then. Maybe I’ll go to the Monaco Grand Prix. I could get an F1 drive again any time, but lots of bad things are happening in F1. Manufacturers are pulling out. Let’s have the same conversation in a year’s time. Let’s look way into the future. What would a WRC title mean to you? More than my F1 World Championship title. I’m just starting out and I can sense what a long journey it would be to get to that point. No one’s done it before. That’s another thing that makes it interesting. =fik_\cXk\jkfeB`d`Ëj]`ijkXgg\XiXeZ\]fi:`kif‡e`ek_\ 8iZk`ZCXgcXe[IXccp#i\mfm\ikfnnn%i\[Ylccdfkfijgfikj%Zfd



Hero’s Hero: Sébastien Buemi on

ROGER FEDERER The Swiss Toro Rosso driver doesn’t look to another Formula One racer for inspiration, but turns instead to the example of his tennis legend compatriot

Before Federer came along, no one really spoke about tennis in Switzerland. It’s hard for me to explain how big an effect he’s had – you probably need to be Swiss to understand it. What he’s achieved and the way he’s achieved it are just exceptional. I have a particular respect for him, not just because he’s Swiss, but because tennis is a sport that requires so much mental strength. It needs great physical strength and skill, of course, but the head side of it is so important. To me, he looks like a player who’s been through a lot to achieve a huge amount, and he’s only the sixth player to win all four major titles – the career Grand Slam. [When Federer won Wimbledon in July last year, his 15th Grand Slam title, he set the record for the most Grand Slam victories by any player.] He’s recovered from some difficult moments in his career [his former coach and early mentor, Peter Carter, was killed in a car crash in August 2002], so when you see him enjoying amazing success, you can appreciate that he’s had to work and fight for it. He just shows you that everything is possible as long as you remain positive and keep believing in yourself. You sometimes see him fall behind and get into a situation where other players might think they were lost and wouldn’t be able to fight anymore. But Federer is able to stick to his conviction that he can always win, and that has helped him pull through many matches with his sheer mental strength and self-belief. He always believes that he can do it, so he usually does. From that point of view, I think he’s really a great 46

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sportsman. He stays focused and he always looks forwards. His win at the French Open this year was big news, especially in a country the size of Switzerland. Everybody was talking about tennis, and I think that it gets people out playing more, too. I play a little bit, but only occasionally, and only for fun. I much prefer watching tennis. It can be a great sport for a spectator, as the players are so exposed – there’s no team to hide behind. You can really see what they’re going through when they have a good or bad point, or when they’re starting to get really tired. It’s very different from, say, watching motor racing. A driver’s emotions are pretty much hidden from the spectator, even if there is a lot going on inside the cockpit! In fact, there’s not a lot in common between motorsport and tennis at first glance, and you might be thinking that I should have chosen a racing driver as

my hero. But there are some important parallels. I love the way that Federer always seems to be able to keep a cool head, no matter how well or how badly things may be going for him. That’s so important for a racing driver, too. You always need to be able to think clearly and make good decisions. A lot of drivers have great talent for controlling a car and going fast. But if you look at the really successful ones, like Michael Schumacher, who I guess I would say is my motorsport hero, they’re always the guys who are able to use their brain when they’re racing. Being a racing driver can be strange sometimes because although you’re on the track on your own, you’re part of a team in every way. If you win, you win together – and if you lose, it’s the same. And your equipment affects your performance in a way that it never could for a tennis player. They can all have the same racquet and shoes, but we don’t all have the same cars, unfortunately! It’s important to remember that if you ever find yourself in a bad car, you must focus on your own performance. You must still try to drive well and not allow yourself to feel down because the car is slow. You have to be able to recover quickly and get over the bad races. If there’s anything I would like to take from Federer, it would be that: his ability not to be distracted and always make the most of his own performance, whatever the situation. I hope I get to meet him one day. He can help improve my serve – and I’ll tell him a few secrets about fast driving! B\\glgkfjg\\[n`k_J„YXjk`\e9l\d` YpiXZ`e^fm\ikfnnn%kfififjjf%Zfd


Interview: Anthony Rowlinson

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From front row to front line, let The Red Bulletin be your eyewitness 50 IN LA WITH MIA 56 RED BULL BC ONE TAKES OVER NYC 66 A DAY ON THE SLOPES WITH LINDSEY VONN 72 KABUL’S SKATEBOARD REVOLUTIONARIES

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M.I.A. CONFIDENTIAL Pop music’s most travelled star has landed in the Golden State. She took time out from recording her third album to talk about motherhood, Texan rave and the one question she hopes her record answers Words: Tom Hall Photography: Brigitte Sire

Eric Stenman, a polite, bespectacled studio technician, sits calmly at the mixing desk in the main production room of Red Bull Studios in Los Angeles. Staring through the glass pane into the large empty recording space, if you suspend your disbelief, he could be on the bridge of a starship looking out into the far reaches of the universe. It’s a place full of quiet potential. Screens glow, the odd digital console hums into life then dies back down. We sip coffee. We wait... “Not many new studios of this calibre are being built these days because of the economic challenges the record industry faces,” he explains. “If it was here just to make money it’d be kind of a losing battle. A lot of younger bands would never be able to afford this. It’s a very modern facility that Red Bull uses to try and help people out early on…” He’s suddenly interrupted. “…It’s shit! It’s the goblin’s belly!” An unmistakably lairy South London accent bursts through the silence as M.I.A. and her assistant clatter through the studio’s double doors laughing over a totally unrelated conversation. Realising they have company, she turns and extends a hand. “Hello. I’m M.I.A.” Prior to that entrance, for a recording studio the silence was almost deafening. We sit among 50

muted blue walls and brown leather couches in a windowless air-conditioned room. Outside, only a few metres, yet a world away, the mid-morning Los Angeles sun shimmers off billions of smog particles that both smother and illuminate the city like microscopic confetti. From the outside, the multi-million dollar complex looks unremarkable enough – part of an office building in a nondescript car park. Cars rush by on the freeway into Santa Monica, a beachside tapestry of stately art deco cut together with 7-Elevens and shabby Mexican restaurants. Art taco? Nearly. In Los Angeles you can find your American hero on the walk of fame, even though the subway train to Hollywood Boulevard speaks Spanish. But this dusty frontier town pulls in talented outcasts like a sponge, somehow triumphantly succeeding in being the entertainment capital of world. Maya Arulpragasam, better known as M.I.A., is one of those outcasts. Dressed demurely today in black trousers and black T-shirt, the only hint of the riotous get up she’s well-known for are a pair of massive gold earrings and some white heels, which, on anyone else, might look a bit rubbish. “I’m only gonna buy my clothes from Wal-Mart from now on,” she says, taking a seat. “I’m rebelling

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against the rebellion, against the Lady Gagas. I’m gonna look so boring, but I’m appropriating the style. Making it mine.” She smiles, like she’s daring someone to call her out on it. But it’s exactly the kind of about-face that fans should be used to. Over the past five years, M.I.A. has developed from an abrasive outsider into a truly individual force at pop music’s high table. Phrases like risktaker, boundary-breaker and maverick are thrown about all too regularly these days. We all know Britney goes mental sometimes and Lady Gaga’s dumb tabloid shtick can have builders choking on their bacon sandwiches each morning. But do those stars ever say anything that sticks in the throat past lunchtime? M.I.A. does, not only through her expansive musical vision, but purely by who she is. The Hounslow-born, Sri Lankan-raised singer has made two albums, 2005’s Arular, and 2007’s Kala, of cut ’n’ paste mutated dance music that have openly borrowed and liberally pilfered musical styles from all over the world. It’s mash-up party music created with fierce artistry. You could describe it as an anything-goes sound, but that wouldn’t account for the discerning taste and strict temperament of this former student of Central St Martins College of Art and Design in London. Along with regular musical collaborators Wes ‘Diplo’ Pentz and Dave ‘Switch’ Taylor, she’s brought underexposed genres such as the traditional Tamil music of her homeland and performers such as The Wilcannia Mob, a group of five Australian Aboriginals, to the mainstream, all the time underpinned by avant-garde dance and hip-hop music that unites her sound. “I came from a visual background. The first two albums came around because I wanted to challenge myself and work with what I felt weakest at,” says Arulpragasam who, before making a career in music, was an accomplished artist whose provocative designs earned a nomination for the alternative Turner Prize in 2002. “At that time, President Bush was in power and you couldn’t say what you wanted to say. The mainstream was like super… no, hyper-safe and boring. I was desperate for something else... like...” She pauses, as if she’s in deep thought. It’s an unnerving trait that we notice a lot today. But normally something arrives on the other side so simple and fully formed that you wonder why you never saw it coming. “I wanted to make people feel confident enough to f**k something up,” she concludes. Now recording at Red Bull Studios, she sees album number three as a turning point in her career. “On this album I definitely want my voice to be heard. I don’t want any gimmicks or tricks. Finally I’m confronting it. Am I a musician or not? And if I’m not, it’s like ‘Get out!’” Nearly three albums in, it might be a bit late to be asking that question. Since the release of Kala, M.I.A.’s profile has rocketed, with Grammy and Oscar nominations and a bona fide worldwide hit

with ‘Paper Planes’. The producers on that track, longtime collaborators Diplo and Switch, are back in the studios for this album as well. The three have shared a like-minded random approach since meeting on M.I.A.’s first record. It’s the kind of professional relationship that days earlier saw them scaling a fence into the neighbouring car park to ‘borrow’ a country and western band. “We were out the back having a cigarette,” says Switch. “And all of a sudden we heard this clanging, whooping and cheering with a rockabilly singer and curiosity just got the better of us. So we ended up hijacking the band.” “I needed them for a Texan rave song,” adds M.I.A., like it’s the most natural thing in the world. “She finds motivation in strange places,” says Switch. When me, Wes and her get in a room together things get pretty weird!” Diplo dissects that chemistry further. “We have a good writing partnership,” he says. “We’re always trying to shake things up. Perhaps M.I.A. will start with a beat, then maybe one of us will bring a lyric, but then we’ll just mess with it and do something crazy like go hijack a country band. That’s our greatest asset. We’re always looking for the next accident.” And accidents can happen. MIA is the first to admit that her background doesn’t lend itself to music superstardom. The thing that sets her career apart from the legions of DIY pop imitators is how far from the mainstream she actually began. She says she can’t even sing. “I was totally well known for being tone deaf at college,” she says of her time at Central St Martins. “I used to walk down the corridor singing whatever was on the radio like ‘Wonderwall’ or whatever, and I was so off. It was so bad. Everyone used to notice.” ‘Wonderwall’ might be a sacred text to the po-faced British pop evangelist, but try telling that to Jay-Z, who M.I.A. performed with at the 2009 Grammys. In the USA, the musical religion is parties, money and, most of all, hip-hop. M.I.A.’s try-anything-once spirit has bypassed the UK’s indie-snobbery and fast-tracked her to acceptance in that ultra-competitive world. “It’s so strange because I didn’t even try,” she laughs. “Americans got it by not getting it in a way. They have fewer preconceptions than in England. I used to try and explain my viewpoint to English people and they just didn’t understand. Now I’ve got this international platform and it’s so important to make a statement because that shit is so f**king rare. It’s so rare to have anyone say anything these days.” The statement she refers to is her outspoken views on the Sri Lankan government. Some rappers are raised in ghettos, but M.I.A. spent the first 10 years of her life in a civil-war zone. Her family fled Sri Lanka to the UK in the mid-1980s as refugees due to her father’s involvement with the Tamil military struggle. M.I.A. speaks out regularly on issues such as the systematic prejudice she says is enforced on her ethnic minority, the Tamils, by the Sinhalese Sri Lankan government. “I think the refugee mentality is really important to everything I’ve done. Even when I was an adult 53


living in London, I lived on loads of other peoples’ couches, rent-free, just trying to get by. All my clothes were made up of a bit somebody else’s. Some people see that as eclectic, but it’s actually just bred from my situation and necessity. If I wear something now it’ll be in American Apparel two weeks later,” she says, laughing. “They do it better, cheaper and faster!” Now living in Los Angeles, the birth of her first child in 2009 has meant music has become an even more important part of M.I.A.’s life. “If I didn’t have a baby I’d probably be taking this job for granted. But I’ve found I still really want to do it. I’m consciously making time for it,” she says. “Music is about life experience and you can’t fake that, you can’t repeat the same process twice because each record you make, different stuff has happened to you. “This album is going to hopefully reflect America. My son is half-American, but because of my family background I can’t leave the USA for fear of not being allowed back in,” she says. “Unfortunately


the place we come from is viewed as controversial. And that’s awful because it’s just not true.” It’s a paradox that M.I.A. will have to deal with as her star rises ever higher. The provisional track names on the studio whiteboard behind her suggest the global-encompassing element of her music will be no less prominent. You can only wonder what songs like ‘Born Free’, ‘Muscle’, ‘Google Earth’ and ‘Believer’ might sound like. Texan rave, probably. M.I.A. remains tight-lipped about possible titles for that new record. Arular was named after her father and Kala is her mother’s name. Maybe the influence of her new arrival could be an inspiration? “Yeah people say ‘Are you gonna name it after your kid?’” she says in mockingly annoying screechy tones. “I don’t know. I don’t like to plan things. Maybe I could name it after him I guess.” She inserts one of those endless pauses that seem to be holding the world up at gunpoint. Then smiles. “Nah, it’d probably ruin his life.” Jfle[flkI\[9lccJkl[`fjXknnn%i\[Ylccjkl[`f%Zfd

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RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE Sixteen breakdancers; one championship belt in the city that started it all. Red Bull BC One returned to the hip-hop cradle as New York hosted the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier B-Boy competition


Words: Florian Obkircher


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T Two days earlier, the atmosphere is decidedly less tense. A sunny autumn morning at the Court Square Diner in Queens sees a jet-lagged Lilou, tired from the overnight flight from Paris, devouring an order of fries and baked mozzarella sticks. Not even in maplesyrup drenched New York could this pass for a light breakfast. Not that it matters much. A grease-stained paper bag in his left hand, a coffee cup in his right, the B-Boy sits on a concrete ledge, zoned out, as the subway trains on the elevated track above click and clack every few 58


he spotlights come on, instantly bathing the ring in the middle of the old opera house in light. It’s quiet for a moment. And then 2000 fans jump up from their seats, lean themselves over the finely-carved balcony railings, throw their hands in the air and chant along to the beat of a hip-hop song pounding through the speakers: “Cloud! Cloud! Cloud!” The atmosphere is electric. Lilou doesn’t notice. Hunched over backstage, his hoodie pulled low over his eyes, he skips from one foot to the other. The others pat him on the shoulder, and wish him luck, but the former champion’s gaze remains fixed, lost in thought, in the realisation that this is likely to be the last shot at reclaiming his championship belt. It’s his last chance to prove that, four years after winning Red Bull BC One, he’s once again the best breakdancer in the world. He gets his inhaler out of his pocket and takes a hit. Then the tannoy announces his name.


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minutes. The Frenchman of Algerian origin has been awake since 5am and his glasses don’t do a good a job of hiding bags the size of coins under his eyes. Yes, he’s tired. Very tired. Which is why this calorific meal dripping in fat was just what he needed. “A breakfast for champions,” he says with a grin but then quickly retreats. The grease-soaked breakfast will remain an exception. In less than two days, the 25-year-old will be competing to become the only repeat champion in the five-year history of the world’s premier breakdancing competition. The heavyweight world championship fight in the B-Boy universe, Red Bull BC One brings together the globe’s top 16 dancers – this year representing 10 countries and five continents – to do direct battle against each other. “It’s the biggest honour for any dancer to get invited to Red Bull BC One,” says Lilou, alias Ali Ramdani. The prerequisites for acceptance are demanding: titles in other highprofile contests, displaying consistent creativity and style, enjoying respect and recognition in the scene. Crucial, of course, are nerves. Unlike other contests, Red Bull BC One contestants compete without their crews to back them up. It’s a one-on-one knockout contest – eye to eye, move for move – judged by five breakdance legends. The first battle was held in Biel, Switzerland, in 2004 and it has travelled around the world since. This year, it returns to the birthplace of B-Boy culture. The site selected is the Hammerstein Ballroom, an elegant opera house built in the early 20th century that boasts a fine acoustical design and, in recent years, has played host to Bob Dylan, Kylie Minogue and Jay-Z. “I’ve been to the USA before, to Los Angeles, Portland and Minneapolis,” says Lilou. “But New York is different. You feel like you’re in a movie. It’s also the cradle of my culture, the place where breakdancing was born.” Winning his belt back here would be a particular honour for him. The veteran of four Red Bull BC Ones, including his debut and title in 2005, two semi-final appearances as well as a stint last year as a judge, Lilou knows the pressure cooker that is the competition ring like no other. His return as a competitor this year is a testament to his showmanship and passion for the gruelling battles in the cypher, as B-Boys refer to the ring. “Last year I got to know the other side of the battle. I was the one judging the dancers. It wasn’t easy because all the


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B-Boys who compete in Red Bull BC One have their own individual, fantastic style,” he says. “It was a great learning experience but it also showed me that I really belong on the stage.” He yawns and closes his eyes. The fifth train in the last few minutes rattles above. His ‘breakfast for champions’ is long gone. He’s clearly not enjoying the waiting today. There are still two days until the big battle and Lilou wants to make the most of them and get to know New York a bit better – even if he’d probably happily just stay in his hotel room and doze off.

legwork still dominates the scene here whereas in Los Angeles they’re crazy about acrobatic power-moves.” “What are things like in France?” “We’re more West-Coast style.” “Have you got any tips as to how I could become an accepted classic B-Boy over there?” “Hard to say, because the styles are so different. It would be hard right from the off when everyone shows their best moves. But I’ll tell you one thing, you’ve got to conquer the cypher, you’ve got to fight the battle on your own terms. Then all your opponent can do is react.”

Thankfully, he only has a couple of minutes to wait before Kid Glyde, his personal tour guide, rolls up in red baggy pants and a black and red patterned windcheater. The two greet each other in typical B-Boy fashion: a handclasp pulled into a bump, before releasing their hands with a snap and a pat on the shoulder as a sign of respect. “Hey man, welcome to New York,” the New York native and Red Bull BC One rookie says before taking Lilou around the block to 5Pointz, one of New York street culture’s sacred sites. The courtyard of this warehouse on Jackson Avenue means something to every New Yorker who’s ever employed a spray-can in the name of art. Squiggly tags and glaringly colourful comic figures fill every centimetre of wallspace on this four-storey former factory building, which now houses artist studios. The yellow plaster has been stripped off in many places and some windows covered with cardboard. Young tourists glide through the courtyard, snapping photos with their camera phones. Four young men with white surgical masks work on a piece. Kid Glyde and Lilou watch them.

The sage advice will be useful to Kid Glyde in a couple of days. On the other hand, Glyde, alias Victor Alicea, has never lacked for guidance. His father, Glyde senior, is considered something of a B-Boy pioneer in New York [see sidebar]. It was Glyde’s B-Boy crew, Dynamic Rockers, who went head-tohead with the Rock Steady Crew at New York’s Lincoln Center in 1981, the first battle to get serious coverage by American broadcasters and mainstream newspapers. “Hip-hop greats like Crazy Legs and Afrika Bambaataa would come and go in our lives back then. For me it was no big deal. They were just my dad’s friends,” the 26-year-old explains. Born in the working-class neighbourhood of Jamaica, Queens, his mother sent him away to Staten Island, where his father lived, when he was still a child. She was determined to keep him away from the street gangs that plagued the neighbourhood. Though only a small distance geographically, Staten Island was a world away from Queens. “In my old school, there were maybe about 10 per cent of the kids who were white and the rest were black and Latino,” Kid Glyde says. “In Staten Island it was the exact opposite. And suddenly I was really popular because they all loved hip-hop and I was the bad kid from Queens.” By the age of 13, he was already trying out his first freezes. “My dad would show me some moves back then and hammer home to me that if I wanted to improve, I’d have to train hard,” he says. “But because of my new surroundings, I actually wasn’t

“Tell me, Lilou, what does it feel like to win Red Bull BC One?” “It’s incredible. In 2005, I was in a similar situation to you. I was the rookie and no one gave me a chance. But the atmosphere and the strength from the audience gave me wings.” “Of course. The more you give people, the more they give back. That’s the same here. The audience are just going to go wild at you power-movers because New Yorkers are used to more classic B-Boy moves.” “I hope they do. There’s a massive difference in style between the East and West Coast in the USA. Classical



A city tour is penned in for the visiting B-Boys the following afternoon. But instead of the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building, the group wants to see the South Bronx and the brownstones where hip-hop was born. They couldn’t have asked for a better guide: the fat man wearing baggy pants and a white tracksuit top, resplendent in a thick gold chain and Gazelle sunglasses, greeting them as they climb onto the tour bus is Grandmaster Caz [see sidebar] a hip-hop veteran from way back when. “These are my people!” the rapper shouts with enthusiasm. “You know hip-hop is like a table,” he begins. “A table with four legs. And the four pillars are MCing, DJing, graffiti-writing aaand?” All hands on the bus go up. Breaking, of course. “Damn right,” says Caz. “And, in a few minutes, you’ll be able to show us what you got.” In Rock Steady Park on Amsterdam Avenue, where Crazy Legs and his friends from the crew of the same name in 1977 developed the moves that are now standard in the B-Boy repertoire, the boys pour out of the bus and Caz gets out a silver boom-box and presses play. The B-Boys let rip. The first to storm into the circle underneath the basketball hoop is the Brazilian, Neguin. He starts 62

CAZ GETS OUT A SILVER BOOM-BOX AND PRESSES PLAY. THE B-BOYS LET RIP with a few top-rocks – the rapid footwork, slides and pops that precede the more acrobatic elements of the B-Boy arsenal – and then moves onto a forward somersault into a windmill. The others clap in recognition, hooked on the action, and not a second passes before the next breaker is spinning in the circle. Thirty years ago, this sort of thing was par for the course, but now the park is a fairly run-down play area surrounded by high chain-link fences set among old brick houses. Mothers stop to watch, and curious kids press themselves against the fence, grinning their approval. “I actually don’t ever want to wash my hands again,” says Neguin. “Rock Steady Park! Unbelievable. But what worries me is that the level in this session was already high. I wonder what’ll be added on in the battle tomorrow.”

D-day. By 6pm, an hour before the Hammerstein Ballroom opens its doors, the queue already reaches the end of the block. There are a lot of men and a lot of baseball caps. Many have got banners with them and Kid Glyde’s name is, not surprisingly, seen often adorning them. But the local hero is none the wiser. He’s already shut off with the other competitors. On the floor backstage, he stretches his legs in slow motion, leans his head back and breathes in and out. All around him cameras flash and people with microphones dash this way and that, but Glyde’s eyes are fixed on his rivals’ final warm-up exercises. He is attentive, and yet somehow absent as well. Lilou is much the same. The Algerian B-Boy has a keffiyeh tied loosely around his head and is scribbling on a blank piece of paper: Flip 82, new slide. He’s trying to work out potential semi-final match-ups. He knows his rivals’ styles all too well and is mulling when to unleash his secret weapons. Soon the lights go up on the stage. ‘Step Into A World’ comes rumbling out of the sound-system at an ear-splitting volume and riotous applause breaks out almost immediately. KRS-One, who wrote this hip-hop anthem, enters the arena: the king of the South Bronx, hiphop culture’s good conscience. “Yes yes y’all, ya don’t stop, KRS-One, rock on!” are the opening words from the giant


particularly interested in dancing. When my father asked me how I was coming along not long after, I managed such a good six-step that he was amazed. And I hadn’t even practised! That’s when I knew I had talent.” Continuing in the family tradition, Kid Glyde is now leader of the Dynamic Rockers crew. There are a lot of trophies decorating his small pad in Queens – he moved back there a few years ago – but the Red Bull BC One belt is still missing. Speaking of which… “Lilou, what does it look like? Will you return the belt if you win it again this year?” the rookie asks before the two of them make their way back to the hotel. Lilou smiles, but doesn’t say a word. As champion in 2005, Lilou was meant to give the belt back to organisers after a year. But the coveted trophy never reappeared. The anecdote comes from a soon-to-be-released documentary called Turn It Loose which follows six B-Boys as they make their way through the 2007 competition. Lilou told organisers that it was probably at his parents’ house in Algeria, but added that even he didn’t know for sure. A great many emails and phone calls from the organisers followed. But the belt has yet to turn up.

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wearing a XXL black shirt bearing, simply, the words ‘I Am Hip-Hop’. He is soon announcing Kid Glyde’s first battle. At the mere mention of his name, the Dynamic Rockers’ banners shoot up in the air and, in the front row, his greatest fan – his father – is going wild, the muscles under his tight, grey shirt revealing that he’s anything but in retirement. A tattoo – B-Boy for Life – suggests that’s the way things will to stay. “My son’s trained a lot,” says Glyde Senior. “He can do it. If not this year, then next at the latest.”

Kid Glyde’s opponent is Menno, from The Netherlands. “Let the battle begin,” KRS-One intones, and the two of them enter the ring. A DJ cues the music. Their eyes meet. Kid Glyde folds his arms and Menno is the first to get going. His toprocks get quicker and quicker, and he transitions into a windmill. Before long, Menno is turtling over half the stage, his body supported by nothing more than his two hands pressed flat against the floor. Kid Glyde counterattacks with acrobatic legwork and then it’s Menno again. He spins: on his hands, on his head, almost non-stop, as if gravity has briefly been suspended. After two rounds it’s decision time. The five judges hold up their boards in turn. Menno. Menno. Kid Glyde. Menno. Menno. A final handshake and the adventure has come to an early end for the young New Yorker. Lilou is soon storming onto the stage. His opponent: Kolobok from Ukraine. “Freezes are his speciality,” Lilou said earlier that the afternoon. “But I know what I need to do against him.” Both play hard to get, initially. Neither wants to step into the ring first – a head game before the real battle commences. “We work out on the stage who’s going to be the first into the cypher with gestures and eye contact,” says Lilou. “Basically it’s always easier if you go second because you can react to what your opponent’s done and don’t have to produce yourself.” Lilou prances around the edge of the ring, paddling his arms, urging Kolobok on. The break-beats are pumping and the audience is jeering. Every clap puts the dancers under pressure. Every second lasts what seems like an eternity. Then Kolobok casts his nerves aside and enters the cypher. His legwork is clean and his down-rocks are a dizzying flurry of footwork inches away from the floor. But as Kolobok finishes, Lilou goes straight for the jugular. A kick aimed at his opponent just misses as Lilou plays

AFTER THE BATTLE, THE JUDGES ARE UNANIMOUS, ALL FIVE VOTES TO LILOU to the crowd with a smooth Michael Jackson homage before going into a breathtaking windmill that ends in a flip inches away from his opponent. Kolobok was smooth. Lilou is explosive. The spectators are up out of their chairs. No one is better than the French-Algerian in tailoring his routine to the weaknesses of his opponent. Rakish, quick to provoke with a smirk or a shrug, Lilou’s style encompasses not only skilful acrobatics, but the knowledge that showmanship is just as vital to success in the cypher. After the battle, the judges are unanimous: all five votes go to Lilou. The champion will perform this compulsory procedure another two times. Knocking out two local matadors – Thesis and Morris – on his way to the final. He doesn’t lose a single jury vote. Another B-Boy is having a similar run. Cloud, from San Diego, has pulled the crowd onto his side with a smooth progression to the final. A newcomer to the battle scene, he switched from showbusiness, where he has made a career dancing in adverts and on Madonna’s world tour. “It’s a challenge because he’s different and comes from a different world,” he says.

The spotlight goes on again as KRS-One enters the ring. He grabs hold of a silver microphone hanging down from the ceiling. A young woman wearing leggings struts onto the stage in high heels and shows the jubilant crowd a fat, silverdecorated belt. “The B-Boy who’ll be calling this belt his own after the next round will be calling himself World Champion,” KRS-One intones gravely before inviting both finalists out onto the stage. Our presenter grabs the microphone one last time. “Ladies and gentlemen, the battle is on!” The spectators already seem to have made up their minds. The “U-S-A! U-S-A!” chants are unmistakable, and the bespectacled Algerian uses them as a cue to remove his hoodie under which he’s wearing a white T-shirt bearing the words: “I’m Muslim, Don’t Panik.” The music begins and the pair creep around the edge of the cypher like preying cats about to attack. They look each other in the eyes and make

summoning gestures. Lilou spits in his hands, quickly ducks his head and enters the ring with a powerful handstand into a backflip. Then it all happens quickly. Shrewd up-rocks, windmills, turtles, freezes, head-spins, hand-hops. Cloud does most of his work standing: an arsenal of butter-smooth top rocks and dance moves straight out of an MTV video are on full display, carrying him sliding and swerving around the ring. Lilou responds, as he has throughout the tournament, with an explosiveness that seems impossible at this late stage. His routine is grounded in fundamentals: the smooth windmills, freezes and the dizzying legwork of his down-rocks intended as B-Boy battle-schooling aimed at the showbiz interloper. Both take their exhausted bodies to the limit once again and after three rounds collapse into each other with a handshake hug. The wooden boards are raised a final time: Lilou. Cloud. Lilou. Cloud. The final juror – Ronnie, an American bested by Lilou during his championship run in 2005 – hesitates. He looks at the two boards in front of him as the din of the crowd reaches yet another crescendo. He closes his eyes, raises his head and lifts his board into the air. KRS-One shouts, “Liiiiiiilouuuuuu!” The small French-Algerian is hoisted into the air by another B-Boy and beckons the leggy ring lady out onto the stage, indulging himself with a kiss before grabbing hold of the belt and raising it into the air with the last of his strength. His face is covered in sweat and he lets out a shout of relief. The B-Boy doesn’t get to enjoy his moment in the spotlight for long. Cameras and reporters surround the two-time champion, and everyone wants to know how he feels. “Fantastic,” he says. He pauses for a moment and then grins from ear to ear. “It’s a great day for Algeria. First our football team qualified for the World Cup with a great game against Egypt and now I’ve won back my belt! One two three – viva l’Algérie!” But interviews are not his thing. After a few minutes he’s had enough and forces his way through the crowd, hoping to barricade himself backstage. “One last question, Lilou,” a journalist calls out. The champion turns around. “Are you going to give back this second belt?” Lilou grins. He thinks for a moment, “We’ll see. But I don’t think I will.” J\\m`[\fjf]k_\E\nPfibYXkkc\jfe nnn%i\[YlccYZfe\%Zfd%=fik_\kiX`c\if] k_\[fZld\ekXipKlie@kCffj\^fkf nnn%klie`kcffj\dfm`\%Zfd



A DAY WITH THE SNOW QUEEN “Wanna play?” isn’t a phrase you expect to hear from top athletes of any kind, particularly not from a ski world champion such as Lindsey Vonn. But she made an exception for The Red Bulletin Words: Uschi Korda Photography: Hans Herbig


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end your knees and off we go!” We’re standing on Austria’s Pitztal Glacier in weather that is, let’s say, far from ideal for a nice day’s skiing. Thick cloud hangs over the peaks and there’s sporadic light snow. And it’s cold: minus 15 is neither cosy nor good for the spirits. But for queen of the slopes, world champion Lindsey Vonn, the fun is only just beginning. She’s been here already – at a height of 3000m – training with the American ski team, since 7am. It’s now 11 and what we’re about to do is as much fun for her as après-ski might be for us. The tough stuff’s done. All she has to worry about now is an ambitious fan in her slipstream. “When my professional career comes to an end, I’ll only go skiing on days when it’s gloriously sunny,” says Lindsey with a laugh as we meet at the Gletscher Express [Glacier Express] mountain station. And most importantly of all, she’ll no longer get out of bed (’cos she has to) at the crack of dawn, to make her mark on the snow. Ideally she’d like races to be held in the afternoon, as only then would she be firing on all cylinders. But for now she’s just happy that there’s snow on the ground as winter was a long time coming to the Tyrol this year. “It does affect your mood a bit, when everything’s brown and not white,” says Lindsey. “Now we just need it to get colder so that the snow will get hard. Like race conditions.” Thanks, but for the rest of the ski party it’s cold enough already! For Lindsey too, truth be told. Especially for her feet. All that’s protecting them are thin thermal socks and tight ski boots. “That’ll be the second thing I’ll be happy about when I’m skiing for fun: I’ll buy myself comfy ski boots!” That’s a luxury she’ll have to wait for, though. Right now when she’s on skis, she’s either training or racing, so it’s pro kit only. Through the whole of last year she snuck only one day skiing with husband Thomas. “It was in Portillo, in Chile, in September and it was cool. We were playing who’s-the-betterdeep-snow-skier.” Of course, when your other half is also a professional skier – Thomas Vonn was on the American team until 2004 – there’s an element of competition to a fun day in the powder. Not that a flavour of competition is ever entirely absent from their relationship: Thomas is part of the five-strong team that looks after Lindsey almost round the clock. It’s a team that has helped bring success and burgeoning fame, and although Lindsey’s wrapped up warm and is wearing a helmet – “I never ski without a helmet!” – she’s immediately recognised at the drag-lift and swarmed by fans. She beams as she signs autographs on children’s helmets and smiles camera-cute for mobile phone snapshots. An approachable superstar, then, despite an ever-growing profile back home. Appearances on Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show and in make-up and car ads have made Lindsey one of the best-known skiers in the US, even if an Olympic gong is still missing from her trophy cabinet. She has her sights set on doing something about that in Vancouver mighty soon though: she has trained harder for the Olympics than in previous years, spending almost the whole of June at the training centre of the FC Red Bull Salzburg soccer team, and in the Tyrol under the watchful eye of Red Bull’s

Athletes Special Projects team. She has also “done a lot more weight-training this time around” and will be competing almost on home turf, having carved the host city’s slopes frequently as part of the US junior team. Taking home a medal of any colour would suit Lindsey just fine. She comes across a tiny little skier sobbing in the queue for the drag-lift. She immediately whips a hankie out of her anorak, bends down and whispers words of comfort to the distraught child. The mite opens his eyes wide, forgets his troubles in an instant and stares at this apparition as if she were a goddess before trudging off happily to his lodge, mitten in mitten with his mother. “Yeah, I’d happily have four children,” Lindsey says as we hang onto the lift. “But we’ll see if I want more after the first one. At the moment I can’t imagine a life without racing. But I want to be a young mother and definitely don’t want to carry on until I’m 40.” Of course, it would be great, she says, if her future kids – as long as they end up with the top-sportsman gene – like skiing. But if not, it won’t be a problem; she’ll just do all she can to give them an early start in sport, whether it’s tennis, golf or skiing. Her own experience taught her the value of starting ’em young: Lindsey was just two-and-a-half years old the first time she put on skis. That was back in Minnesota and of course she can’t remember it. Subsequent years in Vail are clearer, as is the fact that she never did much straightforward skiing: it was always training with gates. “I learned to ski the ‘old-school’ way,” she reflects. “I tried carving skis for the first time when I was 15. I was a bit scared

The Route to World Domination From Minnesota via Vail to Park City and the Tyrol: carving a champion on the slopes

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“There are no tricks to going fast. You’ve got to be in good shape and keep your balance. Then bring your hands forward and look where you’re going!” of them and thought, ‘No, this will never do!’ But after a couple more tries I wanted to change straight over to the new skis. Because it was easier and, most importantly, faster.” Speed is the thrill in Lindsey Vonn’s life that she’d probably least want to sacrifice. Even when it’s not competitive, she just loves to swoosh down the slopes. “It’s just fun going fast,” she says when we get off the lift at the top of the hill. “But I don’t go for it if there are other people on the slope. It’d be too dangerous.” OK then, so what’s the plan for this afternoon’s exclusive ski lesson, given that the slope isn’t empty and visibility is only around 20m? “I’ll just slalom round the other skiers,” Lindsey explains and describes a roughly ideal trajectory. I ask if she can share some pro tricks, to help me keep up as long as possible? “Ha ha ha... No idea,” says the world champion, shuddering with laughter. “There are no tricks. You’ve got to be in good shape and find your balance. Then bring your hands forward

and look where you’re going!” So that’s that then. “Bend your knees and off we go!” shouts Mrs Vonn, as Frau Korda sets off bravely in her wake. One swish, two, three, four, five... With each, the distance between us increases. I’m out of breath by the time we reach the bottom of the steep slope. Thanks, Lindsey, for taking a little breather too. But it’s not long before we’re off to our final destination. Sticks under her arms, crouched in a low downhill squat, Lindsey vanishes in the haze. I come to a halt at the midway point about two minutes later. Lindsey has a smile on her face and I really don’t want to know why. “Good old school,” is all she says. You can probably imagine – if you want to – my state of mind as I tried to get my skis off at the end of our little adventure outside the lodge. “Cocoa?” Lindsey asks. She’s not really meant to. She shouldn’t have any sweet things. Like any top athlete she needs sports nutrition, rich in carbohydrates, a mantra that has been drummed into her from the start of her racing career. And she wants to look good, too – not always easy in ski gear, despite Lindsey’s obvious physical attributes. It’s only relatively recently that a slightly more fashionable look has prevailed in skiing and Lindsey is fortunate with the people who dress her. There’s no need to reiterate that she’s a bit of a stunner, but that peachy complexion beaming from every victory photograph is achieved almost entirely without make-up. “During a race I just wear a bit of sunscreen, a glittery mineral powder and lipstick,” says Lindsey, succumbing to the temptation of a little shared Kaiserschmarrn [one of Austria’s signature desserts]. Even world champions have weak spots. K_\=@JNfic[:lgÆNfd\eËjJlg\i$>#;fne_`ccXe[>`XekJcXcfdÆ`jfe AXelXip))$)+#)'('#Xk:fik`eX[Ë8dg\qqf#@kXcp%M`j`knnn%c`e[j\pmfee%Zfd

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Kabul: Skate City

Where troop commitments and the political structure might be failing, skate diplomacy is stepping in. The international crew that introduced Kabul’s youth to skateboarding has opened the country’s first skatepark Words: Gerhard Stochl




eginning with Southern California’s Z-Boys in the 1970s and continuing with inner-city teens of today, skateboarding’s rebellious attitude has long had a seemingly magnetic attraction to fearless thrillseekers and troubled youths, often transforming their lives. Nowhere has this theory faced a more thorough test than in Kabul. The capital of war-torn Afghanistan is the site of the country’s first skateboarding school and, as of late October last year, its first indoor skatepark. Initiated and run by Australian transplant Oliver Percovich, Skateistan, as the project is appropriately named,


is very much an exercise in beating the odds. It attempts to introduce Afghan kids from traditionally averse ethnic and cultural backgrounds to a sport many of them have never even seen before. “Skateboarding is the only sport being practised by girls in public, with full community support. It gets girls and boys of all ethnicities and classes laughing and smiling,” says Percovich. Perhaps more importantly, Skateistan also aims to use the sport as a springboard to engage Afghan youth and introduce them to a variety of educational and personal empowerment programmes. A lot of hope is riding on the new skatehall, with its state-of-the-art ramps and classrooms. True to Skateistan’s

mission, the obstacles were built in nine short days by renowned German ramp builder Andreas Schuetzenberger with locally sourced materials and “the help of Afghan locals and some of the street kids so that they could get a feel [and skills] for building the ramps”, says Schuetzenberger. Thanks to funding from various European embassies and skateboarding brands it will be the beating heart of the fledgling Afghan skateboard scene and, if things go well, the first of many parks in regional centres around the country. A few days before opening the new park, Percovich explained the challenges and rewards of working in Afghanistan and what lies ahead for Skateistan.

ACTION Q: What prompted you to leave your native Australia for Afghanistan in early 2007 and how did the idea for a skateboarding school first take root? A: I had been travelling and skating with my friend Sharna Nolan, who went on to work in Kabul. She had taken her board and kept telling me about how the children in the compound where she worked loved skating. I had an idea to bring more boards with me and headed to Kabul. When I got there, I was able to take boards into local schools and start teaching kids. The idea quickly grew from there. Q: What was the most noticeable and immediate impact on kids in Kabul? A: While some of them may have seen a skateboard on television, they had

never seen a real skateboard before. They didn’t even have a word for it in their own language. Skateboarding is very different to other Afghan sports, which tend to be violent or competitive. Sports teams tend to be based upon on ethnicity (Pashtun or Tajik), meaning that even in really positive sports like soccer, kids can have little interaction across ethnic boundaries. And girls rarely, if ever, get the chance to participate in a sport. Skateboarding gets kids interacting across these boundaries, and builds new respect between classes. Q: Did you encounter ethnic and social divisions among the kids you taught to skateboard? A: Most of the time the children are so

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Kickflipping with the kids Pro skateboarder Cairo Foster has travelled the world in the name of skating. This past summer, he got the opportunity to visit Skateistan 76

hall. This is the first time that they’ll have a truly youth-owned and youthfriendly space to play and skate in. They know what it means and they’re taking it pretty seriously. We are confident that Afghanistan can produce a pro skateboarder in the next five years. Q: Other than learning how to skate, what are some of overriding goals you are pursuing with Skateistan? A: We have two classrooms where we run our educational programme. Our main aim is to get all 360 Skateistan students enrolled and for them to do well in their regular schoolwork. Skateistan is about giving them a supportive space to grow, be confident and speak out about the issues surrounding them.

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Q: Has the local government been supportive of your efforts? A: Yes, the project has support from a number of Afghan ministries and prominent Sunni and Shia Mullahs. We package it in a very culturally appropriate way, which has been very successful. I am the acting advisor to the National Olympic Committee President, which helps a lot. We have built a successful relationship by working together for common goals, to offer high-quality sports and recreational opportunity to the Afghan public. Q: You say that the Afghan government has been very supportive, but what has been the reaction of regular Afghans to the project and

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excited to skate that the ethnic or social divisions don’t really come into their mind at first. We acknowledge, however, that it can be tougher for the girls when they begin to skate, as they have to overcome their own fears and get used to being watched by others as they learn something quite difficult. We make sure that we have their parents’ consent and that they feel really supported. Skateboarding is the only sport being practised by girls in public, with full community support. Q: Do you feel like you’re facilitating the birth of what will one day become the Afghan skateboard scene? A: Absolutely, the kids here are fearless and can’t get enough of skateboarding. They’re really impressed with the skate

ACTION what do you mean by “packaging it in a culturally appropriate way”? A: Our successes have come from involving Afghan officials and parents in the development of our project. The result is a heavy Afghan influence in our skatepark. Children skate in cultural dress in a park painted in the colors of Afghanistan. We don’t bring in other skate-related influences, such as hip-hop. Now that there is a world-class skate facility in Kabul, skateboarding is being taken as seriously as any other Olympic sport. Q: How important is the skatehall in your plans for Skateistan? A: The most important component of the skatehall is the life skills we are trying to develop in our students. Skating is fun

and exciting, but the respect and confidence it can give the students is more important. Skating is the reward for them for doing well in other aspects of life. For instance how they do at school, or how they treat their family, other students and themselves. Q: What were some of the most significant hardships you faced while trying to get Skateistan off the ground? A: The main hurdles have been related to funding. Skateboarding doesn’t easily fit into typical funding categories for humanitarian aid spent in Afghanistan. We knocked on a lot of doors to get what we have. Other challenges come from working in an uncertain environment. The situation can change daily, meaning

that the idea or agreement you thought you had yesterday can be different tomorrow. Quality-assurance standards are practically non-existent, meaning you have to supervise everything. It takes a lot of patience and persistence to work in Kabul, but the rewards are huge. Q: Looking into the future, what would your ideal vision of Skateistan be, say, three years from now? A: We have plans to source more funding to build more parks in regional centres. The Afghan government is right behind our project and has already made land available for building. We have a working model that is culturally appropriate. We are now looking for more sponsors to help us realise our goals.

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More Body & Mind Snow, sounds and a short story to make you shiver




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Hangar-7 Interview

Adam Raga Perfect paella, the perfect day, Arnold Schwarzenegger movies and bullfighting. No subject is off-limits when the six-time trials world champion wheelies into Hangar-7

Adam Raga is doing wheelies, stoppies and nose-wheelies on his Gas Gas trials bike outside Hangar-7 at Salzburg airport. He’s thirsty, so right on cue a chap called Bernhard brings him an interesting-looking cocktail: drive-by drinking. Raga and his minder, Santi Navarro, arrived earlier in the day. Raga holds Navarro in a position of absolute trust and he stands right behind the barriers, giving his rider instructions via radio. It’s a very close relationship, kind of the same as the rapport between a rally driver and co-driver. Raga is impressed by the exhibits at Hangar-7, and not just the aeroplanes; he’s particularly taken with the 125cc road-racing KTM bike. Raga owns all kinds of bikes, but the models vary. He only forms a special relationship with the trials bikes he’s had success on since childhood. He has no fewer than 17 at home, which one day will form the basis of a Raga Museum. Trials riding may be a niche sport in many countries, but in Raga’s homeland, Spain, it’s practically as big as bullfighting. Raga is a great supporter of this most iconic and macho of sports – and not just because he has friends who are toreros: he also sees parallels between the two sports. “Like trials riding, bullfighting’s a sport you need to be very sharp for. You have to anticipate what might happen and think things through. If you want to outsmart the bull, you can’t just quickly jump to one side. You have to be in charge of the situation the whole time, just like in trials.” Adam comes from Terres de l’Ebre. It’s where the Ebro river flows into the Mediterranean and forms a massive delta. Everything you need for the locals’ favourite dish – paella – is on hand in the delta: rice, fish, meat, spices. And vegetables, of course, for show. Raga is very proud of his region. The sea in front of you, the mountains behind you and 80

lots of space to drive a motorbike in between, plus his main sponsor – Gas Gas – is just round the corner, relatively speaking, in Girona. There used to be a huge end-of-season trials party for several hundred guests at the home of then owner Narcis Casas, and anyone who had the good fortune to end up hungry and tired in Girona after a day


of rambling on their bikes in a seemingly endless landscape will never forget the gigantic paella that was prepared in pans the size of billiard tables. Naturally Raga considers himself something of a connoisseur of the rice dish. “We distinguish between three types of paella: mainly mountain paella and seafood paella. Seafood paella has got fish, crabs, mussels and octopus in it – whatever the sea yields. The mountain paella, by contrast, might have poultry, rabbit or any other sort of meat. And of course you can mix the ingredients of mountain and seafood paella. Mixed paella is a distinct culinary art form.” So what’s a good paella like then? “A good paella is like a journey of discovery. You find a bit of meat here, a prawn there, some vegetables somewhere else. Paella is a reflection of our region: very diverse and traditional. But the best

paella in the world is at my mother’s place. She cooks for the Gas Gas team during the World Championships too. You’re already in culinary luck to be Catalan, but my mother’s paella is the best luck you can possibly have.” Doesn’t paella get boring eventually though? “No, that’s the secret. I also love all sorts of fish dishes. And I’m a fan of Japanese cuisine because it’s intelligent food. Rice and raw fish contain everything a sportsman needs.” Anyone can understand how exhausting trials is. It’s mainly about being quick and bouncy, and about being explosive, but fitness and concentration matter too. That’s the only way to survive all the strength-sapping sections of a weekend without making mistakes. Trials riders are super-fit. Adam trains for up to six hours a day. “Four hours on the bike, two off it.” His body’s not huge, he’s more of a fit little bundle of muscles and nerves. Which is why his nom de guerre ‘The Destroyer’ – emblazoned on the back of his overalls – sometimes perlexes him. Where does the name come from? “People started calling me it because I destroyed everything: bikes (Santi flatly denies this) and opponents. And because I’m a big fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger in general, but particularly his Conan films: Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer. I think Schwarzenegger is cleverer than all the roles he’s played. I’d really like to meet him some day.” But meantime how would he most like to fill his time. “Riding my motorbike. The most fun I’ve had was when Kini [bike legend Heinz Kinigadner] did his Battle of Kings; rampaging around all day with a group of mates in the water, on different motorbikes, in cars, quads, and always pushing it to the limit. I’ve got to talk Kini into doing it again.” Kf[`jZfm\idfi\f]k_\ki`Xcjf]8[XdIX^X# _fgfefm\ikfnnn%X[XdiX^X%Zfd


Words: Werner Jessner Photography: Ricardo Herrgott

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Get the Gear

Group Dynamics


Now that Rock Band and Guitar Hero have inspired you, here’s all you need to rock for real


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Snow Wonder Extreme skier Axel Naglich, star of the soon-to-be-released movie Mount St Elias has skied all over the world. He reveals his favourite mountain escapes


Arlberg (Austria) This is a resort in a class of its own – perfectly designed, loads of wonderful downhills, but unfortunately a bit stuckup. The only real downer here is that bad weather will stop your fun as most of the slopes are above the tree line.

Lake Louise (Canada) It’s a bit remote and quieter, less lively than elsewhere, but it’s fantastically well organised for on-piste skiing. They don’t look favourably on you going out of bounds, though. They’ll take your skipass off you straight away.

Chamonix (France)/ Courmayeur (Italy) Incredible skiing region high in the Alps and amazingly good for skiing off-piste. Sadly a bit crowded. Playing around in the deep snow here is for early birds.

Monte Rosa (Switzerland/Italy) The area on the Swiss-Italian border is fantastic, thanks to the scenery (Matterhorn, Dufourspitze/Monte Rosa). It’s perfect for an all-round skiing holiday with great opportunities for alpine touring and even heli-skiing. The downside is that they have a ‘northern winter’, ie the snow comes from the north, so the snow conditions can be poor. On the plus side, the weather’s often great.

Kitzbühel (Austria) It’s big and it’s fantastic. As a Kitzbühel native, I would say that, wouldn’t I? You can do practically all varieties of skiing here, even in bad weather. We have trees! And in the Streif [Hahnenkamm], we have a downhill that’s got everything. It’s not your bog-standard downhill, it’s a freak of nature. In the days after the race, ie from the middle of January, it’s really spectacular, even if it can be incredibly icy and often glassy. What you need then are rough edges and skill. But even they’re not enough on their own. You’ve got to have balls too. 84


Saalbach-Hinterglemm (Austria) Ideal for piste-freaks. This is the perfect location for anyone who really wants to let their hair down. San Carlos de Bariloche (Argentina) Anyone who knows their stuff knows that the Cerro Catedral might not be the classic touring area, but it’s got interesting slopes. Compared to Las Leñas, which looks like a copy of a French resort, Cerro Catedral comes across as a nice, mature resort. Sella Ronda (Italy) Val Gardena, Alta Badia – home to World Cup slope Gran Risa – and Cortina are the main resorts in this skiing




Girdwood (USA) Alaska’s largest skiing area offers mind-blowing heliskiing adventures, but if you can’t afford that, there are still 10 lifts and some great downhills. Girdwood is small but perfectly formed, which gives a great atmosphere. If you do get bored, Anchorage is only 40 miles away.



area. Good skiers can make their way round the Sella group in one day. If you have more time, the tour can be divided over several days. Conditions are good even in winters without much snow, as the southern Tyroleans are experts at making artificial snow. Trois Vallées (France) The slopes at Val Thorens, Meribel and Courchevel make up the largest skiing area in the world with approximately 600km in all. You can easily find 1000 different things to do. As it’s high up – 3300m at its highest – you’re almost bound to have snow. But if the weather’s bad, you’ll be hanging around... Vail/Beaver Creek (USA) Perfect for an all-round skiing holiday. Lovers of the slopes should make a special effort to visit Colorado where they can thrash and bomb around. But no crouching down. Speed might not be punished, but you’ll have your pass taken away if you squat!


Valle Nevado (Chile) Just an hour away from the capital city of Santiago at about 3000m above sea-level amid formidable mountains, many of them 5000/6000m tall. A thoroughly decent ski resort and the only place to heli-ski in South America. Wanaka (New Zealand) Perfect location and a lake of the same name to feast your eyes on. Should be combined with a full-on New Zealand holiday because of the long journey to get there (unless you’re a Kiwi, of course). Whistler Mountain (Canada) Offers wonderful off-piste fun. Whether you access the area by helicopter or snowscooter, you can easily get out of the ski resort and onto pristine hillsides. J\\k_\kiX`c\if]8o\cEX^c`Z_Ëj ]`cdXknnn%dflekjk\c`Xj%Zfd

Kil\kf_`j@kXc`Xe _\i`kX^\#9X`fZZf ]cXmflijdXep[`j_\j n`k_k_\_\iYYXj`c

A Question of Taste

Stefano Baiocco A quick-fire Q&A with the Michelin-starred executive chef of the Grand Hotel A Villa Feltrinelli, Gargnano, Italy What can’t you cook without? “A good chef doesn’t forget the basics,” Baiocco explains. “So he could never cook without water.” Famed for his inspirational use of herbs and flowers to create magical flavours, Baiocco grows them in their multifarious types in the gardens of the Villa Feltrinelli. What are his specialities? A huge variety of basils and sorrels. And which ingredient did you have to learn to love? “I never liked cheese and I can’t bear even one single variety to this day. I also struggled with soy sauce to start with, but now I love it to the point where it’s become an important element of my cooking: light Mediterranean cuisine with Asian influences.” The culinary fusion makes sense: Baiocco started out as a chef in Florence and then ended up in Paris with Alain Ducasse and Pierre Gagnaire before moving to Tokyo and Hong Kong. Then his skills were fine-tuned with the godfather of molecular gastronomy,

Ferran Adrià, at El Bulli in Cala Montjoi north of Barcelona. Pot, pan or balloon whisk? What kit is in your kitchen? “Definitely the Pacojet. It’s a foodprocessor that lets you make really tasty ice-creams, pastes and oils straight from the stuff in your freezer. It’s magic!” Jk\]Xef9X`fZZfn`ccY\k_\^l\jkZ_\]Xk k_\@bXiljI\jkXliXekXk?Xe^Xi$.`eJXcqYli^ k_ifl^_flkAXelXip%=fidfi\`e]ffen_XkËj _Xgg\e`e^Xk?Xe^Xi$.#m`j`knnn%_Xe^Xi$.%Zfd


MORE BODY & MIND WINTER X GAMES 14 28 - 31. 01. 10 K_\Y\jkXk_c\k\jfejb`j# jefnYfXi[jXe[jefndfY`c\j YXkkc\`kflk]fiXZfm\k\[ O>Xd\j^fc[d\[Xc`ek_\ lck`dXk\jefn[fne% 8jg\e#:fcfiX[f#LJ8


Check out this month’s hottest action from the coolest places around the globe




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I\`^e`e^Z_Xdg`feAXd\j Jk\nXike\\[jkf_`kk_\dl[ i\mm`e^kfi\kX`e_`jZifne%K_\ _`jkfi`ZZ_Xdg`fej_`gb`Zbjf]] `e:Xc`]fie`XY\]fi\k_\^iXe[ ÔeXc\#(-jkfgjcXk\i#`ek_\ jl`kXYcp^c`kqpCXjM\^Xj% 8eX_\`d#LJ8



9i\Xk_kXb`e^_`^_jXnX`k jg\ZkXkfijXjk_\Zfdg\k`k`fe kXb\jf]]]ifdk_\jcfg\jXe[ `ekfk_\8ljki`Xejb`\j% 9`jZ_f]j_f]\e#8ljki`X

K_\Nfic[:cXjj`Z\ekiXekjc`jk i\X[jc`b\Xn_fËjn_ff]k_\ 9DOÕXkcXe[nfic[#k_fl^_Xcc \p\jn`ccY\fe=i\eZ_i`[\iXe[ )''0nfic[Z`iZl`kZ_Xdg`fe DXkk_`Xj;Xe[f`j% Kfbpf#AXgXe

FIS SNOWBOARD WORLD CUP 06 - 07.01.10 I\`^e`e^=@JNfic[:lg Z_Xdg`feJ`^`>iXYe\i]XZ\j jk`]]Zfdg\k`k`fefek_\ Bi\`jZ_Y\i^jcfg\jXjZlii\ek GJCnfic[Z_Xdg`fe9\eaXd`e BXic`jcffb`e^_le^ip]fiXn`e% Bi\`jZ_Y\i^#8ljki`X

THE ROXY CHICKEN JAM 08 - 10.01.10 Efn`e`kjj\m\ek_p\Xi#k_`j n`ccY\k_\Ôijkj`o$jkXi\m\ek fek_\Z_`ZbjË#jfiip#nfd\eËj# JnXkZ_KKIJefnYfXi[Kfli% K_\),'d$cfe^Zflij\n`cc `eZcl[\)*fYjkXZc\j#Xe[Xcc \p\jn`ccY\fepfle^:q\Z_ i`[\iJXibXGXeZfZ_fmX% JXXcYXZ_&?`ek\i^c\dd# 8ljki`X

FIS SKI FLYING WORLD CUP 08 - 10.01.10 Jg\\[`e^dfi\k_Xe)*'d k_ifl^_k_\X`ifejb`j`jdfi\ Õ`^_kk_XealdgXj]XiXjk_\ =@J`jZfeZ\ie\[%@eBlcd#fe\ f]fecpÔm\m\el\jY`^\efl^_ kf_fjkk_\dfjk\oki\d\aldgj ^f`e^#`kËjefkXeleljlXcj`^_k% Blcd#9X[D`kk\ie[fi]#8ljki`X


BURTON EUROPEAN OPEN 09 - 16.01.10 K_\dfjkXYc\XdXk\lij Zfdg\k\X^X`ejkjfd\f] <lifg\Ëjgif]\jj`feXcY\jkXk Y`^^\jkj`e^c\jefnYfXi[`e^ \m\ek`e<lifg\#n_`Z_`jYXZb ]fik_\((k_p\Xi%K_\i\ËjX Z`iZljk_\d\kff#jfpfldXp ^\kkfj\\XZcfne`eX_Xc]$g`g\% CXXo#Jn`kq\icXe[

IBU BIATHLON WORLD CUP 11 - 17.01.10 K_\jb``e^#j_ffk`e^jefn]\jk i\XZ_\jk_\_Xc]nXpdXib `e>\idXep#Xe[k_\i\Ëj \m\ipk_`e^jk`cckfgcXp]fi% Il_gfc[`e^#>\idXep

RED BULL OPEN ICE 15.01.10 Fg\e@Z\i\^`feXcZfdg\k`k`fej _Xm\n_`kkc\[+/`Z\_fZb\p k\Xdj[fnekfk_\(-n_f\ek\i k_\ÔeXcfeeXkliXccp]ifq\e CXb\Fdjqb]fik_\eXk`feXc Z_Xdg`fej_`g%N`ee\ijhlXc`]p ]fik_\`ek\ieXk`feXcÔeXc`e D`ee\jfkX#LJ8#e\okdfek_% 9l[Xg\jk#?le^Xip

RED BULL STREET STYLE 09.01.10 K_\eXk`feËjY\jk]i\\jkpc\ dfm\ijg\i]fid]fi=:I\[9lcc JXcqYli^gcXp\iJXjX@c`Z%K_\ m`Zkfin`cci\gi\j\ekJ\iY`X`e k_\Nfic[=`eXcj`e8gi`c% 9\c^iX[\#J\iY`X

MORE BODY & MIND FIS SKI WORLD CUP MEN 22 - 24.01.10 8gXZb\[Zflgc\f][XpjXkfe\ f]k_\nfic[Ëjdfjkefkfi`flj [fne_`ccjcfg\jj_flc[j\gXiXk\ k_\d\e]ifdk_\YfpjXjk_\ Nfic[:lg_\Xkjlg% B`kqY•_\c#8ljki`X

RED BULL CRASHED ICE 16.01.10 KXb\X*,'d`Z\kiXZb#\c\d\ekj f]`Z\_fZb\p#YfXi[\iZifjj Xe[[fne_`ccjbXk`e^#^`m\`kX ^ff[jk`iXe[pfl_Xm\I\[9lcc :iXj_\[@Z\#X_\X[$kf$_\X[ iXZ\`en_`Z_fecpk_\Ôijkknf kfk_\Ôe`j_c`e\^fk_ifl^_% Nfic[$Y\n`ee\ij]ifdXccfm\i <lifg\YXkkc\kfdXb\k_\ÔeXc Zlkf]-+Zfdg\k`e^Xkk_\ Fcpdg`ZGXib`eDle`Z_% Dle`Z_#>\idXep

ICE SPEEDWAY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING 16.01.10 K_\Zifn[Xi\^lXiXek\\[kf Y\fek_\`i]\\k[li`e^k_\k_`i[ ifle[f]hlXc`]p`e^]fik_`j p\XiËjnfic[Z_Xdg`fej_`g# n`k_i`[\ijXZZ\c\iXk`e^kf_`^_ jg\\[jfeXe`Z\kiXZbn`k_ fecpjg`b\[kpi\jkfb\\gk_`e^j fek_\jkiX`^_kXe[eXiifn% 8ljki`Xe`Z\jg\\[nXpc\^\e[ =iXebpQfien`ccY\glj_`e^]fi k_\gf[`ld`en_XkËjYfle[kf Y\XeXZk`fe$gXZb\[\m\ek% JkAf_Xee#8ljki`X

FIS SKI JUMPING WORLD CUP 16 - 17.01.10 K_\JXggfif\m\ekdXibj k_\_Xc]nXpgf`ek`ek_\Nfic[ :lgXe[`jk_\Ôijkjkfg flkj`[\<lifg\fek_\kfli% JXggfif#AXgXe

WORLD ROOKIE FEST 16 - 20.01.10 8ck_fl^_k_\j\Zfe[jkX^\f] k_\Nfic[Iffb`\KfliYi`e^j ]lkli\jefnYfXi[`e^kXc\ek kf^\k_\i`e@kXcpkfc\Xie]ifd gif]\jj`feXcj#^X`e\og\i`\eZ\ Xe[^fkfX]\ngXik`\j#k_\ Zfdg\k`k`fe\c\d\ek`jjk`cc j\i`flj%N`k_XZ_Xdg`fekf Y\Zifne\[Xkk_\nfic[ÔeXcj `e8ljki`X`e8gi`c#k_\Iffb`\ Kfli`j[\j`^e\[kf[`jZfm\i e\nkXc\ek#Xe[cXleZ_X]lkli\ jgfik`e^_\ifflkf]fYjZli`kp% Dfkkfc`ef#@kXcp


EXTREME SAILING SERIES 01 - 05.2.10 K_\Zi\Xkfijkffbk_\]Xjk\jk iXZ`e^YfXkj`ek_\Fcpdg`ZjXe[ [flYc\[k_\`ij`q\Xe[jg\\[ gfk\ek`XckfZi\Xk\Xj\i`\j [\j\im`e^f]`kjÊ\oki\d\Ëk`kc\% DljZXk#FdXe

K_\Y\jkdXc\jb`Xe[ jefnYfXi[]i\\i`[\ij_`kk_\ jcfg\j]fik_\Ôijkf]]fli =i\\i`[\Nfic[KflijkX^\j% N_XkËjdfi\#`kXcckXb\jgcXZ\ Xkk_\j`k\f]k_\)'(+N`ek\i Fcpdg`Zj%K_\^`icjXi\^f`e^ kf^\kk_\`iklie`e:_Xdfe`o# =iXeZ\#feAXelXip*'% JfZ_`#Iljj`X

FIS SKI WORLD CUP WOMEN 29 - 31.01.10 K_\g`Zkli\jhl\j\kk`e^]fi k_`jc\^f]k_\nfd\eËjNfic[ :lgdXpY\befneXjk_\Kfg f]k_\Nfic[#Ylkn`k_jlg\i ZfdY`e\[#[fne_`ccXe[Jlg\i> [`jZ`gc`e\jY\`e^k\jk\[#]ifek$ ilee\ijc`b\8d\i`ZXeC`e[j\p MfeenfeËkY\XYc\kfkXb\k_\`i \p\jf]]k_\n_`k\jkl]]% JkDfi`kq#Jn`kq\icXe[

EC RED BULL SALZBURG V EC KAC 29.01.10 K_\cfZXck\XdkXb\fecXjk p\XiËjeXk`feXcZ_Xdg`fej# <:B8:]ifdBcX^\e]lik#fe _fd\kli]fij_flc[k_XkY\ `Z\ #Xkk_\JXcqYli^<`jXi\eX# `ek_\k_`i[Xe[ÔeXcd\\k`e^ f]k_\knfk\Xdj[li`e^k_\ i\^lcXij\Xjfe% <`jXi\eXJXcqYli^#8ljki`X

WHITE STYLE 29.01.10 DflekX`eY`b\j[feËkXcc\e[ lg`ek_\j_\[n_\e`kjefnj% I`[\ij]ifdXifle[k_\nfic[ kXb\kfgligfj\$Yl`ck`Zpjcfg\j `eC\f^Xe^]fiN_`k\Jkpc\#k_\ kfl^_\jkjefnjcfg\jkpc\\m\ek ]fik_\nfic[ËjY\jkkf^fY`^% CXjkp\XiËjn`ee\i#JgXe`j_ Z_Xdg`fe8e[i\lCXZfe[\^lp# n`ccY\YXZbkf[\]\e[_`jk`kc\% C\f^Xe^#8ljki`X

FREERIDE WORLD TOUR 30.01.10 @kËjk`d\]fik_\^`icjkfkXb\ kfk_\jefnfejb`jfiYfXi[j `ek_\j\Zfe[c\^f]k_\]fli$ jkX^\kfli#Xe[c`m\lgkfk_\ \m\ekËjY`ccf]_Xm`e^k_\Y\jk ]i\\i`[\ijflkk_\i\fek_\Y\jk dflekX`ejk_\nfic[_Xjkf f]]\i%8]k\i:_Xdfe`o#k_\\m\ek k_\e_\X[jkfJhlXnMXcc\p# LJ8#`e=\YilXip#Y\]fi\k_\ ÔeXci\kliejk_\Zfdg\k`kfijkf <lifg\#`eM\iY`\i#Jn`kq\icXe[% :_Xdfe`o#=iXeZ\

BOSTON CELTICS V LA LAKERS 31.01.10 8_#k_\ZcXjj`Z%DX^`ZXe[ CXiipdXpY\cfe^^fe\#Ylk k_\Zlii\ek`eZXieXk`fef]k_\ jkfi`\[:\ck`ZjXe[CXb\ij i`mXcipÆn`k_BfY\9ipXek Xe[Ife8ik\jkjhlXi`e^lg X^X`ejkB\m`e>Xie\kkXe[ IXafeIfe[fÆ`jjk`cck_\ E98ËjdfjkjkXi$jkl[[\[% K;9Xebefik_>Xi[\e# 9fjkfe#LJ8


MORE BODY & MIND PRINS THOMAS 22.01.10 K_\Efin\^`Xe;AYi`e^jfc[$ k`d\aXqq#\c\d\ekjf]ifZb# Y`^YXjjXe[[`jZfkfZi\Xk\ Xjfle[k_Xk`jXcc_`jfne% Qflb:clY#J`e^Xgfi\


All around the world there are plenty of festivals, gigs and club nights to keep you entertained


DIPLO 07.01.10 K_\dXe]ifdD`jj`jj`gg`_Xj i`j\ekfk_\iXebf]jlg\ijkXi ;An`k__`jle`hl\Yc\e[f] Y\XkjXe[dfi\gXjjgfik jkXdgj%K_\:fie\i?fk\c# fe\$k`d\jkX^\]fik_\c`b\jf] D`ZbAX^^\i#L)Xe[K_\N_`k\ Jki`g\j#`jXm\el\Ôkkf^`m\ _`dXjl`kXYc\n\cZfd\% K_\:fie\i?fk\c#D\cYflie\# 8ljkiXc`X

JIMMY EDGAR 08.01.10 @kËjXkilcp`ek\ieXk`feXcX]]X`i XjA`ddp<[^XiËj\c\Zkife`Z jfle[jXii`m\`eDX[i`[Xcck_\ nXp]ifd;\kif`k#m`XJ_\]Ô\c[ i\Zfi[cXY\cNXigI\Zfi[j% Jg\ZbX#DX[i`[#JgX`e

MODESELEKTOR 08.01.10 <c\Zkife`Z_`g$_fgiXg Zfcc\Zk`m\Df[\j\c\bkfiXi\ X9\ic`e$YXj\[flkÔkdlZ_ X[d`i\[YpK_fdPfib\Xe[ DXo‹dfGXib#Xe[]XejXj ]XiXÔ\c[XjK\c8m`m% 9Xiq`cXp#K\c8m`m#@jiX\c

SUMMADAYZE FESTIVAL QUEENSLAND 09.01.10 =fik_\gXjkj\m\ep\Xij#k_`j ]\jk`mXc_XjYlqq\[`ek_\E\n P\Xin`k_k_\Y`^^\jkeXd\j `e\c\Zkife`Zdlj`Z%K_\kXc\ek fef]]\i`jXjY`^X[iXnXjk_\ n\Xk_\i#n`k_eXd\jc`b\:Xic :fo#)DXep;Aj#=Xb\9cff[# J`e[\e#BiX]kpBlkjXe[DXafi CXq\i#n`k_Hl\\ejcXe[k_\ ÔeXc\f]Xj`o$jkfgkfli% >fc[:fXjk#8ljkiXc`X

ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI 09.01.10 K_\dlck`$`ejkild\ekXc`jkj [fnekffcjkfkXb\lgXgcXZ\Xk k_\[\Zbj`ek_\`i_fd\kfne% Jfle[ZXjkc\j#M`Zkfi`X# 8ljkiXc`X

AIR 11.01.10 K_\d\cf[`Z#\c\Zkife`Z#jpek_ jkXcnXikjgcXpk_\`ie\njkl[`f XcYldCfm\)kfX_fd\Zifn[# n\Xm`e^`ejfd\f]k_\`i ZcXjj`Zj]fi^ff[d\Xjli\% :Xj`ef[\GXi`j#GXi`j#=iXeZ\

NEON INDIAN 08.01.10

APPLEBLIM 11.01.10

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ZINC 08.01.10

MUSE 11.01.10

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MICACHU & THE SHAPES 08. 01. 10 BefneXjD`ZXZ_l#D`ZXC\m``jX ZcXjj`ZXccp$kiX`e\[^XiX^\Xe[ ^i`d\Xik`jk%K_\YXe[dXb\ dfjkf]k_\`i`ejkild\ekj% 8dgc`Ô\i#G\ik_#8ljkiXc`X

MORE BODY & MIND ST JEROME’S LANEWAY FESTIVAL 29.01.10 K_`j]\jk`mXc_Xjgifm\[k_Xk `kËjgfjj`Yc\kfY\Yfk_Y`^Xe[ Yflk`hl\%J\\=cfi\eZ\Xe[k_\ DXZ_`e\#IX[`fZc`kXe[K_\OO% 9i`jYXe\#8ljkiXc`X

OK GO 14.01.10

MOVE D 15.01.10

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MAKOTO 15.01.10

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THE XX 18.01.10 CXjkp\XiK_\OOZfeÔid\[ k_\`ilg$Xe[$Zfd`e^jkXklj n`k_kflijjlggfik`e^k_\ dlj`ZXcjn\\k_\Xikjf])''0# =i`\e[cp=`i\jXe[=cfi\eZ\ Xe[k_\DXZ_`e\%Efn\ek\i`e^ k_\E\nP\XiXjXk_i\\$g`\Z\ X]k\ik_\[\gXikli\f]k_\`i b\pYfXi[`jk#)'('Zflc[Y\ k_\`iY`^^\jkp\Xip\k% >XiX^\#Fjcf#EfinXp

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Green Room

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An accomplished American beatmaker and veteran DJ of world renown, J.Rocc dropped in on Dublin with some old school medicine to assuage the bad weather. Andreas Tzortzis partook


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AL GREEN 21.01.10 Jflcc\^\e[Xe[I\m\i\e[8c>i\\e kflZ_\j[fne`eE\nQ\XcXe[]fi k_\Ôijkk`d\`e_`j+'$p\XiZXi\\i# ]fife\e`^_kfecp%N`k_k`d\c\jj_`kj jlZ_XjKXb\D\KfK_\I`m\iXe[ C\kËjJkXpKf^\k_\i#_\Ëj^cfYXccp cfm\[Xe[i\jg\Zk\[#Ylkk_\i\Ëjef jlYjk`klk\]fij\\`e^k_\i\Xck_`e^ Xe[#Xk-*#>i\\e_Xjcfjkefe\f] _`j`eZi\[`Yc\jkX^\gi\j\eZ\% K_\<[^\#8lZbcXe[#E\nQ\XcXe[

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DJ FOOD 23.01.10 DXep_Xm\kXb\ekfk_\[\Zbj`e k_\^l`j\f];A=ff[j`eZ\`kj Zi\Xk`feYp:fc[ZlkfeE`eaXKle\j% 9lkefdXkk\in_fËjj\c\Zk`e^k_\ jfle[j#\og\ZkX_\Xikpd\Xcf] _`g$_fg#[ildËeËYXjj#Xe[ Xepk_`e^]ifdcXk`ekfale^c\% @biX#DfjZfn#Iljj`X

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World’s Best Clubs

Hawaii in Hessen Frankfurt’s hottest club for a decade pulls in the sporting A-list with minimalist design and star-studded house. Now if only Magnum, P.I. would stop by

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Seven’s Heaven


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Some like it caliente Jamón, Rioja, jazz. Spanish Red Bull Air Race star and native Madrileño Alejandro Maclean leads Nadja Zele astray in his hometown N_fe\\[jAXm`\i9Xi[\dXe[8ekfe`f 9Xe[\iXj#n_\epflËm\^fkXYfeXÔ[\ _fk$Ycff[\[X`iXZ\Xjpfli^l`[\kfk_\ e`^_kcp[\c`^_kjf]DX[i`[68c\aXe[ifÊ8c\oË DXZc\XeÆk_\jlieXd\Zfd\j]ifd_`j 94

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MORE BODY & MIND FILTHY DUKES @ DIRTY HEARTS CLUB 28.01.10 <c\ZkifXZ`[_flj\flkÔk=`ck_p ;lb\j_Xm\Y\\e_\iXc[\[Xjk_\ e\n:_\d`ZXc9ifk_\ijÆefjdXcc XZZfcX[\]fik_\Cfe[fe$YXj\[ki`f# n_fÔijkk\Xd\[lg`e)'',% JeX]l#8Y\i[\\e#JZfkcXe[

MUD: TODDLA T 29.01.10 8]k\infib`e^n`k_k_\8$c`jkc`b\jf] AXZbG\ŒXk\Xe[\o$DfcfbfdX[Xd I`jˆeDlig_p#k_\J_\]Ô\c[^i`d\ ^f[^iXZ\j;lYc`en`k__`j[`^`kXc [XeZ\_XccXe[il[\Yfpi`[[`dj% K_\Kn`jk\[G\gg\i#;lYc`e# @i\cXe[

PETER HOOK 29.01.10 K_fl^_YXe[jE\nFi[\iXe[ Afp;`m`j`fen`ccXcnXpjY\Ôijkkf d`e[n_\e`kZfd\jkfG\k\i?ffb# _\`jXcjfXkXc\ek\[;A#gcXp`e^ k_\kle\jk_XkYifl^_k`e[`\Xe[ [XeZ\kf^\k_\i`ek_fj\`Zfe`ZXe[ Yfle[Xip$Yi\Xb`e^?XZ`\e[Xp\Xij% 9Xi9c`jj#C\`^_#CXeZXj_`i\# <e^cXe[

JAMES PANTS 29.01.10

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THE KNIFE: TOMORROW, IN A YEAR 29.01 – 01.02.10

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SOUNDAY 2010 30.01.10 K_\Jfle[Xp]\jk`mXc_XjY\Zfd\X eXk`feXc]Xd`cp]Xmfli`k\Xe[i\kliej k_`jp\Xin`k_Xe\Zc\Zk`ZcfZXcc`e\lg `eZcl[`e^`e[`\ifZb\ijK_\G_f\e`o =fle[Xk`fe#jfe^ni`k\iXe[dlck`$ `ejkild\ekXc`jk;feDZ>cXj_XeXe[ XdY`\ekgif[lZ\iDf[lc\%8e[n`k_ XcZf_fc[`jZfliX^\[#k_`j`jfe\ ]\jk`mXcpfln`cci\d\dY\i% :_i`jkZ_liZ_#E\nQ\XcXe[



A story by Colin Bateman

Unhappy Endings Sometimes, being a writer can be murder… I have a problem with unhappy endings, and that depresses me. Not at the time, you understand, but later. I just have a thing about writing unhappy endings. This story is no different. It features a woman who works in a bank. Having her work in a bank adds a certain je ne sais quoi given what later develops with the banknotes. I can toss in je ne sais quoi because it’s French everyone understands. I don’t speak French. If I made her a French banker I’d really be screwed because even though the story would be in English, you’d expect her to come out with a couple of French words just to make her character seem kosher. A French Jew, in fact. She’s from Montmartrelle, I might say, which shows that I can look up a map of Paris, and then corrupt not only the specific area, but the entire arrondissement just enough to make it appear like it’s really based on Montmartre and I’ve changed it subtly because what I’m writing is too damn close to the truth to allow me to use its real name. What I’m writing must be closer to roman à clef than fiction, which also adds a certain frisson that will be further advanced by the pointless and distracting use of italics. All of which will be entirely irrelevant, because she’s not a French Jewess from Montmartrelle, but a banker from Derby. The setting is a hotel bar. It could be anywhere, which is quite worrying, given that there will be an unhappy ending. The ambience is provided by Sky Sports News with the sound high enough to be distracting but low enough not to impart any information, and the screen is just far enough away from where I’m sitting to prevent me from accurately reading the tickertape information at the bottom or the league tables and fixtures at the side. Sky Sports News is thus failing to inform me of anything on several different levels. The situation could be rectified if I simply moved closer, but I’ve become captivated by the Derby woman having a heart-to-heart with her boyfriend. I never actually see her boyfriend’s face because they’re both hidden by a pillar, and I don’t hear 96

anything he says because he’s quietly spoken, but I hear everything she says because she’s louder, and I’m drawn to her because I was once engaged to a woman who said she came from Derby. I killed that woman because she tried to break it off. When the Jehovah’s Witnesses came to the door shortly afterwards, I still had blood and soil on my hands. They asked to speak to the woman from Derby, with whom they clearly had already established some kind of relationship, but I told them that I had just murdered her and buried her under the patio. People will accept anything if you present it in the right way. They laughed politely and left, no doubt discussing my unusual sense of humour, and I was able to make a clean getaway, that time, even though I would have been quite intrigued to discover if Jehovah’s Witnesses actually made for good witnesses. It takes a lot of work to dig up a patio. It’s useful to have a power point nearby. I catch a glimpse of the guy leaving. When I peer around the pillar and ask her if she’s OK, because she’s sobbing, she says there was no need for him to storm off like that. For the purposes of this story, she is good looking. If she was some big thunder-thighed porpoise, what follows would feel rather sordid, and you would probably allow it to colour your perceptions of me as a person. It is a universal truth that people prefer to read about attractive people making love,

because you can understand the animal passions they might arouse in each other. If she had thick ankles and sagging arms and skin like a peppered mackerel, then it would just read as if I was taking advantage of her despair. So for the purposes of this story she is attractive. We are both, in fact, attractive. In fact, I’m gorgeous. Also, it would probably work better if it was set in Montmartrelle, with the bells of the Eiffel Tower peeling softly in the background, but for the purposes of this story the location will remain firmly here, in this dull city. But don’t worry, she is not another one who ends up under the patio. That would be ridiculous. Her room is on the 19th floor of this hotel, where there are no patios. In retrospect, I will remove the bells from the Eiffel Tower. I could only justify them by creating an alternative history for France in general and the Tower in particular, one in which Napoleon wasn’t defeated at Waterloo, etc, etc. and I would have to continue right up to the modern era and actually make her a French banker, but this is a short story and they’re paying by the word, and it’s really not worth the effort. I get into her room by telling her the story about the man who won the lottery. It always works. He was an ugly man who very occasionally had ugly girlfriends, which is another universal truth. But when he won the lottery he decided that now he was entitled to enjoy the company of the most beautiful woman in the world. He found her in


MORE BODY & MIND a hotel just like this one, I say. He watched her all night, and she too was marooned without any money of her own, which was ironic, because she worked in a bank. It wasn’t really ironic, but I was playing my game. “I work in a bank too!” my lady cries. “Really? What a coincidence.” Not really, as five minutes earlier she was trumpeting it all over the bar. “Anyway,” I say, “the woman in my ugly lottery man story wanted to stay out and have a good time, but now she was going to have to go back to her room all by her lonely self and cry. Except, this ugly lottery guy sidles up to her and says, “Today I became richer than I ever thought I could be, and I want to do something really special, I want to make love to you.” He told her she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen and that he knew that under normal circumstances she would never look even once at him, but he had seen her being abandoned by her man, and observed her checking her purse for money she did not have, and now he wanted to make her an offer. He told her he had £30,000 in cash in his jacket and that he would give her all of it in exchange for one hour in bed with her. “Her first instinct, naturally, was to call security, but she hesitated, and she started to think about how awful her boyfriend was and how much £30,000 was, and how nobody would ever have to know what she’d done for it.” And I pause there and take a sip of my drink. “Well, did she do it, did she?” The Derby woman is well and truly sucked in. I nod. “Oh, the little… and did she… did she enjoy it? You know what they say about ugly men. Did she fall in love and…?” “She hated it. He did all sorts of despicable things to her, but she didn’t think she could protest. She kept thinking of the money.” “And I’ll bet he ran off without paying her!” “No. He paid her the £30,000. And an extra five for her tears. But before he handed over the money, and when he was still lying on top of her, he said, just one more thing. Kiss me and this time use your tongue.” She hadn’t used it at all. She was keeping it for her boyfriend. Using her tongue somehow seemed more intimate than any of the unspeakable acts she had so recently partaken of. I ask the Derby woman if she understands why the woman in my

story was so reluctant to use her tongue. The woman from Derby nods. “But did she, in the end? Did she give in and use her tongue?” “She did. And he gave her the money, and he left and she never told a living soul.” “Gosh,” the woman from Derby says. It is not a word you hear very often these days. Gosh. “What kind of despicable things?” is her next question. Despicable is another word you don’t hear very often. The chances of somebody coming up to you in a courtroom, after the verdict has been handed down, and saying, “Gosh, you are despicable,” must be extremely remote indeed. I tell her about his despicable acts in considerable detail, and she pretends to be shocked, but it brings colour to her cheeks and there’s a coy look to her as she murmurs, “Still, £35,000.”

‘She finds it exciting, at first, the tearing off of the clothes… because her boyfriend might return at any moment’ I smile, and pat my jacket pocket, and her brow furrows, and I raise an eyebrow, and there’s a sudden sparkle in her eyes and for a long, long moment she believes that I have £30,000 for her. She whispers, “You’re not ugly at all,” and she’s right, because as we have already established, for the purposes of this story, I am gorgeous. But then I laugh and tell her that I’m a writer and the story of the lottery winner with the cash for sex offer is from one of my short stories. She looks disappointed. I say, forget the money, I’m still capable of despicable acts. And that gets her laughing, where really, it shouldn’t. She asks me if that’s really how the story ends and I tell her no, that after the lottery winner left the woman went back down to the bar and ordered a bottle of champagne, but the barman held her £20 up to the light and said it was counterfeit, and upon examining them further, they all were. She took the £30,000 out of her bag and threw them on the ground and stamped and tore at them, and just at that point her boyfriend returned, all ready to apologise, but such was her rage that she blurted out what had happened, and he stormed out again, this time for

good. My woman goes, “Oh!” and “Oh!” and that’s just a horrible story. She’s quite drunk now, and she is relatively easily persuaded to her room. She finds it exciting, at first, the tearing off of the clothes and the fumbling and tumbling, because her boyfriend might return at any moment, but when we make love she seems disappointed that I do not perform despicable deeds upon her, and she urges me to hurry up and finish, which is difficult now that I can sense her regret. As I lay upon her, I say there was an alternative ending to that story about the lottery winner and the woman of easy but expensive virtue. And she says, “What?” as in what are you talking about the short story for while you’re supposed to be finishing off. And I say, she didn’t really go down to the bar and find out she’d been fobbed off with dodgy banknotes. Didn’t you pick up on the fact that if she worked in a bank, she would probably have recognised straight away that the twenties were fake? She sighs and says: “Well, what then?” My lips move to her ear and I whisper, “The reason she never spoke about it again was that she couldn’t. When she put her tongue in his mouth, he bit it off. She bled to death there beneath him, and he stared at her the whole time she was dying, and she couldn’t move because of the weight of him upon her, and the fact that he was still inside her.” I think it is unlikely that she will have an orgasm now. “What kind of a writer are you anyway?” she hisses as she tries to get out from under me. “Who would come up with a nasty, disgusting sort of a story like that?” And I tell her that when I was learning how to become a writer, the best piece of advice my tutor ever gave me was to write about what you know. He was a good creative writing teacher. He came to our prison every week. But he always had a problem with my unhappy endings.

About the author Colin Bateman was a journalist in Northern Ireland before becoming a full-time writer. His first novel, Divorcing Jack, won the Betty Trask Prize, and all his novels have been critically acclaimed. His new book, The Day of the Jack Russell, is published in hardback by Headline. 97


riting about celebrity without mentioning Andy Warhol and his famous 15 minutes is a terrific challenge, so let’s start with the Princess of Wales. She was, surely, the ultimate celebrity. Her death in a 1997 car crash excited international waves of mawkish hysteria among people who had never even seen her, still less actually met her. She might have been royalty, but she was tabloid too. Sure, the tabs unscrupulously hunted her, but she opportunistically exploited them. It was a perfect symbiotic relationship: a media mechanism for the production of trashy, flashy celebrity. Which is to say a bright, but flat, personality problem. Like lowbrow art, celebrity also depends on vicarious experiences, not on abstract thought or elevated concepts. Thus, Maureen Dowd wrote in The New York Times on September 3, 1997 that Diana “was the queen of surfaces, ruling over a kingdom where fame was the highest value and glamour the most cherished attribute”. Quite so, but prime ministers (as well as absolutely total fools) have been suckered by it too. Of course, there have always been famous people, but fame is not the same as celebrity. Fame endures, while celebrity is fragile. Fame depends on merit, while celebrity depends on transient effects. There is an old line that goes “I fell in love with the goddess of Fame, but ended-up having a onenight stand with the slut of celebrity”. Extend the metaphor and you arrive at a conclusion that fame might be not noble, but celebrity is degrading. Few would disagree with that. Why then do people crave it so? The novelist John Updike caught some of the absurdity of the pursuit when he said that celebrity is a mask that eats the face. It is not good for you. Celebrity is merely profile, not depth. Celebrity is a person an inch deep and a mile wide. And it is one of the great fictions of contemporary life. Or perhaps it is nonfiction? The thing about celebrity is that it blurs the distinction. In this, it must be

Mind’s Eye

Nothing to Celebrate Stephen Bayley examines the reality of living life in the public eye admitted, it approaches the condition of art. And, as Puccini knew, art is disease. Certainly, it is corrosive of personality. Gustave Flaubert’s famous heroine was based on the non-fiction person of Delphine Delamare who committed suicide in 1848. Her gravestone at Ry in Normandy has, since 1900, carried the inscription ‘Madame Bovary’ beneath her real name, as if the fiction is somehow more substantial. Which, in a way, it of course is. Ars longa, vita brevis. The idea that a celebrity is someone who is famous for being famous we owe to Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin whose book The Image was published in 1962. In this study of the mass media and its contribution to the destruction of traditional American Puritan values,

Boorstin defined the ‘pseudo-event’ as an event that exists only because it is reported in the media. He describes the beginning of the public-relations business and the cynical invention of publicity stunts whose only purpose is the acquisition of column inches. Celebrities are human publicity stunts. Here it may be relevant to record that the founder of the PR trade was a relation of Sigmund Freud, thus insights into the frailties of the psyche may be an inherited characteristic. And frailties are no impediment to the achievement of celebrity. Quite the opposite, in fact. Admission to The Priory for substance abuse or a custodial sentence for fraud can be positive assets for certain celebrity-hounds. As the poet Jean Lorrain knew, a bad reputation never did anyone any harm. Celebrity and the media co-evolved. You are real because you are in print or on a screen and any means of getting there will do. It is a process either mutually supportive or mutually destructive, depending on your moral position. Cary Grant knew the philosophical torments involved. At the height of a career which depended on an invented name and projected a compelling, but apparently false, image of relaxed and well-dressed well-being in cinemas around the world, he said: “The whole world wants to be Cary Grant! Shucks, even I want to be Cary Grant.” He was a celebrity, but he never became what he pretended to be. What does it tell us about contemporary values that the most popular television shows are ‘talent’ competitions that manufacture transient ‘slebs’ flying on a very low arc with insufficient groundspeed and a crash inevitable? It tells us that we exist in a world of virtual values, a world where it is increasingly difficult to distinguish between fiction and non-fiction. It’s a world in which David Beckham is more valuable as an image than a footballer. At least for the time being. Is that famous 15 minutes farce or tragedy? It’s really quite difficult to tell. Stephen Bayley is a former director of the Design Museum in London and an award-winning writer




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