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UK EDITION APRIL 2018, £3.50







There’s no universal recipe for success, and in this month’s edition of The Red Bulletin we discover what high performers from very different walks of life do to stay at the top of their game. Our cover star Tahnée Seagrave (page 24) is rapidly rising up the ranks in the highly competitive sport of downhill mountain biking thanks to a realisation that riding – even in this notoriously brutal discipline – should be fun.

Photographer Jim Krantz (left) and Music Editor Florian Obkircher in the Californian desert, celebrating the end of the world at Wasteland Weekend (page 58). The togas were part of the festival’s dress code

Volvo Ocean Race winner Ian Walker (page 40) shares his blueprint for success on the high seas, honed over years of tough trial and error. And Qatari world-champion highjumper Mutaz Barshim (page 32) explains why practising just twice a week gets him where he needs to be. Then there’s world-class paediatric heart surgeon René Prêtre (page 48), who believes he inherited the delicate precision of his hands from his watchmaker grandfather.



The photographer specialises in shooting reportage features, and he’s more than happy to gear up in anything from a wetsuit to a climbing harness to bring back compelling images. But conditions in rural Wales, where he shot MTB star Tahnée Seagrave for our cover, tested even his spirit. “Welsh mud was our enemy on this shoot,” he says. “I spent a week cleaning my gear afterwards. But the elements didn’t faze Tahnée at all.” Page 24


Lionel Messi, Rihanna, Jared Leto, David Cameron – just a sample of those who have been photographed by this award-winning, Londonbased snapper. For this issue of The Red Bulletin, he shot highjumper Mutaz Barshim. “He was in a good mood and really involved,” recalls Tanna. Not that the bar in our shoot presented much of a challenge for the Qatari athlete: it was more than half a metre lower than his record target. Page 32

Enjoy the issue.






ANY TRAIL. ANY TIME. NO SHORTCUTS When designing the all new Genius, we wanted to finish with a bike that was perfect for our backyard. We wanted a bike that could clear any climb and tackle any descent. A bike for any trail, any time. What we got is exactly that, and much more. Capable, lightweight, fun, the all new Genius is just calling for the mountains.

SCOTT-SPORTS.COM © SCOTT SPORTS SA 2018 | Photo: Scott Markewitz



2 4 Tahnée Seagrave

The most exciting young talent in downhill MTB reveals how a change of outlook put her on the track to success

3 2 Mutaz Barshim

World records are made to be broken. But when they’re 25 years old? Meet the Qatari high-jumper who dares to dream

3 8 Hazel Gale

Mind-training tips from the kickboxer turned hypnotherapist

4 0 Volvo Ocean Race

Sailing 84,000km around the globe takes focus, discipline and total commitment. Winning skipper Ian Walker tells us more

4 8 René Prêtre

The Swiss paediatric heart surgeon who has the lives of children – and the trust of their parents – in his skilled hands

5 6 Albert Hammond Jr

The Strokes guitarist and solo artist holds the key to creativity

5 8 Wasteland Weekend

It’s post-apocalyptic party time in the Californian desert

6 8 George Williams

The rising star of rugby league who spurned Oz for Wigan


Mutaz Barshim has no training schedule and he jumps only twice a week, and yet the high-jump record is within his reach


BULLEVARD Life and Style Beyond the Ordinary

9 Markus ‘Max’ Stöckl: ruling

the ski slopes on two wheels

12 Actor Eva Green on privacy,

personas and peacocks

14 Tough luxe: the Ripsaw tank 16 Permission to fly: BASE jump

into Idaho’s Snake River

18 Easy lava: volcano survival 101 19 Moby: the music that made me 20 Flat out: luger Roman Repilov 2 2 Magic Leap Lightwear turns

reality on its head


Get it. Do it. See it 78 This month on Red Bull TV 80 Red Bull Can You Make It?


is a challenge like no other 82 Train like downhill MTB star Brook Macdonald 84 Dates for your calendar 86 The Wings for Life World Run app: bringing the event to you 88 On the right track: the best mountain biking kit around 96 The Red Bulletin worldwide 98 Sandboarding in UAE



It’s the end of the world as we know it… and the armourwearing, Mad Maxloving, jeep-pimping hordes at Wasteland Weekend feel fine



The pressure of competition almost stalled Tahnée Seagrave’s career. Then the downhill MTB star found a remedy: fun THE RED BULLETIN 










Max Stöckl at the top of the Streif on Hahnenkamm in January this year


Pro mountain biker MAX STÖCKL took a ride down one of the world’s deadliest ski runs with two aims: to succeed and to wipe out



“HAHNENKAMM IS BRUTAL ON SKIS, WORSE ON A BIKE” “I thought, ‘This must be possible on a bike. I must at least try it,’” says Stöckl


he Streif is one of the world’s most challenging downhill ski slopes; a 3.3kmlong death run down Austria’s Mount Hahnenkamm that tips to an 85 per cent gradient at its steepest, and unloads at 145kph at its fastest. And this January, Markus ‘Max’ Stöckl rode it on two wheels. The 43-year-old mountain biker is no stranger to deadly descents. In 2007, he broke the world speed record for a standard bike on snow, hitting 210kph in the Chilean Andes. He holds the record on dirt, too, topping 167kph down the side of a volcano in the Atacama Desert in 2016. But, for the Austrian cyclist, conquering the Streif was always the ultimate goal. “I’d thought of riding down the Streif before [the Hahnenkamm Races] 15 years ago,” he says, “but it was hard to earn the ski club’s trust that I knew what I was doing and wasn’t trying to kill myself.” This year, the World Cup race organisers finally gave him permission to ride the track whenever there was a slot between ski runs. Stöckl became the first person on two wheels to complete it in winter, doing it in three minutes and six seconds, with a top speed of 103kph.


The ski club may have thought the Austrian’s stunt was pure bravado, but it was also a scientific experiment – to see how far in advance the human body reacts to a crash. Beneath Stöckl’s suit were sensors measuring his pulse, brain waves and muscle contractions. Microphones and cameras were attached to the bike. When his brakes failed completely, the data started rolling in. “The mics showed that the noise of the brake pads on the disc had disappeared,” recalls Stöckl. “The sensors recorded an irregularity in my pulse – a sign of stress – with muscle contractions increasing in intensity. I was four seconds from coming off into the plastic sheeting in front of the safety net, and my body had already prepared for the crash.” Of course, we’re measuring the responsiveness of a superhuman in this instance, but the bike he was riding is something altogether more ordinary: an off-the-shelf Mondraker Summum Carbon Pro Team – “The same as we use for races in summer,” says Stöckl, who owns the MS Mondraker World Cup MTB team. The only additions were metal spikes – custommachined to a 15mm tip and studded to his tyres – and a carbon rear mudguard to protect his butt from being shredded by them. Everything else was stock. “My goal is to do everything with a regular bike,” Stöckl explains. “It’s a pure way of riding, so everybody could go to the bike shop and do it. Not too many people do, though.” See Max Stöckl’s Streif run at

START 1,665m Karussell Mausefalle Steilhang

Alte Schneise Seidlalmsprung Lärchenschuss

Hausbergkante Querfahrt


TOURING THE STREIF The 3.3km course plunges racers from an altitude of 1,665m to 805m in less than two minutes. Since 1997, the record has been held by Austrian skier Fritz Strobl: one minute and 51.58 seconds at an average speed of 106.9kph.

END 805m





Stöckl: “Some sections are so steep they’re almost impossible to cross, even with crampons”



va Green is instantly recognisable as Vesper Lynd in 2006’s Casino Royale – a portrayal so strong that it would be disingenuous to refer to her as a mere ‘Bond girl’. It’s an attitude that Green carries through all her acting roles, from protagonist Vanessa Ives in gothic TV drama series Penny Dreadful to her 2003 film debut in The Dreamers, which required a sex scene so explicit that her parents and her agent begged her not to do it. “Sometimes you just put in earplugs,” says Green about people’s expectations of her as an actor. “It’s not just your job, it’s your life and you’re constantly in the spotlight. People judge you all the time and it’s difficult to build a strong suit of armour.” the red bulletin: Are you shielding the real you? eva green: We’re all wearing masks. Each of us is different people at different times. With you, I’m somebody; with my manager, I’ll be somebody else. It’s a way of protecting ourselves. As an actor, displaying emotions is a job. Then you go home, where you’re met by your happy dog, and you’re more yourself.


Doesn’t that exhaust you? It’s weird, I feel more alive on set. All the senses are very much awake. It gives me energy. Maybe afterwards you feel down, because it’s been so intense. You go home and feel a bit lonely. Do you need acting as a profession? I don’t know if I need this life. It’s very thrilling, but also full of obstacles. You don’t know where you go as an actor; you’re always waiting for somebody to have some desire for you. You worry a lot. It’s annoying; you’re not much in control. I don’t think I could do it my whole life. When friends want to see you, do they have to come to visit? Or do they call and say, “Get out of your bubble”? Both. I like people coming to my kingdom, but I’m happy to get out. I don’t want to live like an old maid. Where do you get your energy when you’re not in front of the camera? Watching movies fills you in some way. And reading books. You live through the characters, and maybe it’ll give you inspiration for a role. I also go to museums – they feed your brain.

Got an example? I wanted a peacock for years. There’s a shop in New York that has one in the window, and every time I saw it I was like, “Oh no, I shouldn’t.” It’s quite difficult to ship things from New York to the UK [she lives in London]. And then I saw a peacock in Paris and thought, “You’ve been wanting to buy a peacock for years, so pamper yourself.” So I bought one.

Eva Green

“WE’RE ALL WEARING MASKS” Her face may be famous around the world thanks to electrifying roles in Hollywood movies and hit TV series, but the Parisborn actor is willing to bet you don’t know her at all




Is playing extravagant characters a counterbalance to your own life? In life, you can’t go all the way and explore the extremes. I wouldn’t call it therapy, but you can vomit up all your emotions in movies. You explore the dark side. You feel quite alive afterwards.

Do you obsess about things? I am so obsessive. It drives you and helps get what you want, but it can also be destructive. It burns you. Obsession is such a fascinating subject.


Are there times when you just don’t want to engage? Yeah. I’m not the best actor. I’m not good at revealing things about myself. It’s kind of awkward. I’ve got used to it now, but at the beginning I found it quite violating.


Eva Green, 37, received a Golden Globe nomination in 2015 for her role in TV drama Penny Dreadful THE RED BULLETIN



Ripsaw EV3

GRAND HEFT AUTO Bruce Wayne isn’t the only billionaire driving a tank. Now anyone with a cool half million in the bank can own one

An earlier iteration of the Ripsaw, the EV2, featured in the movie The Fate Of The Furious


into a market of wealthy thrillseekers: Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, is rumoured to have purchased an entire fleet. It even appeared in last year’s The Fate Of The Furious – the ultimate Hollywood validation of super-vehicular desirability. Available in one-, two- and four-seater versions, the offthe-shelf EV3 is unarmed and unarmoured but well decked out, with optional eight-way leather seats, thermal night vision, a reversing camera, and an air-suspended cockpit that keeps the champagne from spilling when you’re traversing mud, snow, sand dunes, even rivers. And it’s no slouch: the 1,500hp engine is capable of shifting it at 120kph.

The Ripsaw has a steering wheel rather than standard tank stick controls, so is easier to drive

Each vehicle has a build time of six months, so bear that in mind if you’re planning to lord it up post-apocalypse. Money may well be worthless by that point, but as the Ripsaw will cost you a sixth of the price of an Aston Martin Valkyrie, you’ll still be better off.


eoff Howe, one of the creators of the Ripsaw, describes his 3,500kg baby as “the fastest, strongest, super-lightweight tank in the world”. But he’s underselling it: his ATV is also the most luxurious, costing upwards of $500,000 (almost £360,000), depending on add-ons. His sales pitch clearly worked on the US Army: in 2001, it ordered a prototype from Geoff and brother Mike’s extreme-vehicle company, Howe and Howe Technologies, for testing. To date, the military still hasn’t found a practical use for the vehicle, but it’s on its own in that regard; the Ripsaw has tapped






Whatever your fix, our all-new Spectral:ON gives you more of it with a ride that no other bike can match. Bringing together the latest in drive technologies with features that put the rider in the foreground, you get to spend even more time on the good stuff – whether that’s picking out impossible lines to the summit or running multiple laps on your favourite trails. Get on it with the Spectral:ON. CANYON.COM/ON



Idaho, USA

Magic Valley


To tandem-jump Snake River Canyon, visit For a BASE-jumping course off the bridge, go to





You can BASE jump into Idaho’s Snake River without getting a permit. All you need is the guts to do it. And a parachute


“This was Sarah’s return to jumping after a serious ankle injury and losing two of her BASE mentors,” says Clark THE RED BULLETIN

nake River Canyon in Idaho has seen some feats of human daring in its time. Testament to this is still visible to the east of the Perrine Bridge that spans it: the ramp Evel Knievel used in his failed 1974 attempt to launch his Skycycle X-2 across the sheer-walled gorge. There are more successful examples, though, such as the numerous BASE jumpers leaping off the bridge into the canyon today. At 148m high, the Perrine is the eighth tallest bridge in the USA; it’s also the only manmade structure in the country from which you can parachute jump without a permit all year round, following a relaxation of the law in the late ’90s. Before this, the rules were first flouted in 1987 by three paratroopers who static-lined their military-issue T-10 chutes. This photo of US jumper Sarah Watson was taken after sunrise in August 2014. “I was suspended five metres below the bridge, having rappelled off the guardrail, which was technically illegal,” says the photographer, D Scott Clark. “I was more nervous than I usually am when rappelling for shoots. I only had seven metres of rope with a knot at the end, dangling above the river as BASE jumpers leapt over me. I’ve never wanted a parachute backup so much.”  17


though it’s thousands of degrees Celsius, by the time it’s coming back down it’s cooling and already hard. Even one smaller than my hand would kill you if you landed on you. And they were landing close to our tents.” Fear the silent killer “In the Congo they have a word – mazuku, meaning ‘deadly wind’ – to describe the invisible blanket of CO2 produced by the volcano. CO2 suffocates you – it will kill you in a few breaths. I’m the third person to ever get to the very bottom level of Nyiragongo. I was wearing a silver heat-reflecting suit, and lava bombs were landing all around me, but my primary concern was gas. My gas detector was going off, but you can’t go low like in a house fire, because that’s where it sits. It’s a silent killer. A gas mask is essential.”

How to…

SURVIVE INSIDE A VOLCANO Scottish adventurer Aldo Kane has been in plenty of desperate scrapes, but few as hellish as this

hen it comes to cauldrons of lava, no volcano can outdo Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “It’s the world’s biggest lava lake, 500m across, and at night the glow lights up the sky,” says adventurer Aldo Kane. “The magma comes from so deep inside the earth there are few impurities, which means it flows as fast as water: 60kph. A massive recipe for disaster.” Enter the volcano “The job was to collect a lava sample, so we carried tons of


scientific equipment, camping kit, ropes – it took my team four days to abseil down to the second tier. Then you camp 200m from the lava lake in one of the most hostile places on the planet, which looks like the Moon or Mars. And you hear bubbles of lava the size of a minivan pop and burst.” Dodge lava bombs “There are Strombolic eruptions where lava bombs are fired hundreds of metres into the air and drop like lava patties. You’d think a lava bomb would be soft, but even

Climb the crater “To exit the volcano, we retraced the route I’d spent five days creating with ropes, which involved convoluted traverses, abseils, and having to cross big crevasses. But the worst hazard is rock fall. A volcano is formed by layers of rock being piled on top of each other, so to get out you have to climb this near-vertical wall of stone blocks the size of houses, any of which can just fall off without warning.”

Follow Aldo Kane’s adventures on Twitter: @AldoKane THE RED BULLETIN




Kane climbs into the caldera of Mount Nyiragongo: “There were moments inside the volcano when I felt it was the last job I was going to do”

Protect your lungs “When lava’s bubbling, the fine parts cool, fracture off and float into the air, so you end up basically breathing in glass. They call it ‘Pele’s Hair’ [after the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes]. When we’re in the volcano, we always have helmets on, we don’t go down low, and we protect our eyes with goggles and our lungs with gas masks.”


“I WORKED AS A CADDY TO BUY BOWIE RECORDS” The electronic music icon on four songs that shaped his career

Moby in 2018: returning to his musical roots




aving sold more than 20 million records worldwide, Moby is one of the most successful electronic musicians of all time. On his new album, Everything Was Beautiful, And Nothing Hurt – his 15th – the 52-year-old returns to his signature electronica sound as heard on past hits such as Porcelain and Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?. Here, he reminisces about four songs that shaped his musical tastes while growing up in suburban Connecticut, and which set the young Richard Melville Hall on the path to acclaim.





“I first heard this song when I was 13, and it transformed everything for me. It made my thoughts feel different. Soon after, I got a job as a caddy, but only so I could save money to buy Bowie records. Decades later, he and I became friends and he told me a secret: the song started out as a cover of The Velvet Underground’s Waiting For My Man, before Bowie turned it into this simple but futuristic masterpiece.”

“I heard this on the radio in the ’70s, and I still think it’s one of the most remarkable pieces of music ever. The genius is how [producer] Giorgio Moroder was able to create sexual tension using only rudimentary electronics. Most people – me included – would have added to it, but that would have spoilt it. Same goes for the words: it uses only 10, but they’re some of the most profound lyrics ever.”

“When I first heard this track, I tried not to like it. I thought Grace Jones was cool, but this sounded so gentle, different from her dub tracks. Growing up in the suburbs, the music I was exposed to was generally masculine. This song made me realise R&B and soul could do what the punk rock I was listening to couldn’t. I didn’t know where it was coming from, and it made me feel weird, but I fell in love with it.”

“In school, I felt closer to [singer] Ian Curtis through his lyrics than I did any of my friends. What I loved about this song, apart from its emotionality, is that it’s electronic. In the 1970s, there was this idea you made either rock or electronic music; that a traditional band understood a synthesizer and drum machine could do so much more than normal instruments was a revelation to me.”



Roman Repilov

THE LEVITATING MAN The Russian luger may look relaxed in this photo, taken during the lead-up to the 2017-18 Luge World Cup, but the supine position is how he steers, using his calf and shoulder muscles to flex the sled’s runners at 140kph. This was his stance when he broke the track record at Lake Placid in December and took gold

This enigmatic shot of Repilov was captured last October in Sochi, Russia, by photographer Denis Klero









These images are created as a mixed reality sent direct to your retina

Magic Leap Lightwear


The hard work is done by the Lightpack, a clip-on computer as powerful as a MacBook Pro


t looks like another VR or AR headset – a dorky pair of goggles with a CPU that clips to your body and a hand controller. But Rony Abovitz’s invention goes way beyond projecting Pokémon; this “spatial computer”, as he calls it, may well define our future. The Magic Leap Lightwear combines sensors with machine-learning to map and learn its wearer’s world. It then emits a light field directly


onto the retina, rendering interactive objects precisely into a person’s 3D space: robot assistants, videogame monsters, a TV in mid-air. And it remembers where they were when you return to a room. Abovitz believes one day we’ll no longer need screens, never suffer eye strain, and all wear spatial computers that “fit like socks”. Others, like David Nelson of the University of Southern California’s MxR

(Mixed Reality) Lab, have declared it “a new medium of human-computing interaction” and “the death of reality”. It’s a potent enough vision that companies including Google have invested $1.9 billion (more than £1.36bn) in Magic Leap, and Lucasfilm is creating Star Wars content specially for Lightwear. We can all get a reality check when it comes out later this year. THE RED BULLETIN


Forget augmenting reality, or making it virtual. This “spatial computer” alters your perception of the world at the source – your senses

FAST TRACKING Rising star of downhill mountain biking TAHNÉE SEAGRAVE has dreamt of sporting glory since she was 12. But last year the Croydon-born racer came to the realisation that victory isn’t as important as having fun. Then she started winning Words CIAN TRAYNOR Photography GREG FUNNELL

On the trail: Seagrave negotiates the mud and tree roots of Wales’ Revolution Bike Park


t’s a cold morning on a misty hillside in Mid Wales, and only two sounds disturb the otherwise perfect stillness. One is the occasional gust kicking up through the larches lining the track at Revolution Bike Park. The other is Tahnée Seagrave zipping through turns so quickly that her bike rattles from the sheer force of momentum. The 22-year-old is a powerhouse of downhill mountain biking, a sport often framed as the F1 of cycling, though that comparison doesn’t quite do it justice. There may be packs of crew members slaving over one rider’s bid to be the fastest, and it's true that every millisecond can count. But once you’re out there, bounding over rocks and roots, pushing

the bike to its limits, there are no headsets or dashboards to relay information, only your intuition and the gnarliness of darting down a mountain at speeds of up to 65kph. “Downhill is so much more of a mental game than it is physical,” says Seagrave, curled up on the couch back at home in a navy hoodie, tracksuit and polka-dot socks. “Some deal it with better than others, and I think that’s how you can separate the winners from the losers. There are people around here who are genuinely the best riders in the world, faster than anyone I’ve even seen. Then you go racing and they can’t even qualify for the World Cup.” Winning has been an obsession for Seagrave ever since she began cycling at the age of 12. Growing up in Croydon, south London, she competed in gymnastics and, later, figure skating – but they didn’t quite feel like the right fit. “I don’t like all eyes on me, so being right in the spotlight was a big problem. But, to be honest, the adrenalin wasn’t enough...” She breaks into a laugh. “I get bored quite quickly.” In 2003, Seagrave’s parents moved the family to an old chalet near Morzine, a ski resort in the French Alps. Bike rides through the mountains became the norm, and pro riders would stay as guests in

summer. Among them was Vanessa Quin, who visited just weeks after being crowned World Champion in 2004. Seagrave lights up at the memory of it now: gazing at Quin’s baby blue bike, running her fingers over the championship jersey’s rainbow stripes, and quietly thinking, ‘I want that.’ It didn’t take long for the ambition to take hold. Her dad Tony remembers the teenager getting up to ride at the crack of dawn, bugging him to find more races for her to enter. Once she started competing at national level, and the investment rocketed, Tony found himself filling out sponsorship forms. “At the back of your mind, you’re thinking, ‘Fuck, this is my daughter. Be objective,’” he says. “You can picture people rolling their eyes as they open the email and see it’s from her dad. But Tahnée had this passion, this style about her riding where, if she just kept at it, I knew she would take it to another

“Downhill mountain biking is so much more of a mental game than it is physical”

Family ties: Seagrave and her 19-year-old brother Kaos, himself a rising star in elite downhill racing



Pooped out: Seagrave stops for a breather on the track known as the Poo Pipe

On the up: Seagrave puts her Transition TR11 bike through its paces

level. By the time we sold our house and bought a motorhome – just so we could hit the road for races – it was like, ‘Right, I guess we’re in this for the long term…’” Whereas the young rider is soft-spoken and easygoing, her father – a tall figure in flip-flops, jeans and a grey hoodie, glasses resting atop his shaved head – is the kind of gregarious character who could talk you into just about anything. Tony knows that some will think of him as a ‘moto dad’ who goes all-in on everything – and he is a bit like that, says his daughter with a laugh – but the reality is slightly more nuanced. That the family have now moved to a house in rural Wales, a mountain biker’s playground, reflects just how much faith Seagrave’s parents have in her. They still get to races in the same old motorhome; it’s just that these days the team includes a coach, a masseuse and two mechanics. In the room next door, her mum Jo is managing bookings for a ski school back in Morzine. Tony, meanwhile, gave up his job as a graphic designer to manage his daughter and her 19-year-old brother Kaos, a rising star in elite downhill racing. “When I was younger, I didn’t realise the amount of effort – and money – Mum and Dad were putting in,” she says. “They

Seagrave and her brother Kaos have a playful rivalry

“When you want something that badly, the hurdles don‘t seem like hurdles”

saw that we loved it and wanted to do well, so they pushed and supported us the whole way. But you never know if your kid is going to make it or not, and I think Dad got quite stressed when he felt like we weren’t matching the effort. He’d say, ‘Well, do you really want this? Because I can’t keep doing this if you don’t.’ He knew what were capable of, so when he saw us slacking it was hard for him to sit there and watch. But it’s a way of life for me now, so I think that’s paid off. I did make sacrifices of my own as a teenager, but looking back it was quite an easy choice. When you want something that badly, the hurdles don’t seem like hurdles.” This attitude has been put to the test over the last few years. In Seagrave’s first year of junior competition, aged 17, she entered the 2012 World Championships in Austria on a roll of wins that brought her close to a top 10 spot at women’s elite level. She’d heard about a fast Canadian rider named Holly Feniak, but didn’t consider her a threat. “Subconsciously I just thought, ‘I’m going to get here, win my gold medal and leave.’” She pauses for a second, exhaling in frustration. “That is the most – agh! – stupid thing anyone can think, especially at that age. And yeah,

Time out in the chill-out zone with Kaos and the bike park’s co-owner James Foster THE RED BULLETIN 


At the age of 15, Seagrave told British multiple World Champion Rachel Atherton that one day she would beat her. Her goal gets closer every day


she ended up beating me by like [eight] seconds on a track that didn’t have much to it. I got silver, but as a racer it left me very confused and upset. I cried a lot.” Sometimes Seagrave gets embarrassed talking about how competitive she is. The whole family is wired the same way, relishing any chance to beat each other at everything from Jenga to squash. But her experience in Austria supercharged her will to win. She realised that she’d been relying on talent rather than hard work, and mistakenly assumed success would fall into place. So, at some point, the young rider picked up a line from the movie Talladega Nights – “If you ain’t first, you’re last” – and decided it was a motto to live by. Once Seagrave graduated to elite level, she began preparing for races with tunnel vision: any placing other than a first would be a failure. But race weekends leave a lot of time to think – maybe four practice runs to learn the course in the morning, then another in the afternoon – and she spent her downtime focused on competitors rather than doing anything to improve her own riding, allowing self-doubt to fester. “I went through a few years of being dead serious: training loads, not going out, not being your average 20-year-old,” she says. “I wouldn’t eat any chocolate, whereas now it's a massive part of my life!” She laughs again. “It’s like you want something so bad that you’re even willing to not have fun any more. But this is such an extreme, dangerous sport that if you take the fun out of it, what’s the point? You might as well get an office job.” Seagrave spent much of those three years in a relationship that, looking back, only made things harder. She’d feel guilty about how her time was spent; she’d come home knackered from the gym, only to be

“From day one, she’s been like, ‘I want to be World Champion,’” says Kaos of his sister

Her dad and manager Tony does some quick checks

“I went through a few years of being dead serious, not going out” drained all over again. It felt like her quest for a win was perceived as a game rather than a job. “I think when that relationship ended, I saw a light,” she says. “It’s weird. A lot of mentally strong people believe things like that don’t affect them, and I was one of them. But that was a turning point: I decided to relax more and start having fun for myself, not other people.” The pressure began to ease when she learnt to put process first, focusing on the little steps that get you to a competition rather than just the outcome. On race

weekends, she began tuning out unwanted noise – turning off her phone, not paying attention to competitors – and staying in the present moment by writing a journal. And by just trying to have fun, she has hit the winning streak she dreamt of: earning three World Cup wins last season – one by a margin of 5.7 seconds – and coming second in the series overall. Her younger brother Kaos has played a part in the turnaround, too: he’s always the first to ride his bike just because he wants to, she adds, and seeing him come into his own as a rider has been inspiring. In person, there’s a playful brother-sister tension between them. Speeding through the countryside in their mud-flecked pickup truck, she’ll needle him about not wearing a seatbelt, to which he rolls his eyes with a sigh. Up on the track, after barrelling after each other around berms, he’ll grab her by the front of the helmet – teasing that her flailing arms can’t reach him. But when you get Kaos on his own, and the wisecracks peter out, he admits he’s been learning from his sister, too. Growing up, she was a tomboy who wore baggy jeans and big shoes to school and hung out with guys. He thinks that’s where she developed her elbows-out style of riding – scrubbing jumps and tweaking mid-air. With this aggressive approach, combined with the competitiveness of her family, she has thrived off proving others wrong, and Kaos never doubted she’d persevere through the setbacks. “From day one, she’s been like, ‘I want to be World Champion.’ And she’s done everything she can to get there,” he says. “She’s just taken her time, and that’s the biggest thing I’ve learnt from Tahnée: it doesn’t all happen at once. You have to keep pushing, even when things don’t go your way.” Dad Tony insists that both his daughter and the sport itself have yet to reach their peak, though the 22-year-old is less inclined to think in those terms. Other ambitions are emerging: she has a strong social media presence and would like to expand her profile beyond racing so that she can inspire young girls to get the most out of life. She cracks up again as she catches herself imparting words of wisdom. “All this is so easy to say now that I’ve learnt it. But if you were to say this to me a couple of years ago, I would’ve been like, ‘Nah, I need to get up there. I need to do more. I need to do this, I need to do that.’ The crazy thing is, I’m still in the early years of my career. I’m still learning – I don’t think that’s ever going to stop.” Instagram: @tahneeseagrave Read our MTB fitness feature on page 82, and see all the best kit on page 88   31

TAKING FLIGHT One of the great world records turns 25 this summer – but not if MUTAZ BARSHIM has his way. The slender Qatari, who only took up high jump at the age of 16, is planning a leap into the history books Words STEFAN WAGNER Photography SHAMIL TANNA

Breezing it: for our photoshoot, we set the bar at ‘just’ 1.90m – criminally low for a high-jumper of Barshim’s calibre



he red bulletin: You’ve got your sights on breaking one of the great sporting records: Javier Sotomayor’s 2.45m high jump in July 1993… mutaz barshim: Yes. And 2.46 is attainable. Definitely. But what about gravity? Every jump is a challenge to gravity. And I do manage to conquer gravity; for a short time, I even defy it. The high jump is more like flying than jumping. You’re in the air for long enough to perceive the flight as flight, and even to enjoy it. Aren’t you just trying to prevent yourself touching the bar? Only beginners are afraid of the bar. The secret is just to jump as high as you can. My job is getting my body’s centre of gravity and my hips as high as possible. Your focus is on yourself, your technique, your skill... You once said the high jump is more of an art form than a sport… Yes. As with art, it’s not hard to understand, but it’s difficult to do well. Anyone can run, throw their right leg up, jump and arch their back, just as anyone can take a canvas, paint and a brush. But there’s a lot more to creating
a good picture. Every detail matters. I grew to be pretty tall, so my upper body is a weak spot, which means I have to work on my stability. But I can’t overdo it, otherwise I’ll get stiff. It’s a puzzle, and every piece affects all the others.

It looks so clear-cut when you jump... That’s what everyone says. But it’s been measured: when you take off, there’s a strain 10 times your bodyweight on your ankles, knees and back. And the better your technique, the more energy at takeoff. A good takeoff is an explosion. You injured yourself badly when you first jumped 2.43m… Yes, a stress fracture. My body wasn’t strong enough. I had to learn to recover better, to take part in fewer competitions and to train with greater focus. And that’s just the body. It’s amazing what goes on in your head as you stand before a bar that high: doubts, fears. It’s a mental battle. How often do you train? Twice a week, a maximum of 10 jumps each time. Any more would be too much of a strain. I’d be seriously injured again in no time. And I don’t practise height; it’s just technique, technique, technique. The high jump is cruel in that every competition ends with failure; you keep trying the next height until you fail… I think that’s a good thing. Imagine you’ve won and everything’s gone perfectly; no failures, nothing to improve. That’s no good. In reality, you go away from the high jump and you might have set a record and won gold, but your last attempt was a failed one. And then you work on it. At the end of every competition, there’s a spark to reignite your motivation. Being 99 per cent satisfied is much better than 100 per cent. What’s the mental strain like when you’re competing? I like it when there’s some back and forth,


when the other guy goes a centimetre higher and I go after him. Once, I cleared 2.42 in New York – the second highest jump ever at the time. But then the other guy jumped 2.42, too, and he’d had fewer attempts, so he won. The week after that, I did my 2.43 jump. Why? Because I didn’t want to lose out to him. At the World Championships in London, I won by clearing 2.35. I could have jumped a lot higher, but it was over. The tension was gone. You can’t perform if you’re satisfied; you have to be hungry for more. You only began your high-jump career at the age of 16. That’s amazingly late for a professional athlete… Yes, but my father was a runner, which is how I started out too. I jumped every now and again. I was lucky. I stayed fresh. What would have happened if I’d started the high jump as a child? Maybe I would have long since burnt out. Your coach is Pole Stanisław Szczyrba, who was brought to Qatar to work with the country’s most talented young athletes. Is it true that he first saw you playing basketball, and said, “You, boy, can jump 2.40”? Yes. Back then, my personal best was 2.09. Then, along came this old Pole who said I could jump 2.40. I thought he was crazy. And you didn’t want to work with him? We argued all the time. I wanted to go out and enjoy my life. I would show up to training 10, 20 minutes late. Then Stanisław came along and if I was a minute late or I was unfocused, it was a huge problem. I wanted the association to get rid of him. But he stuck to his guns and kept on pushing and fighting for me. THE RED BULLETIN

”Every jump is a challenge to gravity. And I conquer it“ Barshim won bronze and silver in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and gold in last year’s World Championship

Barshim’s training focus? “It’s just technique, technique, technique”

“I don’t want my trophies on display. They’re too distracting”

Barshim, 26, at his sporting home – the Aspire Academy in Doha, Qatar

“Don’t waste your talent,” he would say. “You can achieve great things.” I didn’t believe him, and his professionalism got on my nerves. But he was dogged, and just before I wanted to go to university in 2009, he said to me, “Come to training camp for two months. If you still want to go to university after that, I’ll never ask you to do anything again.” Two months sounded a pretty long time, but I agreed. We went to Sweden. There was no junk food, no sweets. I was in bed early, and up early. I did whatever he said. I went to Sweden with a personal best of 2.14. By the end of training, I’d jumped 2.25 – an increase of 11 centimetres in two months! It was insane. Since then, we’ve worked by his rules. It’s completely transformed me, both as an athlete and a person. He’s like a second father. And now there’s a new generation of coaches with in-depth knowledge of biomechanics and training science… And Stanisław hates papers! And computers! The only programme he uses is Skype, and that’s to talk to me. He’s perfect at biomechanics, because he understands it, but he hates it when people tell us about some new study. He

hates theoretical hot air. I’ve never had a training schedule. We don’t need one: he knows what we have to do every day. You once paid him the funniest accolade for a high-jump coach: “He keeps my feet on the ground…” [Laughs.] But it really is important not to get carried away, regardless of your success. He treats me the same as he did when I was stuffing my face with junk food as a kid. It’s important for me to still have the same relationship with my family, to have the same friends, to stay humble. You’re probably entering the best phase in your career, with the World Championship in Qatar in 2019 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics coming up. Are you impatient to beat the record? If all goes according to plan, I could even be there by this summer – I already have 2.47 in me. But we’re talking about the highest jump ever. You can’t expect or demand that; it has to just happen. It’s no good if you have the best day of your life but it rains or the wind picks up or the crowd aren’t in the mood. Or you’ve already won by clearing 2.35. How often have you watched footage of Sotomayor’s legendary jump? I used to watch it a lot, but not any more. I can’t learn much by watching other highjumpers; most – Sotomayor, especially – jump with much more power than I do. I jump with more speed and flexibility. Most high-jumpers jump; I try to fly. Is it true that you don’t have a single trophy or medal at home? Yes. They’re all in a box somewhere. Once, I needed the Olympic medal for a photoshoot and it took me hours to find it. I don’t want to see my trophies. I’ll dig them out and put them on display when my career’s over. They would be a distraction to me now. As an athlete, I don’t want a feeling of contentedness and satisfaction in my life. And if the world record doesn’t happen? That’s OK. The most important thing is devoting myself to that goal. As long as I can say I’ve given it my best shot, I’m fine. The worst thing would be if at the end of my career, regardless of what I’d achieved, I felt I could have done more.



Kickboxer HAZEL GALE on…

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A COMPETITION In her new book, Fight, the kickboxing world champion turned cognitive hypnotherapist looks into the psychology of self-sabotage and explains how to take control trigger. To set it up, visualise your best performance. Think about how it felt and then think of a colour, or – as is often done in sports – squeeze your earlobe. Repeat that twice a day, every day for a week. By the end of the week, you will have entered an anchored state. So if you pinch your earlobe before or during a competition, your confidence will return.

3 Control your inner voice

A lot of times when I’ve had a big fight coming up, my inner voice would tell me that I wasn’t strong or fit enough. It made me feel like I was going to fail. This is something a lot of athletes struggle with. What people don’t realise is that you can control that voice. For a start, when you catch it, change the pitch or the speed of the voice. Make it sound like Mickey Mouse. By doing that, you take the emotional power out of it.

4 Get your breathing right

A session with a hypnotherapist in 2009 changed the British fighter’s performance in the ring, her outlook on life, and ultimately her career

1 If you only have winning in mind, the pressure that comes with it reduces your motivation to do well” HAZEL GALE


Use your body language

It’s widely known that your mental state affects your body language, but it also works in reverse. To get energised precompetition, add two minutes of power poses to your warm-up: chin up, chest out, arms up in the air, hands behind your head. A study has shown this increases testosterone by 10 per cent and decreases the stress hormone cortisol by a quarter.


Find your anchor

Anchoring means that the mind connects an emotional state to a sensory

Our breathing is directly linked to the part of our nervous system that determines whether we’re in fight-orflight mode (breathe in) or rest-anddigest mode (breathe out). So if you feel anxious before a competition, it’s crucial to focus on exhaling, to communicate to the body that it can calm down. For athletes, I usually recommend breathing in to a count of four, then breathing out to a count of eight.

5 Don’t think about winning

When most sportspeople think about success, they picture winning. But studies show that if you only have that one goal in mind – being on top of the podium – the pressure that comes with it reduces your motivation to do well. What you should visualise instead is playing and enjoying your sport. Be committed – not to victory, but to doing the best you can. Interview FLORIAN OBKIRCHER Photography GREG FUNNELL THE RED BULLETIN

Danny Hart 2 x Downhill World Champion Madison Saracen Team Rider

Danny Hart joins Madison Saracen for 2018 We’re absolutely stoked to welcome Danny Hart to the Madison Clothing family for 2018, and we can’t wait to see him pushing the limits down World Cup tracks wearing our kit. Best of luck to Danny, Matt Walker and Alex Marin, it’s gonna be a good year!



The 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race set sail from Alicante in October last year…




…and here we see Team Turn The Tide On Plastic being struck by a wave in the South Pacific in January

…NOT TO BE SCARED” British sailor IAN WALKER skippered his team to victory in the last Volvo Ocean Race, the world’s toughest sailing challenge. Those 45,000 nautical miles taught him a lot about life Words MAX SPRICK   43



ne day, there are waves the size of blocks of flats being whipped up by storms the likes of which would prevent any mere mortal from even daring to set foot outside the house. It’s so bitterly cold that the sea spray freezes onto your skin. Then, the following day, there might be blazing sunshine, a perfectly tranquil sea and not a puff of wind. The Volvo Ocean Race is considered the toughest sailing race on the high seas. Every three years, participants set sail from Europe and out into the Atlantic Ocean. The boats pass the Cape of Good Hope, then cross the Indian Ocean towards the South Pacific. They sail round Cape Horn and head up to North America before making their way back to Europe. The race covers 45,000 nautical miles (almost 84,000km), divided into 11 stages, and lasts a total of eight months. There’s no prize money for the winner, and yet each and every 44  

professional sailor dreams of seeing his or her name engraved into one of the Race Trophy’s silver rings. Ian Walker’s name has adorned the cup since winning the Volvo Ocean Race with the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team when it was last contested in 2015. It’s a prize that Walker worked up to: the Briton won Olympic silver in 1996 and 2000, participated in the America’s Cup and then sailed the Ocean Race for the first time in 2008. And his experiences on the high seas have left their mark. Here, he tells us about them…

Dealing with constant lifethreatening danger

“I’ll never forget my first storm in the Southern Ocean. It was my first Volvo Ocean Race and we were on the first stage, heading towards Cape Town. I was coming up from down below to start my shift. We were travelling at up to 40 knots [74kph] and the wind was blowing water all over the deck. The boat was rising and falling, and I thought it was utter madness! We were fighting to

stay in control. Any normal sailor would have done whatever they could to get out of the storm. But we stayed right in the middle of it to get as much wind in our sails as possible. When it was my turn to take over the steering, I didn’t even know if I could do it. But the skipper can’t say, ‘Sorry, guys, I’m scared.’ So I focused on my breathing and controlling my heart rate to calm myself down. Then I stepped up to the helm. “You’d have to be pretty stupid not to be scared. The thing you fear most on the high seas is the unknown. Storms and darkness. We often sail through the night in pitch blackness at 30 knots [55kph]. We don’t have searchlights and we can’t see what’s ahead of us. You sometimes find yourself thinking, ‘What am I doing here?’ What we’re doing now is a lot more dangerous than what an ordinary person does to make a living. But we’ve trained for it. We have the best equipment out there and we take our safety very seriously. Thankfully, nothing has ever happened to any crew member of mine. “You can’t spend the whole time thinking about what might happen, otherwise you’d go mad. I compare sailing to driving. People hurtle down the road at 150 kilometres an hour and they don’t worry that a tyre might explode, or that someone else might drive into them. Sailing is exactly the same: you get used to the mortal danger, and with time you become immune to those thoughts.”

Motivating teammates to take it to the limit

“We have to use every minute we’re awake to reach our common goal. That’s one advantage with the Volvo Ocean Race: everyone taking part wants to win. In your normal working life, different people pursue different goals; one person works to rule, while another does everything they can to further their THE RED BULLETIN


Ian Walker, 47, won the last Volvo Ocean Race, skippering the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team in 2015

Relative calm: Team Vestas at sunrise during the Melbourne to Hong Kong stage

Below deck: skipper David Witt (Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag) reports his position

“MY LEADERSHIP TIP: DON’T EXPECT YOUR TEAM TO DO THINGS YOU WOULDN’T DO YOURSELF” career. Onboard a boat, everyone has the one main goal. And I expect that basic motivation from every member of my crew. I’m intolerant of people who don’t try to make the most of the opportunities they’ve been given. “We work in four-hour shifts; you’re on deck for four hours and then you have a four-hour break. Everyone on board is constantly tired and hungry, and is under enormous pressure. We’re in a situation where you might expect there to be differences of opinion, but that has only ever happened once on one of my boats, when two crew members got into a fight. As the skipper, I have to smooth over these differences and try to find a way for us to move forward together. If that doesn’t work, I have to be rid of the source of unrest. I sent one of them ashore the next time we docked.”

The qualities required to be a successful leader

“I don’t think there’s a single, correct way of doing things. Every skipper has their own way. Personally, I want to lead by example. I don’t expect anything of my people that I wouldn’t be willing to do myself. And I remind them to focus on the basics: being punctual, maintaining high standards, working harder than the others and being willing to perform unpleasant tasks, like scrubbing the deck. I also think it’s important for me to listen to my team, to take their feedback to heart and to reflect on what I’ve done well and what I’ve done badly. And a good leader has to be able to make decisions, including hard ones.”

What it takes to win the Volvo Ocean Race

“Again, it boils down to the basics. Eat and drink enough – nutrition is vital. Make sure you don’t get injured. Be on good terms with your team-mates. Keep warm when it’s freezing outside, and cool off when the heat seems unbearable. In the past, each person on the team easily used to lose 10 kilogrammes over the course of the race. We now take our nutrition very seriously. It’s a hard 46  

down because you’re being tossed around so much. But you have no other choice; your body forces you to sleep.”

and fast rule that everyone makes sure everyone else eats all their meals. Food means energy, and if you withhold energy from yourself you end up withholding it from your team. In addition to the basics, training is fundamental. We trained for six months, and sometimes that was harder than the race itself. You don’t have the excitement and pressure of competing, and yet you still have to give it your all for every day of training. It goes without saying that rest also plays an important role.”

Recovering from mistakes

“We always say, ‘You learn more from defeat than victory.’ But you also only learn if you look at your performance honestly. Having participated twice without any success, we sat down and came up with a blueprint. You might not be able to plan for success because the weather is unpredictable, but you can optimise your risk management. The aim is to expose yourself to as few things as possible that could make you lose. “But everyone makes mistakes, and on the high seas even the tiniest mistake can be fatal. If you set too big a sail in a storm, for example, and take risks, your mast might break, or teammates could fall overboard if you push too hard. If something goes wrong, we restore each other’s confidence and speak about the mistakes and how we can avoid them in future. But you mustn’t think you’re God’s gift when everything goes according to plan. Stay humble and remain focused on your goal. “I’ve always had this burning desire to prove that I can win the Volvo Ocean Race. So when I did it, one of the first things I said was, “Thank God. Now I never have to do it again.”

Getting sufficient rest in extreme situations

“At first glance, you’d think it was impossible to sleep in our berths. The walls aren’t insulated, it’s incredibly loud, and cold and the waves fling you out of your ‘bed’. You sleep for two hours at a time if you’re lucky. Some people swear by music and audio dramas to help them get to sleep, but I think exhaustion is the most effective thing for it. You reach a point where you fall asleep in an instant, even when you can barely lie


For updates from the race, check Instagram: @volvooceanrace

Around the world in eight months: the 2017/2018 Volvo Ocean Race Seven crews will fight against high waves and total exhaustion during the race, which ends on June 30. Track the boats’ progress live at:

11 10 12 9

2 1 65



1 Alicante 2 Lisbon


3 Cape Town 4 Melbourne

5 Hong Kong 6 Guangzhou


7 Auckland 8 Itajaí

9 Newport 10 Cardiff

11 Gothenburg 12 The Hague


RENÉ PRÊTRE is one of the world’s top paediatric heart surgeons. What does it take to do a job with no margin for error? Words STEFAN WAGNER Photography LUKAS MÄDER Styling JEHAN RADWAN 48  

These hands have saved 6,000 lives

“As a kid, I’d build tiny little houses for hours… It was the first training my fingers had” One of seven children, Prêtre grew up on a farm in Boncourt in the Swiss canton of Jura


ené Prêtre, who turned 61 in January, is the chief cardiovascular surgeon at the Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland, and performs one or two heart operations on children – usually newborns – every day. There is no greater challenge to a surgeon than working on these walnut-sized miracles of nature. During an operation, which can be as long as 14 hours, Prêtre stands motionless, bent forward. He takes just a couple of drops of water via a straw so that he need not move out of position. He wears glasses that magnify everything to five times its actual size. Success or failure is a matter of millimetres – or even fractions of a millimetre – and in this business, success or failure means life or death, and parents either breaking down or shedding tears of joy. Prêtre has more than just a medical task to contend with. There are the emotions, too. He holds preliminary talks with the parents himself, and he reaches straight for his phone when he leaves the operating theatre, to tell them how it has gone. Five or six times a year, the conversation with a mother begins, “I’m sorry…” It’s early afternoon, and we’re on the 10th floor of the Lausanne University Clinic, in an office cluttered with Beethoven CDs, a Jura coffee machine and gift packages. “It’s usually wine or chocolate,” says Prêtre, opening a box of the latter. He looks incredibly youthful for his age. Wiry and of average height, Prêtre speaks remarkably quietly – almost in a whisper – in German tinged with a French accent. the red bulletin: It’s just after 2pm on a regular Thursday. What have you done so far today? rené prêtre: Today started last night. My phone rang at 11pm. There was an emergency and they wanted to discuss the procedure with me. By 3am, we were done. The patient is doing well. At 7am,


Prêtre at work at the Lausanne University Hospital. Operations can take anything up to 14 hours

we operated on a baby and then on a boy. It was a hard case. During the operation, we realised that everything was actually much more complicated than we’d expected. A heart valve that looked fine on yesterday’s ultrasound wasn’t closing 100 per cent right. We could have accepted it as it was, but I wanted to correct it, because a perfect valve makes a big difference to your quality of life. It’ll grow with you like it was your own, not like an artificial one that you’ll have to replace further down the line and take medication for. The first operation went on till 10am, and then I could do the operation that was actually scheduled for this morning. I finished 20 minutes ago. Sorry to disturb you… Oh, not at all. That’s a pretty regular day. To put it in skiing terms, I’d say it was a red run, not a black one. Will you be able to switch off this evening? Turn off your phone, at least? I can’t switch off my hospital phone. But I will put it on silent, as tonight I’m going to a fundraiser for children’s heart surgery. As long as I check for calls every half an hour, that’s fine.

You grew up as one of seven children on a farm, where the only contact you had with the world of medicine was via the vet. And if there was a lot to do on the land, your father took you out of school in the middle of a lesson. Then you financed your further studies by playing fifth-tier football. Not the most direct career route for a surgeon. Was there some kind of magical calling? No, it was a coincidence. A friend told me it was the last day to apply to study medicine, and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, so I applied. And to start with, I didn’t enjoy it. In my second year, I had to work with elderly patients. It was more care work than actually curing people. There was so little one could do for them, and that depressed me. But everything changed when I saw my first operation, an appendectomy. The patient had been severely ill, and now he was healthy again thanks to the surgeon’s work. That great wizard had come along and simply cut out the illness, as if he’d had a magic wand. I was fascinated. How does a country boy with calluses on his hands from working in the fields end up as a world-class surgeon? I knew how to work with my hands. We repaired everything on the farm ourselves, so you get an understanding of mechanics and three-dimensional reconstruction. My grandfather was a watchmaker, so I probably inherited my talent for fine detail from him. When I was a kid, I used to build tiny little houses for hours at a time. I think that laid the foundations for my now being able to stitch children’s vessels measuring no more than a millimetre across. It was the first training my fingers had. Are a surgeon’s fingers their most important asset? Yes, and my eyes and concentration. You can help your eyes by using magnifying glasses, but you can’t help your fingers. If you tremble, it’s all over. But nobody can stop themselves trembling altogether… I’m pretty good at it. I don’t see any trembling, and I’m wearing glasses that magnify things to five times their actual size. You can only see it under the microscope. I did see it once and I found it interesting. If you’re hanging a picture at home, do you bang in the nail yourself? Yes, of course. And I can chop wood with an axe, too!   51

A lot of successful people say that what makes them excel is having a passion for what they do, whether that be singing, playing tennis, whatever. Success follows from that. Is that the case with you, too? Yes, for sure. I love performing operations. If a tennis player mishits, he has another shot straight after. If you make a mistake, a life is ruined. How can you enjoy being on that kind of knife edge? Because you don’t see the operation as a risk; you see it as an opportunity to shape things, to save someone. There is something artistic in what we do. It’s like sculpture. We work in three dimensions, after all, and aesthetics are important. If a heart looks good after reconstruction, it will work well. Don’t you fear making a mistake? Mistakes happen – that’s inevitable. You can keep them to a minimum by thinking of success instead of failure. Stéphane Lambiel, who won figure-skating silver at the 2006 Olympics, was once asked if he was afraid of falling. He said no, that he only thought of the correct movements. To start with, I was amazed he could say such a thing, but then I realised I think the same way. I think of the journey, not the obstacles; of the solution, not the problem. And the complicated cases are not the most dangerous. The most

dangerous thing is when you start thinking nothing can go wrong, when what we call ‘routine’ worms its way in. But over the course of 30 years, you’ve operated on the hearts of around 6,000 children… You have to prepare for every operation as if it was your first, and bring to bear the same level of responsibility, concentration and exertion. That’s crucial. You said earlier that mistakes are inevitable. Can you really say that? You’ve got to be honest. And you must always do everything to the best of your ability. Making a mistake due to a lack of preparation or concentration would be unforgivable. Do you speak to the parents here, in this office? I do. Why do you talk to them yourself? That’s a big burden, isn’t it, knowing their fates and fears? Wouldn’t it be easier for you just to know the facts and to see a bloody walnut that needs to be repaired? I’d still fight in exactly the same way, but something would be missing. Parents entrust their children’s lives to me in this office. It’s a trust I can never betray. It happens extremely rarely, but

“Parents entrust their children’s lives to me. It’s a trust I can never betray”

nonetheless it does happen that we arrive at a situation where there really isn’t any more we can do and there’s no hope. But you still keep fighting and sometimes things do work out for the best. You wouldn’t do that if it was just about walnuts. I remember one case, a really, really difficult one. As a surgeon, you have a big ego, but when these parents wanted a second opinion, I hoped they would choose the other surgeon. But they came back to me. I’d realised during the operation that things weren’t going well. We’d been fighting for hours. It looked hopeless and we were exhausted. I went out into the corridor where the parents were and said, “It’s not going to work. We haven’t got a chance.” The mother broke down. She cried so much it was incredible. The father was despondent… I couldn’t bear the image. I told them we’d give it another go. I went back to the operation and we started again from scratch. It took hours. We were all way beyond our limit. But it worked. How long did the operation take? I can’t remember… 14 hours, maybe. Sometimes you go into theatre in the morning and suddenly it’s midnight. You take that on the chin. Just being professional isn’t enough on its own – it takes heart, too. I want to make people happy. I want to help people, and I have the opportunity to. That’s our privilege. You call it a privilege, but it’s also such a massive responsibility. A child could die… If you jump a red light at a junction, someone might die, too. And you can train your concentration as if it was a muscle. I can keep my focus, because I’ve been doing it every day for 30 years. And I can work on two systems in parallel. My fingers do their job automatically while my brain thinks what to do next. My job is complex, but it’s not a miracle. Have you ever operated on friends or relatives? I once operated on a friend’s mother. It all went well, but there were too many emotions involved. It was an unnecessary risk. I won’t be doing that again. Operations go perfectly smoothly 98 per cent of the time. And yet you’re constantly asked about what can go wrong. Is that annoying? It’s 95 per cent. We have two or 2.5 per cent that end in either mortality or severe complications. And I can understand why you ask. Everyone does.



anyone can repair a hole between the prechambers, but parents are as grateful as if you’d saved their child with CPR. How did you celebrate on Monday? Oh, it was wonderful when the ultrasound showed the heart beating again, then gaining strength. Wonderful to see life returning. You can see the valve closes well, opens perfectly, that there’s no more turbulence. The beauty, the charisma of the heart... Do you ever open a bottle of something special that evening to celebrate? No, that’s not how things work. I can drink one glass, but not two. You have to get back down to business. There are cases when you can’t just get back to business. Wasn’t there one involving a 11-year-old named Robin? That was a terrible tragedy. We didn’t operate because his life was in immediate danger; we did it to improve his quality of life and life expectancy. Nor was it a particularly complicated procedure. But shortly before the operation was due, his mother got scared. She didn’t want to go ahead, and I talked her into it. After the operation, Robin suffered heavy bleeding, his circulation stopped, and his brain went a little too long without blood. I couldn’t look his parents in the face. You wanted to quit after that? Yes. I was in a very bad way. Very bad. How did you make yourself go on? After a lot of talking. I spoke to my anaesthetist, who is a confidante, and to the head of the clinic. I knew I’d worked with care. And time helps. It’s like screwing up a dive from the 10-metre board: you smash into the water, it hurts like hell, and you can never imagine diving off a board that high again. But a couple of days later you start afresh. First the threemetre board, then the five, and so on.

In 2009, Prêtre was voted Swiss Of The Year. He was on an aid mission to Mozambique when the TV show aired

What was your last great success? On Monday, with a boy who was just a couple of days old. The anaesthetist saw the valve and said, “You can’t repair that one. It’s impossible.” But I did. And the valve is now beautiful. Those are special moments when a colleague sees a limit to what you can do, but you go beyond it. Isn’t the gratitude of parents the greatest praise you can receive? Emotionally, yes, but not on a professional level. Parents can’t say whether what I did was particularly good or not. To be honest, THE RED BULLETIN 

Robin was one case in 6,000… There have been three or four in 30 years. Let’s put it another way: how often have you saved children who would have died if it weren’t for you? Probably three or four a year. There’s no rhythm any more, there are no contractions. The child is to all intents and purposes dead, but somehow we manage to bring them back. Yes, I have a good record. But do we want to offset one life against another? You have parents standing in front of you who   53

Prêtre says paediatric heart surgery has an element of sculpture about it: “The heart only works well when it looks good”

have lost their child, and you feel responsible. You won’t ever get over that. Would the child from Monday have died if he hadn’t had the operation? No. In this case, I can’t claim to have saved a life. His quality of life would have been bad, that’s true. The boy wouldn’t have been able to play with his friends at school. And he could have died within days whenever an infection came along. He would have made it to 30, 40, tops. And now, after the operation? The new valve probably won’t last him his whole life, but it’ll be good for at least 40 years – and easy to replace. The boy can now play, do sport, romp about. He could live to 70, 80. Almost a normal life.

"In this job, humility is of vital importance. Especially after great successes. A surgeon who doesn’t go about every procedure with due respect is dangerous"

But that’s sort of saving a life… Perhaps a bit. But you have to be cautious after successes like Monday’s. Joyous occasions like that can be intoxicating. But we are not almighty, we are not God on Earth. Nature always has the last word. In this job, humility is of vital importance. A surgeon who doesn’t go about every procedure with due respect is dangerous. You’re now 61. What knowledge do you impart to young colleagues you teach, other than the surgeon’s craft itself?  Strategy is just as important. We don’t only work in three dimensions, we work in four, because there’s time to consider, too. Sometimes everything has to be really quick. Sometimes we have to plan ahead. Sometimes we have to think of operations in reverse. It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do; if you don’t understand strategy, you’ll end up in a dead end. What are the telltale signs of promise in a young surgeon? You spot them very quickly: they’re diligent and very dedicated. Good people always feel responsible. They take the initiative and don’t wait until somebody needs something. They go to the literature without having to be told. They seek out the relevant discussion of a topic. Good people shine. They love what they do. In New York, right at the start of my career, my boss said that to be a good heart surgeon you had to do operations for 10 years for 10 hours a day – “10 years, 10 hours.” At first I laughed. Now I know he was right. I’ve forgotten another important thing: if you want to be a paediatric heart surgeon, you needed to be artistically gifted. You’ve got to be able to create something aesthetic, otherwise it won’t work. Some students, THE RED BULLETIN 

Prêtre’s glasses magnify everything to five times its actual size. He operates on hearts the size of a walnut, and stitches vessels no more than a millimetre across

you say to them, “Draw a face,” and they’ll draw eyes, a nose, ears and a mouth, but it all looks lifeless. Another student draws a face and it has charisma. That’s the one I’m looking for. You look much younger than 61. Where does your energy come from? I’ve never known any life other than one of hard work. It was taken for granted that as a seven-year-old I’d be out working with the cows and on the tractor.

When there was work to do in the fields, Dad came and took us out of school, and cows need to be milked on Saturdays and Sundays, too. When I needed time to play football later on, I simply had to get up earlier. And do you think that if three or four emergencies came at some point we’d say, “I’m exhausted, I’m going home now”? [Gives a hearty laugh.] How often do you have a heart health check? Me? I never have... Actually, that’s not true. I once had non-specific problems when I was about to go to Mozambique, so I did an ECG on a treadmill. But I do sometimes check my blood pressure. So it’s true: no profession has worse healthcare than doctors themselves.… [Laughs.] Yes. I should think of my children. In Lausanne, they’ll find someone who can carry on the work I do. But what about in Mozambique or Cambodia? The first time I was in Africa, we were there for 12 days, and by the end of it we had operated on 25 or 30 children. They would all have died otherwise within a couple of months or years, maximum. These little African children were running around the hospital in their white gowns, laughing. It was then that I had the feeling I was indispensable. Here in Lausanne, if I was to break my leg we’d have a problem for two or three days. I’ve got very good people on my team and we can send our children to Zurich if need be. No child is going to die here if I break my leg. My ego loves the hard cases here in Switzerland. But I notice my actual importance in Mozambique and Cambodia during simple cases that otherwise nobody would be taking care of. Do you keep getting better at what you do thanks to experience? Or do you get worse due to physical decline? I’ll get worse. For now, I’m still at the top of my game. But I have a young surgeon on my team who really is very good, as good as me. He will do the complicated operations when he’s better than me. Because it isn’t my work; it doesn’t belong to me. Maybe I won’t operate on newborns any more at that point – newborns are always very, very difficult. Maybe I’ll only operate on children of three months and older. Then, a couple of years after that, children of a year or more. And there’s still so much to do in Mozambique and Cambodia.   55

Slipping into an alter ego made it easier for me to overcome my insecurities” ALBERT HAMMOND JR

Different Strokes: Francis Trouble is Hammond Jr’s fourth solo album






With his band The Strokes, the US guitarist initiated a rock music renaissance in the early 2000s. Here, the 37-year-old explains what drives his artistry

1 Slip into an alter ego

For my new album, I created a fictional character, Francis Trouble. A lot of fears can get in the way during the creative process, so slipping into an alter ego made it easier for me to overcome my insecurities. In a way, not being myself helped me to be more myself; I was able to be more honest by saying things through someone else. I learnt that from David Bowie when he said that serious topics are more fun when they’re spoken through a clown [referencing the Pierrot character he revisited over the years, most memorably in the Ashes To Ashes video in 1980].

2 Leave the city behind

A few years ago, I left Manhattan and moved to the country [the Catskill Mountains in Upstate New York]. The quietness there, observing nature’s cycles – things as simple as grass dying and then growing back – is a very powerful influence on creativity. Sure, you can be creative anywhere, but when I come home these days after travelling, my mind is more open to create – I increasingly notice it in my music. It’s just a wonderful energy when you’re connected to it.

an associate who pushes 3 Find you further Also important is to have a creative partner who will constantly challenge you, and who you trust enough to take control of certain things, because you can’t focus on everything yourself. [Hammond Jr’s producer] Gus Oberg and I have always pushed each other hard when we work on music. I think that’s THE RED BULLETIN 

why we’ve been able to stay working together, because as nice as comfort is, in the field of creativity it’s an enemy.

4 Switch off and tune in

I feel like I have two sides in my head. One side thinks about numbers and paying bills, and when I’m creating I need that side to be silent. I feel like I need to leave the normal world, which isn’t always easy. It’s a bit like staring at one of those 3D [Magic Eye] pictures, waiting for the image to appear. To get there, I like to take long walks or meditate. I try to do that twice a day, though things don’t always happen as planned. But it really enhances my observations on life.

5 See the bigger picture

I love Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot [the 1994 book in which the astronomer addresses the fleeting nature of human accomplishment in the context of the universe and argues that exploration is vital to our survival]. A lot of people think it’s bleak, but to me this idea means that if you want to create great art, you have to constantly take different perspectives. My therapist, who I dedicated my new album to, was very important in showing me the opportunities that come when I allow myself to doubt and question myself.

Albert Hammond Jr’s new album, Francis Trouble, is out now on Red Bull Records; Interview FLORIAN OBKIRCHER Photography AUTUMN DE WILDE   57

One highlight is the car show, where the Wasteland tribes take their modified armoured vehicles for a desert cruise in homage to the Mad Max films



Scrap-metal costumes, desert cruises, bottle-cap casinos – every year, hordes of Mad Max enthusiasts congregate in the Californian desert to celebrate the end of the world. Welcome to WASTELAND WEEKEND, the craziest festival on earth Words FLORIAN OBKIRCHER Photography JIM KRANTZ

Temperatures upwards of 40°C, sandstorms, no electricity, the next shower more than 30km away: Wasteland Weekend is not for wimps, but the 3,500 attendees love its post-apocalyptic atmosphere This is the only festival of its kind where costumes are obligatory at all times, even for the people working there. Most of the outfits are inspired by characters from the Mad Max universe; this year, dressing as a War Boy (right) from 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road was a very popular choice



“This is a utopian mirage; a fake, fun Hollywood version of the apocalypse� Jared Butler, festival co-founder

Fast, armed, and built for many passengers, the Fuel Injected Suicide Machine (pictured) is the archetypal post-apocalypse car

Vivid Vivka made her ‘sand witch’ costume using coyote and raccoon bones and Korean War medals

“The post-Wasteland blues? That’s the shower afterwards” Vivid Vivka, sand witch

“We may look scary,” says Teena (right) in her heavily spiked warrior outfit, “but Wastelanders are pretty much the nicest and most welcoming bunch of people you’ll ever meet. If you need anything, you can ask anybody and they will drop what they're doing to help you” THE RED BULLETIN 


“We may look scary, but Wastelanders are the nicest bunch of people you’ll ever meet” Teena, warrior queen

In everyday life he’s a pool guy in New Jersey, but this week Jim (left) is a spiritual leader – sort of. During the day, the ordained minister performs impromptu weddings; at night, he’s the festival’s most wanted DJ and master of ceremonies. “The first time I came here – in 2010 – I was almost 40 years old, 60 pounds heavier, pale and hairy,” he says. “But my friends encouraged me to come back the next year as Lord Humongous [tall, physically impressive gang leader in Mad Max 2], so I got in shape and did it!” Today, the former tour manager of punk rock band Misfits gives inspirational speeches to fellow Wastelanders in search of meaning. “If this was the end of the world, we would all have to bring a certain skill set to the table. We've lost touch with that. Wasteland enables you to find your true calling – a big help in the real world”



The Death Guild Thunderdome tribe erects a 5m-high structure where crowds watch fighters do battle with foam weapons

Injuries in the dome (pictured) are rare, but can be serious, says Thunderdome manager Marisa Lenhardt: “One guy had to have a testicle removed�

Frank (front) with his Best In Show winner FiFi Fury, built from a 1969 Plymouth Fury, GMC dump truck and Chevrolet Big Block 454

The War Pigs tribe drove its bus here from Chicago. “We have 114 mock firearms, 63 blades, two rocket launchers and two grenade launchers on board,� says tribe leader Sparky

Mojave Desert, 50km from the nearest town, leisure warriors like Paul are in the majority this week. At Wasteland Weekend, the world’s largest post-apocalyptic festival, 3,500 costume fanatics, car enthusiasts and craftsmen from across the globe gather for five days every year, not only to leave their mundane lives behind but to pretend modern civilisation itself has ended. “Think Burning Man, but more badass,” says Paul who, out here, goes by the name of Mr Spike. The business suit is a long way away.

11am, Paul was in a sharp business suit, meeting with a client at the law firm where he works in Downtown Los Angeles. Five hours later, he’s unrecognisable. He’s wearing dirty camouflage pants and is topless except for American football shoulder pads and a spiked dog collar. On his head are a pair of pilot goggles and an old army helmet, complete with a Mohawk made from red broom bristles. Paul stands alongside three similarly remarkable-looking figures on the deck of a moving truck that resembles a makeshift war machine. He raises what looks like an ancient spear and lets out a war cry… It’s a sight that would spur people back home to call the cops, but here in California’s THE RED BULLETIN 

Founded in 2010 as a fan party for few hundred devotees of the Mad Max movies, the Wasteland event has evolved into a unique immersive experience. Costumes are obligatory. The essentials for the post-apocalyptic outfit, it seems, are leather, sportswear, camouflage – the dirtier the better – and scrap metal, which the attendees manufacture into weaponry such as wheelrim shields and chainsaw machine guns. Many of the participants work on their costumes for months, and the same goes for the cars they arrive in. Around a hundred modified vehicles have rolled up, including a dune buggy crane that carries a mannequin dangling upside-down in shackles, and a heavily armed Chevrolet funeral coach. By day, these vehicles kick up desert sand on the two dirt roads that run through Wasteland town, an 80,000m2 park partly surrounded by walls made from rusty metal plates and old car tyres. Inside this enclave, in various camps that consist of tents draped in camouflage netting and earth-coloured sheets, around a hundred selfmade ‘tribes’ have set up shop. These groups of Wastelanders, who go by names such as Dukes of the Nuke and Northern Nomads, provide – for no financial reward – most of the town’s infrastructure from these camps. There’s

Co-founder Jared Butler is a voice actor and screenwriter. His latest film, Blood Money, stars John Cusack

a cinema and a library, an FM radio station (specialising in industrial rock), and a daily newspaper printed on site; there are several makeshift bars, a flame-spewing stage showcasing live bands, and a burlesque theatre (run by the Nuclear Bombshells). And then there’s the place everybody ends up at some point: the Last Chance Casino. People don’t only come here to play roulette, blackjack, or bet on a cockroach race: the hangout is the festival’s bank – sort of. “We don’t touch any realworld money – it’s all about bottle caps,” says Crash, a heavily tattooed colossus with an equally huge beard. It’s an idea the Wastelanders adopted from the post-apocalyptic videogame franchise Fallout.

Everything here is paid for in orange bottle caps

Your dollar won’t buy you anything here: everything – from drinks to gambling debts – is paid for in orange spraypainted bottle caps with the Casino logo. And to get your currency, you have to entertain Crash. “Some people tell jokes, others do tricks,” he says. “Earlier today, someone showed me his bleached anus – that got him three caps.” On the other side of town, the big costume contest is happening. Mr Spike proudly presents his outfit, to which he has added an oversized fur cape. When his name is called, he dances up onto the stage, accompanied by White Zombie’s metal track More Human Than Human. He takes a bow to the applause of his fellow Wastelanders. It’s not enough to win the trophy, but he’s still in high spirits. “This is my favourite week of the year,” says the lawyerby-trade. “I don’t feel like I’m wearing a costume – that’s what I wear when I go to work every morning. When I’m here, I feel like my true self.”   67


It takes the physical and mental strength of an MMA fighter to make it in rugby league – one of the world’s most brutal sports – and Wigan Warriors player GEORGE WILLIAMS has more than proved his mettle. But when the international talent scouts came knocking, the 23-year-old faced his toughest test yet. Turning down an offer to play in Australia – winners of last year’s Rugby League World Cup – and staying in the North of England may seem a strange decision. But Williams knows remaining exactly where he is will take him where he wants to go Words ANTHONY ROWLINSON Photography DAVID CLERIHEW


The 23-year-old was the Wigan Warriors’ key player last season, terrorising defences with his turn of step

R “Wigan is in my heart, and I want to win trophies here”

ugby league is a tough sport, played mostly by the hard men of the gritty towns in the North of England that flourished during Britain’s Industrial Revolution. The names of some of the 12 elite Super League squads (11 English, one French) bear this out: Leeds Rhinos; Widnes Vikings; Warrington Wolves; Salford Red Devils; Castleford Tigers… The daddies of them all are the Wigan Warriors, the most successful club in league history (with 21 championship titles), and storied founder members of the Northern Union ‘breakaway’ clubs that in 1895 split from the Rugby Football Union to form what would become rugby league. Faster and, for decades, more professional and more violent than the union game – at least until it, too, went ‘pro’ in 1995 – rugby league is a sport proud to honour only those tough enough to survive its brutal rigour. So to be named Super League Young Player Of The Year at the Man Of Steel Awards – an event celebrating Britain’s top-flight rugby league players – as Wigan’s George Williams was in 2015, aged 21, is both a giddy accolade and a sure-fire indicator of future superstardom. Hometown boy Williams grew up dreaming of one day becoming a Wigan Warrior,

and he has proved every inch the local hero since finding his way into the club set-up as a ball boy at the age of 12. Age-grade rugby followed as Williams worked his way through the Warriors’ scholarship scheme, until, seven brief years later, he was lining up for the firsts. Recognised as a gifted, improvisational player who can make things happen by operating on wit and instinct, rather than by slavishly following a scripted game plan, Williams scored a try on his first-team debut in 2013 and never looked back. The following year brought his breakthrough season, during which he scored 50 points in 23 games; a year later, he was outshining his peers, having been handed the number six jersey of stand-off, a playmaker. Williams made his England debut at the end of 2015, scoring a try in a win over France, and he was again on international duty during last year’s Rugby League World Cup. Meanwhile, he helped the Warriors win the 2016 Super League Grand Final. Little surprise that overseas talent scouts – most notably those from Australia’s National Rugby League – wanted to recruit him. The sport is thriving Down Under – the Kangaroos are   71

the red bulletin: Many young sportspeople would have had their head turned by the prospect of a top pro contract with an Australian club – not to mention the famous Aussie lifestyle… george williams: [Smiles.] I had a year left on my contract, but I didn’t feel I was in any rush about my future, so I’m happy with my decision. I’m a Wigan lad, after all. This is my town. I’ve been at the club since I was 12, and I grew up watching Wigan. It’s in my heart, and this is where I want to be winning trophies. Why is Wigan so passionate about rugby league? If you’re from Wigan, you grow up around it. Rugby league is a massive thing in the town and everyone gets behind the team, especially on match day. It’s a very special feeling, and I want to hang on to it for a while.

The humble, levelheaded Williams is a true hometown hero

reigning world champions – and Williams admits he was sorely tempted by the prospect of playing on hardbaked sports fields, with the sun on his back. “The temptation to go there was massive,” he says. “It wasn’t something I just decided on overnight; we’re talking about three or four months weighing everything up and working out what would be the right decision at this stage of my career. “It was last January when I first learnt of any interest – before I’d even kicked a ball in 2017 – and it gave me some sleepless nights.” These agonies of the soul are at odds with a player 72  

whose on-pitch style is all about speed of thought and action. But, as Williams admits, when you’ve been with a club since the age of 12 and lived in a town that has backed you all the way, from boy to man, the ties that bind are real. And he is wise enough to know he’s not yet the finished article. Just as on the pitch, timing is everything. “Wigan have shown loyalty to me,” says Williams, “and I’ve grown up playing for this club. Right now, it feels right to be here, around family and friends, to keep learning my trade. Perhaps playing overseas will be an option further down the line…”

“We play and train hard… Fit in or you are out”

But it seems you just can’t help attracting attention with your performances – you’ve already been part of the England team… Ha! Yes, but playing for England is a very different experience. In one way it’s the pinnacle, of course, and it’s hard to see how you can top it. The experience you get from that is very valuable as a player; it’s good to work with a different coaching set-up, too. I felt I was still finding my feet at international level – I still have plenty to learn and a lot of ways to grow and develop as a player. As a Wigan lad, you must be a bit of a local hero in town. Have there been moments when you’ve felt particularly proud of something you’ve done on pitch? I remember one game against Wakefield in 2016… We were losing, and in the last minute I set Lewis Tierney up for a try in the corner that won us the match. But more than anything, rugby league is a team sport and it relies on THE RED BULLETIN

team spirit. Individuality comes when you’re part of a team and you’re playing for each other. The bottom line is you don’t want to let down your teammates. Whether that means making a tackle, or covering for a teammate who has made a mistake… that’s where respect comes in. So, which is harder: league or union? Union is still a very hard, very physical game to play, as is league. They’re both right up there with boxing and UFC [Ultimate Fighting

Championship], I’d say. Maybe UFC is the only sport that is physically tougher [than rugby]. Those guys are amazing athletes. You must have to train hard to meet such an extreme physical challenge… We do, and I enjoy it. It’s part of the game, really: if you don’t want to work hard in a professional environment, you’re soon gone. At Wigan we have a ‘play hard, train hard’ attitude. If you don’t fit into that, you’re out. None of us takes their role for granted – I know how many kids in

“Rugby is tough – only UFC is more physical”

Williams has signed a deal that will keep him at Wigan Warriors until at least 2020

Wigan would love to be in my position. That’s always a great motivation. You’re 1.8m tall and 92kg – you must be pretty much all muscle… [Laughs.] You can write that if you like, yeah. Gym sessions are 90 minutes long and very intense, very demanding. Preseason, you can go five days on the trot in the gym, and that’s hard. That’s only part of the training, of course – just the strength and conditioning. The small picture is feeling the pain you go through in training, and the discipline associated with that. The big picture is the Grand Final at Old Trafford. The sport looks intense from the sidelines. Is that how it feels on pitch? League is a quick game, for sure, and it can get frantic in the heat of play. Sometimes coaches have to remind you about the game plan. Sportspeople are, by nature, competitive. Do you have specific goals? Yeah. I always set goals for myself at the start of the year, after reflecting a bit on the previous season. At the end of last year, I wasn’t happy with the way Wigan went, nor myself personally. That was a shock to the system. Winning the Grand Final in 2016 was the best year of my life. I won it with a bunch of lads I’d been playing with since the age of 14. You don’t realise how special that is, to play together from that young age and then win the final together. So, my goals… I want to be up there this year, being recognised at the Man Of Steel Awards. And winning trophies for Wigan. What does your sport mean to you? I wouldn’t know what to do in life if it wasn’t rugby league. But I’m happy about that – I don’t know any other way. Twitter: @George7Williams THE RED BULLETIN

guide Get it. Do it. See it.

24 March


CRANKWORX NEW ZEALAND Designed by the late freeride legend Kelly McGarry, the slopestyle course in Rotorua is regarded by many to be the best in the world. Catch all the jumps and tricks from the opening stop of the Crankworx World Tour live on




See it


From the mud and guts of freeride mountain biking in New Zealand to a boy’s epic search for snowy peaks – you’ll find it all on this month


Red Bull TV is a global digital entertainment destination featuring programming that is beyond the ordinary and is available any time, anywhere. Go online at, download the app, or connect via your Smart TV. To find out more, visit


24 March   LIVE 

CRANKWORX NEW ZEALAND 2018 The quest for the Triple Crown begins. For the opening stop of the Crankworx World Tour 2018, the elite of freeride mountain biking return to the lush trails of Rotorua – a rider favourite, set among the famed redwoods of the Whakarewarewa Forest. The Triple Crown is the ultimate prize: a rider must win three of the four Crankworx slopestyle events in a single year to clinch it. To see who can make that first step, watch all the action live.


March / April

Hear handpicked music and interviews with influential artists. This month’s pick is…

American rider Carson Storch at Crankworx in Rotorua in 2016

NZ native Brook Macdonald tackles the Rotorua course in 2017




March to 8 April*   LIVE 


Now in its 23rd year, the epic final of the world’s leading freeride tour sees skiers and snowboarders take on the steep, jagged 500m face of Switzerland’s Bec des Rosses. (*Weather window; event dates tbc – see


6 26

to 8 April   LIVE 


The fourth stop of the 2018 WRC is known as ‘The Rally of 10,000 Corners’, due to its many turns. Twisty mountain roads are often bordered by a rock face on one side and a drop into the sea on the other, leaving no room for error.

March   ON



From writer/director Ben Sturgulewski and Matchstick Productions – and featuring many of the best skiers on the planet – this epic film tells of a future desert world and a young boy’s quest to rediscover snow-covered mountains.

14 March  ON AIR 

A worldwide authority in reggae and dancehall, Max Glazer has served as Rihanna’s tour DJ and worked with everyone from Sean Paul to Vybz Kartel. Though based in New York, his frequent trips to Jamaica allow him to experience the culture first-hand – and get his hands on the freshest tunes. On his weekly Wednesday radio show (7pm GMT), the veteran selector packs a wicked arsenal of dubplate specials and interviews.




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Can You Make It?


Estonian team Feel Alive! – comprising Siim Salumaa, Kaspar Rätsep and Georg Tulver – won in 2016. Here, Georg offers up insider info THE RED BULLETIN:

What’s the toughest challenge? GEORG TULVER:

Not being able to spend money, the hardest thing is getting out of the city in the Estonian Georg first place. Public Tulver: IT student transport? Not and 2016 winner allowed. Hitchhiking on main roads? Forbidden. We started in Barcelona, and by the end of the first day we’d only made it as far as the toilets of an archaeological dig site 100 kilometres away. We spent the night there.

No money, no gadgets, just 24 cans of Red Bull and a unique mission: to make your way around Europe, ending up in Amsterdam


adrid, Budapest, Stockholm, Manchester and Rome are the starting points for the 2018 edition of Red Bull Can You Make It?, an adventure like no other. Teams of three set off with just a small bag of bare essentials and 24 cans of Red Bull, which they must then barter for food, somewhere to sleep, transport and, well, anything they can talk strangers into exchanging for them.


They have a week to make it to Amsterdam, but this isn’t a test of speed – it’s all about the journey. Teams must stop in at various checkpoints and adventure spots to gather points. Without these points, making it to the Dutch capital first doesn’t mean much; completing Checkpoint Challenges and creating a buzz on social media are what will win you the competition. As long as you abide by the code of honour: no cash or credit cards, no smartphones or laptops, and no favours from mates along the way. Oh, and you can’t break the law, of course. Red Bull Can You Make It? is a test of creativity and spontaneity, of your ability to improvise and negotiate, of staying power and your spirit of adventure. It’s a journey you’ll never forget. April 10 to 17, 2018; for more info, go to and

What did you swap your cans for? Mostly for lifts. We rode in at least 40 cars. That week on the road feels more like a month, because there’s always something happening. What surprised you most? The way people gave up their daily routine to help us. We Estonians are pretty withdrawn when compared to some other nations. We don’t find it easy to talk to strangers. But we certainly learnt how to. What’s your top tip? Travel light. The less luggage you have, the better. I just used my laptop case. And definitely take skateboards with you so that you don’t waste any time in the cities…

Feel Alive!, the victorious team in 2016 (left to right: Georg Tulver, Kaspar Rätsep and Siim Salumaa)




Exchange trip: last time around, cans were bartered for tickets, skydiving, and even a night in a five-star hotel

How did things go after that? The following morning, one of the archaeological team made us breakfast at the end of his 24-hour shift and gave us a lift. He was a cool guy. Moments like that are such a joy!



Do it


BROOK’S EQUIPMENT Improve your stamina, strength and balance

Racing bike “I do a large part of my cardio units with a racing bike from CHAPTER2, a small, prestigious New Zealand manufacturer. I must do a good 5,000 kilometres per season on it.”

The New Zealand downhill mountain biker knows that training pays off – he favours fun, self-destruction and being told what to do

Brook Macdonald, 26, turned pro after he won the Junior World Championships at 17. As a New Zealander, he’s blessed with perfect biking conditions all year round, and yet he actually trains on a downhill bike less often than you might expect… Brook Macdonald’s top performance on the rowing machine is 2,100 watts: more than eight times the power of a standard UK electric bike


Switch it up: Macdonald takes part in head-to-head bike races in the winter. “It’s good to test yourself in a different sport,” he says. He won one circuit race thanks to his sprint ability and riding technique, and in one four-day tour he was in the top 10 on two of the days. “I like battling it out man-to-man. It’s different from downhill where you’re up against the clock. Plus it’s fun!”


Change your pace: Train for strength, speed and explosiveness. “I do squats with 100-kilo barbells. I go down very slowly and then come back up as fast as I can. You have to get it just right. You know you’ve done it right if you’re completely destroyed by the end of the fourth set.” What’s just as hard: “Some 20-second downhill, off-road sprints on the bike. Do six to seven reps with a 20-second gap in between. But make a mistake and you end up flat on your face.” Relax hard: Tough training should be accompanied by some serious relaxing. “Stretching is a must,” says Macdonald. “It’s well worth taking the time after your workout, because if you’re supple you’re less prone to injury, and that’s no small issue in our sport. I do yoga, as time passes quickly with a professional telling you what to do.”

“My daily bread during winter training. The closer we get to the start of the season, the more weight and meat I try to put on. (Given the chance, I might also have gone for a rowing machine.)” WERNER JESSNER


Swiss ball “Such an unremarkable thing that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with muscles or a workout, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s perfect for reaching the deepest layer of muscles, and that’s vital for core stability.”




Power, mental strength, and total control of your body are essential skills in downhill MTB



THE ACTIVE-LIFESTYLE-MAGAZINE Distributed free every second Tuesday of the month with the London Evening Standard. Also available across the UK at airports, gyms, hotels, universities and selected retail stores. Read more at




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to 8 April


Chisel yourself into shape for summer by entering one of the most brutal trail runs possible: 132km of jagged Dorset coastline, with more than 3,000m of ascent, in a strict 24-hour time limit. As well as mud, sand and shingle, you’ll have to negotiate the cliffs by night, and this is not an event for the easily lost – competitors must self-navigate using a map and compass, and all are tagged with a GPS, just in case. Portland, Dorset;

In 1958, the first-ever video game – a tennis game played on an oscilloscope screen – was invented by US physicist William Higinbotham. Sixty years later, you can experience the history of video games hands-on by playing 180 gaming systems at this returning electronic exhibition. There are also adult-only evening competitions featuring 18-rated games including Doom and GTA. Science Museum, London;

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April to 30 Sep Underbelly Festival The circus is coming to town, and it’s bringing comedy, cabaret and a host of variety acts. Headlining the festival until May 20 are Ethopian stunt troupe Circus Abyssinia with their hit show Ethiopian Dreams, followed in June by ‘rock stars of circus’ Circa and their provocative Peepshow. Southbank, London;


March Mission To Mars Prepare for an intergalactic invasion at Backyard Cinema with screenings of sci-fi classics including Alien and Total Recall, guilty pleasures (Armageddon) and, for fans of an ageing Harrison Ford sleepily reprising old roles in a grey T-shirt, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Blade Runner 2049. Runs until June. Mercato Metropolitano, London; backyardcinema.

March to 10 June Blade Runner at Secret Cinema Spring has arrived, so expect endless rain, perpetually dark skies, flying police cars, and killer replicants on the loose. No, wait, that’s the latest immersive experience from Secret Cinema – Blade Runner: The Final Cut, taking place at a mystery location. Expect tickets to sell faster than when the original cut of the film was released in 1982 – and flopped.



March to 15 April Power UP

Venue tbc, London;



Do it

App run


Home run: thanks to the app, you can do the Wings for Life World Run wherever you like

Willem Jordaan, a GP in New Zealand, is the brains behind the app run in the city of Gisborne, and he’s expecting more than 1,000 people to participate. What advantages does a doctor see to training in a group using an app?

Always motivated

If you keep yourself moving, you’ll be healthier for longer. The app encourages you to train. As soon as you see your smartphone, you remember the goal: finding a cure for paraplegia.


Running catches on within the whanau [a Maori word meaning ‘extended family’]. It creates positive momentum that’s advantageous to all.

If you can’t get to one of the many classic Wings for Life World Run events, fear not: now you can run for those who can’t without leaving the comfort of your usual route. All you need is an app…


nable to take a trip to Rio de Janeiro, Melbourne or Kakheti? Thanks to the Wings for Life World Run app, that doesn’t mean you can’t compete in the main event. The world’s biggest running race just got bigger thanks to your smartphone. Simply download the app and set off on May 6 from wherever you are in the world. The Catcher Car, which determines your finish line, will then pursue you on your phone. The app also tracks your run, spurs you on, works out your global position when you’ve finished, and enters your performance in the worldwide results table – just as if you’d taken part in a classic World Run event.


It’s entirely possible the overall winner of the 2018 event could be an app runner who has chosen their very own perfect route. You can also do the app run as part of a group; it doesn’t matter how many of you there are. Around the world, groups of runners have got together to train, and on May 6 they will take part in the Wings for Life World Run using the app. With races in all sorts of locations – from Canada and New Zealand (see right) to Norway and Mexico – there’s sure to be an app run group to suit everyone. There are currently 100 app runs around the world, and the number is growing. So this year there are fewer excuses than ever not to run for those who can’t run themselves. All money raised goes straight to research into finding a cure for spinal injury, and the app itself is free to download from the App Store and Google Play Store.

The Wings for Life World Run format allows you to set different targets dependent on your fitness level, and those who might consider themselves not sporty enough for competitions can run anywhere thanks to the app.

Getting out there together

You don’t have to spend money on the gym to get fit. Instead, you make plans with your whanau via the app, socialise, enjoy the great outdoors, and get yourself moving – it’s all for a good cause!

An awesome goal The Wings for Life World Run app run is the highpoint of your joint preparation. Everyone is excited. Common goals bring the whanau together.

The Wings for Life World Run app: download it, sign up and run for free

Willem Jordaan (NZ), one of many Wings for Life World Run app run organisers around the world




Something for everyone





MET Roam helmet,; 100% Speedcraft Soft Tact Black sunglasses,; SPECIALIZED Drirelease Merino neck gaiter,; IXS Vibe 8.2 women’s jersey,; ENDURA WMS MT500 Waterproof Jacket II and WMS Hummvee Lite Glove II gloves,; MADISON Flux shorts,; ION K-Lite R knee pads,; STANCE Midnight Gardner Crew socks,; CANYON Torque CF 9.0 bike,

Our guide to the best mountain biking kit


Photography TIM KENT

TROY LEE DESIGNS Fiberlite D3 full-face helmet, troyleedesigns. com; 100% Accuri Krick goggles,; ENDURA MT500 Waterproof Pullover jacket,


BLUEGRASS Explicit helmet,; SCOTT Prospect goggles, scott-sports. com; ION Rain Jacket Shelter jacket and Dude gloves,


Clockwise from top left: DMR V-Twin clipless pedals,; EXPOSURE Six Pack MK8 lights,; DMR Axe crank,; ENVE M735 wheel,



Clockwise from top: STAN'S NOTUBES CB7 Arch Boost shim wheel,; DAKINE Drafter 10L backpack,; FIVE TEN District Clips shoes, fiveten-brand; EVOC CC10L backpack,; FIVE TEN Impact Pro shoes, adidasoutdoor. com/fiveten-brand Opposite page: Ariana wears SMITH Squad MTB goggles,; TROY LEE DESIGNS Ruckus jersey,; MADISON Flux gloves,; IXS Sever shorts and Flow Evo+ Zip knee guards,; MADISON Alpine MTB socks,; BLUEGRASS Explicit helmet, bluegrasseagle. com Dorian wears SCOTT Prospect goggles and Trail MTN Dryo 20 jacket,; IXS Progressive 8.1 jersey,; MADISON Roam shorts,; ION K-Lite Zip knee pads,; STANCE Training Crew socks,; ION Rascal shoes,; BLUEGRASS Explicit helmet, bluegrasseagle. com



Clockwise from top left: PROLOGO Nago Evo X10 T2.0 saddle,; SPECIALIZED Boomslang Platform pedals,; HALO Vortex wheel,; LEZYNE Micro Floor Digital Drive XL pump,


TROY LEE DESIGNS A2 Helmet MIPS Starburst helmet, troyleedesigns. com; 100% Speedtrap Soft Tact Black sunglasses,; USWE Airborne 15 hydration pack,; O’NEAL Mayhem-Lite Blocker jersey and Mayhem Twoface gloves,; SCOTT Trail 10 LS/Fit W/Pad shorts and Scott Pads Mission knee pads;; SPECIALIZED Rhyme Comp 27.5 bike, Models: Ariana London and Dorian Issacson at Nevs


Check it



Celebrate the end of the world in the Californian desert, journey to the North Pole, and experience Red Bull Air Race fever in France – just some of the highlights you’ll find in our April issue…

Are you a beast or a free spirit? Five top athletes reveal the training methods that work for them

“Like Burning Man, But More Badass” Apocolytic costumes, Thunderdome bouts, scrap-metal roadsters—every year, an army of Mad Max enthusiasts gather in the California desert to attend the WASTELAND WEEKEND. It‘s one way to celebrate the end of the world. Words FLORIAN OBKIRCHER

Photography JIM KRANTZ

One highlight is the car show, where the Wasteland tribes take their modified armored vehicles for a desert cruise in homage to the Mad Max films.


USA WASTELAND WEEKEND Scrap-metal costumes, custom-made battle carts, fights in the Thunderdome: meet the Mad Max fans who gather in the US desert for the world’s craziest festival


DEINE ACHT SCHRITTE ZUM NORDPOL 120 Kilometer bei minus 40 Grad durchs Polareis gehen. Ganz rauf bis zum nördlichsten Punkt der Welt. THOMAS ULRICH meint, du schaffst das. Bist du bereit? Text REINER KAPELLER Fotos VISUAL IMPACT/THOMAS ULRICH

Immer schön in einer Reihe gehen: Bei Thomas Ulrichs Nordpol-Expeditionen, hier im April 2015, ist ein gewisses Maß an Disziplin gefragt.


SWITZERLAND THOMAS ULRICH Fancy joining the Swiss adventurer on an Arctic expedition? We tell you how…


AUSTRIA MATTHIAS WALKNER The 2018 Dakar Rally champion talks about his success, and why he never follows the pack




Editor-in-Chief Alexander Macheck


raisons de vivre Red Bull Air Race La France l’attendait depuis des années, le Red Bull Air Race s’installe à Cannes du 20 au 22 avril prochains et va faire tourner la tête des fondus d’aviation et de sports mécaniques d’un nouveau genre. ARMIN WALCHER/ RED BULL CONTENT POOL


Vitesse, précision et esthétique aérienne : le Red Bull Air Race arrive en France.


FRANCE RED BULL AIR RACE Five reasons why you won’t want to miss the return of the world’s fastest motorsport event

UNITED KINGDOM TAHNÉE SEAGRAVE The British downhill mountain biker has everything it takes to be a future champion – especially since she discovered that fun is as important as winning

The Red Bulletin United Kingdom, ISSN 2308-5894 Editor Ruth Morgan Associate Editor Tom Guise Music Editor Florian Obkircher Chief Sub-Editor Davydd Chong Publishing Manager Ollie Stretton Advertisement Sales Mark Bishop, Printed by Prinovis GmbH & Co KG, Printing Company Nuremberg, 90471 Nuremberg, Germany UK Office 155-171 Tooley Street, London SE1 2JP Tel: +44 (0) 20 3117 2000 Subscribe Enquiries or orders to: Back issues available to purchase at: Basic subscription rate is £20.00 per year. International rates are available The Red Bulletin is published 10 times a year. Please allow four to six weeks for delivery of the first issue Customer Service +44 (0)1227 277248

Deputy Editor-in-Chief Andreas Rottenschlager Creative Director Erik Turek Art Directors Kasimir Reimann (Stv. CD), Miles English Head of Photo Fritz Schuster Photo Director Rudi Übelhör Production Editor Marion Lukas-Wildmann Managing Editor Ulrich Corazza Editors Stefan Wagner (Chief Copy Editor), Christian Eberle-Abasolo, Arek Piatek Design Marco Arcangeli, Marion Bernert-Thomann, Martina de Carvalho-Hutter, Kevin Goll, Carita Najewitz Photo Editors Marion Batty, Susie Forman, Ellen Haas, Eva Kerschbaum, Tahira Mirza Commercial Director Franz Renkin Advertising Placement Andrea Tamás-Loprais Creative Solutions Eva Locker (manager), Martina Maier, Verena Schörkhuber, Edith Zöchling-Marchart Country Management and Marketing Sara Varming (manager), Magdalena Bonecker, Kristina Hummel Marketing Design Peter Knehtl (manager), Simone Fischer, Alexandra Hundsdorfer Production Wolfgang Stecher (manager), Walter O. Sádaba, Friedrich Indich, Michael Menitz (digital) Repro Clemens Ragotzky (manager), Claudia Heis, Nenad Isailovi c,̀ Maximilian Kment, Josef Mühlbacher Office Management Kristina Krizmanic, Yvonne Tremmel IT Systems Engineer Michael Thaler


Para Andrés Rodríguez, el ultraciclismo debe practicarse con estrategia impecable.

Subscriptions and Distribution Peter Schiffer (manager), Klaus Pleninger (distribution), Nicole Glaser (distribution), Yoldaş Yarar (subscriptions)

Es fácil decirlo para ANDRÉS RODRÍGUEZ, quien ganó el año pasado el Irish Ultra Challenge, pero lo hace con convicción. El número 34 del mundo de las carreras en bicicleta “superlargas” es capaz de pedalear por 4,800 kilómetros seguidos. ¿Su truco? “Entreno el aburrimiento”, entre muchas otras cosas más...

Global Editorial Office Heinrich-Collin-Straße 1, A-1140 Vienna Phone +43 1 90221-28800, Fax +43 1 90221-28809 Web



MEXICO ANDRÉS RODRÍGUEZ More than 380 hours in the saddle, a 4,800km ride, but still no glory… The Mexican ultra-longdistance rider tells us the importance of failure


Red Bull Media House GmbH Oberst-Lepperdinger-Straße 11–15, A-5071 Wals bei Salzburg, FN 297115i, Landesgericht Salzburg, ATU63611700 General Manager and Publisher Andreas Kornhofer Directors Dietrich Mateschitz, Gerrit Meier, Dietmar Otti, Christopher Reindl



Action highlight

When snowboard pro Wojtek Pawlusiak was offered a change of scenery in June 2016, he jumped at the chance – literally. Pawlusiak joined fellow Pole Jakub Przygonski and his Mini for some freestyling on the sand dunes of the UAE. The training paid off for the rally driver: he took seventh place in the Dakar seven months later. See the video at


“My board was running at 340hp” Professional snowboarder Wojtek Pawlusiak, powered by Dakar driver Jakub Przygonski and his Mini John Cooper Works Rally car KIN MARCIN/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Makes you fly

The next issue of THE RED BULLETIN is out on April 10, 2018 THE RED BULLETIN

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The Red Bulletin April 2018 - UK  
The Red Bulletin April 2018 - UK