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an almost independent monthly magazine / may 2010

Rachel Atherton

First lady of mountain bikes back in the saddle

Super Fly Guys

He’s fast, He’s deadly. Meet

Sebastian Vettel

Diving through the sky with Red Bull Air Force

Flippin’ heck! We ride piggy-back on an FMX backflip

forMula 1’s sMiling assassin


Print 2.0


Heading for tHe top Turn to the Heroes section of this magazine and you might find yourself a little shocked. There, in meaty glory, is a pig’s head riding shotgun to a singer. Curious. But then, Teri Gender Bender, who’s the subject of this particular Heroes profile, isn’t what you’d call a regular girl. She revels in the extreme; loves to shock and if a grisly pig’s visage is what’s required to get the attention of her audience (or our photographer), then so be it. At least, when selecting a bloody morsel to be part of her act, she has a choice. The same can’t be said of Rachel Atherton, the downhill mountain bike ace, who last year found herself covered in her own claret after a particularly nasty accident on the road. At the time it was feared she would never compete again, but as The Red Bulletin discovered in an exclusive interview, she’s more than fully healed and is once more ready to take on the hardest challenges she can face – not least her brothers Dan and Gee, each equally eminent on two wheels. Staying with the sisterhood, the Bulletin meets the talented and – how shall we put this – exceptionally photogenic Gabriella Cilmi. A shooting star of the pop firmament, she has a rather unusual choice of future career, should the music thing all go pear-shaped, as you can read in our More Body & Mind section. Not that too much is likely to go wrong, with a voice and looks like hers… And so to our cover star, swashbuckling Sebastian Vettel. By the time you read this, he’s likely to have taken another step towards that rare prize: the Formula One world drivers’ title. Still only 22, he remains on target to be the youngest ever to gain the prize. And at the speed he’s been going lately, it’s going to take something pretty remarkable to stop him. Watch him fly…

New York-based Thomas Hoeffgen’s fascination with football in Africa began in 1999 when he shot an essay on the beautiful game in Nigeria. He has remained absorbed in the subject ever since and last year completed his “African Arenas” project. The Red Bulletin is proud to be the first magazine to present a selection of the extraordinary pictures he took on his football odyssey.


Your editorial team


Your Red Bulletin can do more than you think Movies, sounds, animation 12






Print 2.0

The new multi-media experience. Wherever you see the bull’s eye!

Print 2.0 – the extra dimension in your Red Bulletin. In this issue you’ll find it with the following stories:



How to get started: turn to page 9 or enter en.redbulletin.com/ print2.0 in your web browser


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K a i n r at h


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welcome to tHe world of red Bull

Inside your world-beating Red Bulletin this month…


12 pictures of the month 18 now and next What to see and where to be in the worlds of culture and sport 21 me and my body Red Bull Air Race pilot Matt Hall may have a whole team dedicated to helping him perform, but he’s no stranger to hard work 26 kit bag World Champion stunt rider Chris Pfeiffer has the same passion as late legend Evel Knievel, but their bikes are worlds apart 29 where’s your head at? We delve into the weird and wonderful world of director Tim Burton and discover why he’s just not Disney 30 winning formula Look, no hands! Champion flatland rider Matthias Dandois Delaigue wins a fight with gravity to perform his ‘plastic man’ move 32 lucky numbers As the Champions League Final nears, here’s the info on one of football’s biggest matches: the money, the music and more



36 teri gender bender Fake blood, pig’s heads, severed limbs… After blazing a red trail through London’s Red Bull Music Academy, the 20-year-old Mexican sits down for a chat 38 sebastian vettel Formula One’s youngest-ever Grand Prix winner is off to a flying start . Again 44 mike whiddett One of Auckland’s finest drivers isn’t scared of breaking bones, and now he’s on the radar of US racing 48 khotso mokoena The South African long jumper doesn’t like to make things easy for himself. He’s taken up triple jump, and he’s going for gold 50 rachel atherton She’s got speed, strength and nerves of steel. And this English mountain biker has overcome serious injury en route to becoming the world’s fastest 08





58 jon devore BASE-jumping – and filming it in 3D at the same time. It was an extreme challenge he was determined to conquer 62 football in africa With the World Cup in South Africa weeks away, we look at the arenas of Africa





72 flippin’ heck FMX star Petr Pilát takes our Red Bulletin reporter on a scary ride

more Body & mind

78 gabriella cilmi The 18-year-old Aussie songstress drops into Hangar-7 for a chat 80 get the gear Here’s what keeps mountain bike champ Rachel Atherton flying high in the saddle 82 healthy food All the information you’ll ever need to eat yourself smart 84 cliff diving Twelve top cliff divers do battle for the title at six spectacular locations 86 listings Worldwide, day and night, our guide to the ultimate month-long weekend 90 nightlife We talk to a sports film maker, get electro in Cape Town, meet a Mexican disguised as a turtle and pull a Warsaw all-nighter 96 short story The paths we choose may define our lives, but they can also be changed 98 stephen bayley Are the London Olympics about sport or politics? History will decide

the red Bulletin Print 2.0 Movies, sound and animation wherever you see this sign in your Red Bulletin 1



48 en.redbulletin.com/ print2.0 In your browser window you’ll see the magazine cover. Just click at ‘Start Bull’s Eye’

Switch on your webcam If a webcam activation window opens, just click ‘activate’

Hold your Red Bulletin up to the webcam You’ll see all the multimedia content in this month’s mag – movies, sound and animation




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U p p e r St y r i a , aU St r i a

‘Caught my plane!’ Paul Steiner and the rest of the guys on the Red Bull Skydive Team are famous for their fearless creativity while up in the air. No one tells them that they can’t get out of the plane mid-flight to stretch their legs on the wings, if that’s what they feel like doing. On this clear day, perfect for stunts and about 2000m up, the team pulled off for real a set of barnstormers that the silent movie stars recreated in the studio. And this, Steiner’s final manoeuvre with Ewald Roithner and Kurt Tippl, has to be seen to be believed (for the best results hold these pages up to your webcam and see it in augmented reality; details on page 9). To think that someone could get out of a plane... and then... only for the others to go and... and then for THAT to happen... Wow.

PhotograPhy: MarKUS ZINNEr/rED BULL PhotofILES

See more aerial action at www.redbullairforce.com


Bullevard The best sport and culture from around the globe winging its way to you

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en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 Video of the plane-man-plane sandwich

Print 2.0

PhotograPhy: PrEDrag VUcKoVIc/rED BULL PhotofILES

en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 The Air Bridge, the making-of


i St h m U S o f Co r i n t h, G r e eC e

Wise Before h In 602BC, Periander, the tyrant of Corinth, had a bright idea. If, he mooted, you cut a canal through the Isthmus of Corinth, the land bridge connecting the Greek mainland with the Peloponnese, then ships would be spared a long, dangerous journey around the peninsula. He was right, but it would take almost 2500 years – 1893 AD, to be precise – for a canal 80m deep and 85m wide to be built. Since that time, five bridges have been built across the canal. Australia’s FMX superstar Robbie Maddison had an idea for a sixth: “What if we made an air bridge too?” It was, he noted, “the craziest and most dangerous jump of my life”. However, with his trademark meticulous preparation, Maddison pulled off a hitch-free leap with a textbook landing. As Periander himself said, “Rashness is dangerous.” Red Bull X-Fighters: May 14, Giza, Egypt. See www.redbullxfighters.com

Sa n f r a n C i S Co, U Sa

a supine mess In 1975, a bunch of Californians, anything but laid-back, laid back on their skateboards and held the first pro street luge race. Kids had been bombing downhill prostrate on boards as long as boards had been around, but ’75 was the start of something proper, something organised and something, at speeds up to 60mph (100kph), very, very fast. Associations were formed, rules set – “mechanical brakes of any kind are forbidden” – races shown on TV and, from 1995-2001, there was a berth at action sports’ top table, the X Games. Since then, mainstream appetite forthe sport has faded. There still exists a world cup series, for both street and classic luge, its smaller-board cousin, which produces de facto world champions: stand up – or rather, lie down – Yvon Labarthe of Switzerland. But this is the downhill event looking for an upsurge in interest.

PhotograPhy: chrIStIaN PoNDELLa/rED BULL PhotofILES

Make a luge difference to your life at www.igsaworldcup.com


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every shot on target Email your pics with a Red Bull flavour to letters@redbulletin.com. Every one we print wins a pair of Sennheiser PMX 80 Sport II headphones. These sleek, sporty and rugged stereo ’phones feature an ergonomic neckband and vertical transducer system for optimum fit and comfort. Their sweat- and water-resistant construction also makes them ideal for all music-loving sports enthusiasts. www.sennheiser.co.uk letters@redbulletin.com


Beale air Force Base

While preparing for out-of-this-world challenge Red Bull Stratos, Felix Baumgartner still finds time for a read. Lisa FĂźrst

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new era kicks oFF

Football fan: SuperBowl superstar Reggie Bush didn’t comment that he usually has to deal with a somewhat less round ball


The New York Red Bulls have opened the most modern football stadium in North America, in New Jersey

amsterdam No pressure: a contestant demonstrates his ball-balancing abilities at the Dutch Red Bull Street Style qualifiers. Roy Rovers

No enthusiasm for football in the US, right? Wrong: 25,000 New York Red Bulls fans descended on the new, supermodern stadium on the edge of the Big Apple on March 20. R&B star Kelly Rowland opened the footie-fest and belted out the American national anthem, which was topped off with a spectacular pyrotechnics display. And there were more fireworks on pitch as the New York Red Bulls beat Brazil’s FC Santos 3-1. The crowd was peppered with showbiz and sports stars: Lindsey Vonn, Olympic goldmedal and Alpine World Cup winner, delivered the ball from a NASCAR racer driven by Red Bull Racing Team’s Brian Vickers. Vonn also blew the whistle for the kickoff in front of NFL superstar Reggie Bush and the ‘Kaiser’ Franz Beckenbauer. The New Jersey arena is state-of-the-stadium-art: all 25,000 seats are covered and include 1000 business

perches, 30 exclusive boxes and two VIP-party decks. Its resemblance to the Red Bull Arena Salzburg (the stadium built for the European Championships) is no coincidence – it was also designed by Los Angeles’ Rossetti Architects. The new stadium also cuts a technical edge, thanks to two huge video screens and a 360-degree multi-media message board, while 175 flat screens guarantee no fan will miss a kick, cross or dribble – even if they’ve gone to stock up on food or fan-gear at one of the 150 on-site sales points. And it’s not just football. The new arena will also play host to the finals of the Churchill Cup, an international rugby tournament. New York Red Bulls superstar Juan Pablo Angel was clearly impressed by his new workplace. “The stadium is the starting signal for a new footballing era in the US.” Take a virtual tour of the stadium at www.redbullarena.us

Malibu A daring cyclist braves the fast downhill

rome Two-time Red Bull BC One champion

bends in a fight to the finish at Red Bull Road Rage. Benjamin Lyon

Lilou shows off his winning moves in Italy. Guido Gazzilli


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bOw selecTOr

The Robin Hood – minus the theft – of the 21st century

rt pa four

The FuTure OF FOOTball Tech IT To The LImIT Next in our series for World Cup year: why clubs lap up the men in lab coats Individual training programmes and scientific know-how will play an even greater part in the make-up of football’s elite squads. It’s been that way at real Madrid for years: davor Šuker of Croatia, the top scorer at the 1998 World Cup, benefited from the wisdom of three fitness coaches during his time at the club. leading players and clubs now regularly consult myriad coaches with specific skillsets. Cristiano ronaldo, the most expensive footballer ever, has been known to consult usain Bolt, the fastest man ever, to fine-tune his sprint training. When he was at AC Milan, Kaka, now playing alongside ronaldo in spain, was analysed at the famous Milanlab, where his brainwaves were measured after every training session and every aspect of his physical make-up was considered by doctors and physios. Internationally renowned english conditioning coach

roger spry says, “I understand [Kaka] needed to be more aggressive to be able to pull one over on his tougher, more robust opponents. so they put a sandbag up for him and he had to start kickboxing.” Aly Cissokho, currently flying high in the Champions league with lyon, didn’t pass the Milanlab entry exam. last summer, the day before his medical at Milan, he was photographed beaming at dinner with the team’s vice-president, Adriano galliani. But his planned £13 million transfer from Porto fell through because Jean-Pierre Meersseman, the club’s doctor, diagnosed a defect in Cissokho’s jaw that he felt could lead to injury later in the French left back’s career. that smile for the cameras may have been prophetic; whether dr Messerman’s prognosis comes true remains to be seen. New York Red Bulls v Columbus Crew: May 20, Red Bull Arena, Harrison, USA. www.newyorkredbulls.com

Aren’t you sad not to be living in the times of Robin Hood? We are living in the good old days! Think about it: food, homes, archery equipment, everything is light years ahead of Robin Hood’s time. So, no thanks, I like it right here in the 21st century. What’s your secret? Three things: practice, practice and more practice. I’m not a particularly talented archer, I just practise. If I have a talent, it’s to stay focused while thousands of people watch. If I ‘feel’ people watching I’m not doing my job. Do people ask for specific tricks? A TV show wanted me to shoot an egg off someone’s head. I do not do these sorts of shots. Too many things can go wrong; only one can go right. Why don’t you enter the Olympics? The Olympic archer shoots to put arrow after arrow into the bull’s eye. As a hunter, I am only concerned with one arrow, the first. Get all a-quiver at www.byronferguson.com

Words: AndreAs JAros. IllustrAtIon: HerI IrAWAn. PHotogrAPHy: ClAudIA ZIegler

Born in Moulton, Alabama, in 1953, Byron Ferguson was 12 years old when he became infatuated with the bow and arrow. Now, as the preeminent longbow archer of his times, his deadly arrows can split a playing card in half – from the side – and extinguish the candle flame in an otherwise darkened room. Here he fires off a few sharp pointers.

British AirwAys is help find out how At www.g 20

b u l l e va r d Print 2.0

en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 Get on Matt Hall’s flight path

me and my body

mAtt hAll

What with a personal trainer, sports psychologist and dietician in his crew, the Aussie Red Bull Air Race pilot is more Us And My Body than Me..., but it’s paying off big time off-season, on message

“In the off-season, I do three gym sessions a week, one-and-a-half hours each with weights, and then s, three cardiovascular or aerobic sessions of 45 minute the which is either swimming, cycling or running. During do race season, I reduce the amount of gym work and aerobic exercises, to trim down and feel good about the myself; it’s purely a stabilisation programme. By bit end of the year, I’m a little bit weaker, with a little .” wisely all it used I’ve but , less energy

eat it “My dietician plans what I eat and when. This is for my well-being as much as my physical fitness. I have proteins in the morning, carbs through the day, and then I eat before I go to bed, so my body can rebuild while I sleep. I like desserts: low-fat ice cream with custard, strawberries or mixed fruits when I’m working out.”

Words: nAdJA Zele. PHotogrAPHy: getty IMAges/HAMIsH BlAIr

morning person

“If I don’t feel good when I wake up, I’ll get some time to myself, go for a long walk, do some stretches and some breathing. It’s my own recipe, but it’s probably quite comparable to some basic forms of yoga and Pilates. Just really clearing the mind, getting some air, standing up straight, walking with some energy, shoulders back and think, ‘Yes, nothing matters as long as I’m safe, everything is going to work out. This may not be my race, just don’t do something unsafe.’ Then everything starts to come back into perspective.”

and relax... “Being comfortable in the cockpit is the first step of racing well, and for me, when I’m in the race plane, I’m supercomfortable. I really could sit there all day, I absolutely love it.”

the pilot who sleeps on planes

, “I’m all over the world all the time: not only for racing t, but also for promotional work, setting up the aircraf sure meetings. All that travelling is hard. I need to make t physical correc the in I’m going, I’m where get I when that ged.’ and mental state, rather than going, ‘Oh, I’m jet-lag s on the I don’t have that luxury. I tend not to watch movie I’m tired plane, I don’t drink alcohol. I read a book and when to the I just sleep. That way, I make sure that when I get .” happy I’m and clear is brain my destination, I’ve had rest,

them’s the breaks

“I’ve injured myself so much, it’s not funny. My main injuries stem from flying, but I’ve been fortunate that I’ve never crashed. I have some back injuries that I have to be careful with. One is a disc protrusion, which can become debilitating, and cause serious leg pain. That hasn’t happened to me now for a number of years because it’s under control, thanks to my approach to health, fitness and lifestyle. The rest of my injuries are from being a kid. A huge number of broken bones resulting from racing bikes, falling off things or getting dumped in the surf. That’s what happens when you’re active.”

brain training

“I have long-term and short-term strategies for focus. In the off-season you need a long-term strategy of focus, like writing out life goals and reviewing them. In the race season itself, you need to make sure that you identify what’s important in life right now and that turns into short-term goals. What’s really important is that I get into the track, that I’m flying safely without making mistakes.

factor 30 factor

“I used to love just laying on the beach: now I’m avoiding the sun. In Australia we’re very sun-conscious because we have less ozone and skin cancer is a big problem. I live near the beach and also have a pool at my house, but wherever I am, I make sure that I put on sunscreen.” Follow Matt Hall and all at www.redbullairrace.com

ping greAt British tAlent tAke off greAtBritons.BA.com ////////////////////////// 21

Hard & fast Top performers and winning ways from across the globe

Marina Pajon Pajon, the Columbian BMXer whose ratio of age to world championships is an astonishing 3:2 (the 12-time champ turned 18 last October), added two more wins at the South American Games in her home town, Medellin. She won both 20in and 24in wheel disciplines.

usual It was business as at eb Lo en sti ba for Sé tor y the Jordan Rally. Vic rld for the six-time wo points 25 him k too p am ch s’ ver dri the in clear ee standings after thr -driver rounds. He and co then Daniel Elena (left) rkey, Tu of lly Ra won the ar of to go 40 points cle lberg. Norway’s Petter So


Red Bull Air Race world champion Paul Bonhomme began the defence of his title with a hardfought victory in the season’s opening race in Abu Dhabi, ahead of fellow Brit Nigel Lamb. In the second race, in Per th, Australia, he finished third; Hannes Arch of Austria took first.

After the Grands Prix of Lombardia and Bulgaria, Max Nagl lay second in the FIM Motocross World Championship, one point behind Antonio Cairoli of Italy. The Hungarian and team leader of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing has one win – the GP race in Italy – and three third places after four heats.

Words: Paul Wilson. PhotograPhy: andrEs JaraMillo BotEro, Julian FinnEy/gEtty iMagEs/rEd Bull air racE, KtM iMagEs/rEd Bull PhotoFilEs, citroën/McKlEin/rEd Bull PhotoFilEs. illustration: diEtMar Kainrath

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This can can go longer

Words: ruth Moran, WErnEr JEssnEr. PhotograPhy: ErWin Polanc/rEd Bull PhotoFilEs, gEtty iMagEs/rEd Bull PhotoFilEs

Good news: fewer refuelling stops for NASCAR fans

Ä is for action

UK snowboarders team up to get down For the last eight years the umlaut-rich Ästhetiker Wängl tängl has attracted a mötley crüe of athletes, artists, musicians and dJs to the snowy peaks of austria’s tyrol region for four days of slopestyle competition and off-piste fun. neither a traditional snow contest nor a festival, Wängl tängl combines snowboard action, indoor skate contests, live art, poetry and graffiti workshops. as the name implies, this is one gathering that doesn’t take itself too seriously. that is, until you consider the main event – and one of the leading contests on the slopestyle calendar – the Wängl tängl gÄng JÄm. the quality of the courses built each year in the Vans Penken Park has earned the JÄm a reputation for spectacular slopestyle (big air and big tricks on a mixed obstacle course, on skis or board), and 2010 was no exception.

NASCAR: truly big-scale American motorsport. Attended by hundreds of thousands and watched on live TV by millions more, it’s as complex as it is compelling. One thing’s abundantly clear though: he who fuels less, wins races – a philosophy that fits well with the new extra-large Red Bull Racing Special Edition can (0.568 litres). And what better way to support Red Bull Racing’s two American drivers – Scott Speed and Brian Vickers – than by ‘glugging large’ while watching them compete for victory? Vickers won RBR’s first race in the chase in 2009, to springboard into the end-of-season top-12 playoff. This year it looks like Vickers’ crew 83 will be there again. Get up to date with the Red Bull Racing Team at redbullracingusa.com

two massive kickers, a channel gap and a huge taco-shaped bowl endsection, complete with rails, got the job done in style. a team of shapers took a full week to mould the endsection alone, but this winter, canvas was the ideal medium for the slopestylers’ aerial art. sixteen teams of three boarders took part, each trio having three runs to impress the judges. While an allaustrian final pleased the home crowd, uK team the gentlemen (what else?) of Jamie nicholls, scott McMorris and James carr landed a more than respectable fifth place, just missing selection for the final, but giving them something to celebrate. Fortunately, Wängl tängl organisers are also very serious about their äfter-pärties. Point your browser at onboard.mpora.com, search for ‘wangl tangl’ and check out all the action


winning ways Have you got what it takes to be the best? Trampolining star Laura Gallagher has and she’s off to Montreal to learn from Canada’s top Trampolinists

It goes without saying that sportspeople get injured from time to time, but Somerset Trampolinist Laura Gallagher, 21, suffered a crisis of confidence that proved to be more debilitating than any injury – and almost put an end to her Trampolining career. Gallagher, who started Trampolining at her local club, High Flyers, at the age of 12, won the Under-19 World Championships in November 2007, but suffered a huge loss of confidence shortly afterwards – so much so that she was sometimes too scared to even get on the Trampoline. She was subsequently dropped from the national team and written off by many, but then she found a way to change her life and rediscover her competitive form. “I spent an awful lot of time trying to find an answer as to why it happened and why it happened to me, but there was no answer,” she says. “Once I accepted I wasn’t going to find an answer, I could finally begin to look forward. “I started by writing a plan by myself, then together with my coach, Sue Bramble. We both admit now that while writing this plan, neither of us actually thought I could achieve it! But you only succeed if you fight outside your comfort zone. Very slowly, the moves came back and the mistakes became less and less. “This experience taught me so much about myself. I never had any self-belief or confidence and never once stopped

and patted myself on the back for my achievements, but now I feel so proud of myself for getting through it and for everything I have achieved in my life. “My experience taught me that I am a strong and brave person to stick with it. It has also taught me to work hard and make the most of what I have now because it can so easily disappear. It has really helped my motivation to succeed in everything I do. “This year, I am training really hard and am trying to get as much experience of competing as I possibly can. I won’t hide away from the subject – I want to win a Gold Medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games and I think this is a realistic hope.” Gallagher has been given a massive boost by Great Britons, the programme run by British Airways to help talented people achieve their dreams by giving them flights to BA destinations all over the world. One of the winners of round seven, Gallagher will now be flown by BA to Montreal, where she will be able to train with some of the best Trampolinists in the world. “Winning means I can get some much-needed experience training in a new environment. Canada has facilities that we don’t have in the UK and there are manyTrampolinists there who I look up to,” she says. “I want to see how they train because it would be a huge learning experience.”

Laura Gallagher (above) has rediscovered her winning form. (Above right) Great Britons judge and former Olympic Gold Medallist Denise Lewis


show us you’re the best gREaT BRiTOns: THE sEaRCH is On Are you a Great Briton? Are you determined, competitive and courageous enough to follow your dreams? If you have a burning desire to visit a place that could develop your talent, this could be your chance to get there. British Airways is looking for talented individuals and groups who epitomise the values of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and who strive to be the best – whatever their passion is. The Great Britons programme is open to every UK resident who needs support to develop their talent in their chosen field, from sport to performing arts and everything in between, provided they are aged 16 or over. Winners, who will be picked all the way up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, receive up to 16 flights to any British Airways destination, as well as the use of BA’s luxury Executive Club lounges. They also get a winner’s pack, which includes a camcorder to record their incredible journey. If you think you have what it takes to be a Great Briton, tell us your story at www.greatbritons.ba.com to be entered into round 8 of the programme

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Kit Evolution

leap years

Stunt motorcyclists today may have the spectre of one, very special, man hanging over them, but their wheels are way in advance of what Knievel considered jump-worthy

Evel Knievel became motorcycle daredevilish riding Hondas and Nortons, then Triumphs and Laverdas, before beginning, in 1970, what would become a lengthy and noted partnership with Harley-Davidson. He plumped for the wellestablished XR-750, which, in those days, was a relatively light sports model. Barely 26

any technical modifications were made to adjust the bike, with its distinctive 50bhp, two-cylinder engine; the only significant changes came in the shape of the stars-and-stripes design. Drum brakes at the front and solid rubber rear tyres, a handlebar that would buckle at the very thought of a heavy landing and rear

double struts as a gesture towards disc protection... Knievel’s stunts are even madder in retrospect when you look closely at the bike he performed them on. His exploits were more balls than brain; he would accelerate to 80mph, hurtle off the ramp and then hope for the best – but that’s what made him great.

Words: Werner jessner

EvEl’s Doing Harley-DaviDson Xr-750, 1972

PhotograPhy: eric Long, courtesy of the division of Work and industry, nationaL MuseuM of aMerican history, sMithsonian institution (1), bernhard sPötteL (1)

Full cyclE BMW F 800 r, 2010 With its aluminium bridge frame, loadbearing 87bhp two-cylinder engine, dual disc brakes, adjustable central strut and six-speed gearbox, the BMW F 800 R represents the pinnacle of current motorcycle technology. The German stunt World Champion Chris Pfeiffer has had some extra goodies onto his work-bike:

an Akrapovic titanium exhaust, a bespoke seat with built-in wheelie bar, shorter transmission, a middle-finger operated rear-wheel brake, a more gently angled handlebar, axle pegs at the front and rear and a roll-bar. The engine takes 2 litres more oil than normal, for optimum performance in all circumstances. His

choice of rear tyre is also unusual. “You normally find the Metzeler Marathon 200 on big Harleys,” says Pfeiffer, who’s delighted with his ride. “It’s as if the F 800 R has been tailor-made for me; it’s manoeuvrable and powerful.” More stunt bike rev-elations can be found at www.chrispfeiffer.com


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Putting on the breaks

SneakerS PimPed

Custom trainers take big step from street art to gallery hip-hop culture met fine art in london last month in the shape of Kicks ’n’ canvas. the project, a co-production of online trainer trove soleheaven and the Zero cool gallery, was perhaps the most visible showcase to date of ‘custom kicks’, the practice of transforming trainers into one-off urban artworks. think of it as the bespoke tailoring of street culture, only with insteps instead of inside legs. of the 21 artists talking part – all from the uK, apart from a four-strong australian contingent (anthony lister, Ben Frost, megg, numskull) and the splendidly named dickchicken from the us – 18 customised a pair of all-white nike composure si trainers. insa plumped for nike dunks, vans were dan Baldwin’s pair of choice, while drum ’n’ bass legend goldie chose a pair of adidas 28

stan smiths. each artist also produced a complementary piece of original artwork; goldie’s was a portrait of the tennis legend smith (above). soleheaven regularly champions custom kicks to its audience of streetsavvy shoppers; Kicks ’n’ canvas brought in artists not linked to the scene – sculptor Benedict radcliffe and illustrator Ben Frost – as well as more familiar graffiti names such as nes, toaster and goldie. “i was looking for a concept to elevate this further,” said dale parr, the owner of soleheaven. “We’ve been championing traditional sneaker customisers for years; now we’re introducing other artists to the scene. it’s massively exciting.” The only locker room/art gallery crossover you’ll ever need is at www.kicksncanvas.com

Breakin’ Boundaries is something of an annual B-Boy family reunion, with notable dancers, DJs, MCs and beatboxers heading to central London from across the globe, for a night of competition and celebration. “I always want people from outside of the scene to come along too,” says B-Girl Faizah Haider, who organises the event. “I want people to see that hip-hop and B-Boy culture is positive.” The fifth annual Breakin’ Boundaries once again exceeded all expectations. A diverse crowd of more than 600 people piled into Tutu’s club in Kings College (named for Bishop Desmond) to cheer the energetic breaking battles, which were soundtracked live by DJ Renegade and Brazilian funk drummers Tuca E Mel. The individual battles didn’t disappoint. Born and Jazzy Ivy, South Korean godfathers of hip-hop culture, were judge and host respectively, ensuring everyone brought their A-game. And after an epic final battle, Bulgaria’s Fuego was crowned champ. What did the B-Boys think of their performances? “B-Boys don’t need to talk,” says Jazzy Ivy. “The dance says everything. Miles Davis doesn’t have to explain his music – it’s the same.” To sample the night’s action, head for www.redbull.com

Words: paul Wilson, ruth morgan. photography: KicKs ’n’ canvas (3), chris Bell (1), Ben price (1)

Hip-hop’s finest unite in London

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Where’s Your head at?

Tim burTon

His head is at… one foot below the crest of the most remarkable hairstyle in Hollywood. The director’s Alice has done wonderful business; here’s what made him the man he is today LittLe timmy B

Boy wonder to Batman

Tim Burton was born in Burbank, California on 25 August 1958. His mother, Jean, was proprietor of Cats Plus, a shop featuring gifts for felines only. His childhood was not quite the blacksheep experience his creative output suggests: “I didn’t have a lot of friends, but there’s enough weird movies out there so you can… see something new every day that kind of speaks to you”.

Burton’s world turned on its head when he directed Batman, which in the summer of 1989 redefined what Hollywood expected from a blockbuster, in terms of the cash from the film and merchandising, including a soundtrack album by Prince and cultural impact. Jack Nicholson’s profit-related pay for the role of The Joker is said to have netted him $50-60m.

exhiBit tB The Museum of Modern Art in New York recently hosted a retrospective of Burton’s work, an honour also afforded the likes of Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Alfred Hitchcock and Henri-Cartier Bresson. If you missed it, fret not, because the 700 exhibits, including paintings, models and a full size Depp-as-EdScissors, are going on show at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne, from June.

First joB: Foxed After studying animation and filmmaking at the California Institute of the Arts, Burton joined Disney and was set to work on The Fox And The Hound. “I couldn’t draw all those four-legged Disney foxes,” he told Mark Salisbury for the book Burton On Burton. “Mine looked like road kills.”

adventures with aLice

Words: PAul Wilson. illustrAtion: lie-ins And tigers

Big Break

Earlier this year, Burton’s Alice In Wonderland made a huge impression at the global box office, not least because it followed Avatar at the head of the new wave of 3D movies. In fact, there’s a lot more three-dimensional action in Alice than its blue-skinned predecessor. In casting Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, he did what she says is his usual number on her. “I can never rely on Tim to make me pretty,” she told The Guardian newspaper.

Frankenweenie, Burton’s 1984 short film about a boy reanimating his dog, did not endear him to his Disney bosses, but got him his first feature film gig: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. He was 26 when filming began in 1985, the same age as Steven Spielberg was when he made The Sugarland Express, in 1974. The two later collaborated on the TV show Amazing Stories.

“sorry, you want next door…”

Burton met Helena Bonham Carter on the set of Planet Of The Apes (2001), they later struck up a relationship and today live in a row of three cottages in north London. HBC already lived there; the pair bought the adjacent house when Burton ‘moved in’ and then next-door-but-one for more room for their two children. The houses are linked by a throughway, above ground.

my paL johnny Like Scorsese with De Niro and a large popcorn with a bucket of drink, Burton’s seven-film collaboration with Johnny Depp is one of modern cinema’s great pairings. Depp credits the director with saving his career with Edward Scissorhands, while Burton said of his leading man: “I feel close to Johnny because I think somewhere inside we respond to similar things.”

cannes do This month, Burton will take on a job he was perhaps born to do: president of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival. “After spending my early life watching triple features and 48-hour horror movie marathons, I’m finally ready for this,” he said. Whether his hairdo can stay aloft in the south-of-France heat, is another matter. Enjoy more Tim time at www.timburton.com


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Winning Formula

Plastic Fantastic In practIce “The Plastic Man is a classic trick,” says Matthias Dandois Delaigue, a 26-year-old Frenchman and two-time BMX flatland world champion. He adds: “It was invented in the late 1980s by a famous US rider named Jesse Puente. But he touched the tyre while he was doing it, and I thought I could balance without doing that, by just touching the peg, which is more difficult. “So about three years ago, I took this old-school move and made it new school, much cooler. I was the first person to achieve that. It’s called the Plastic Man because when you’re in position you don’t move, like you’re made of plastic. “I rely almost completely on my arms for balance as there’s only two points of contact between me and the bike. I look like a tightrope walker when I’m doing it. You put your left foot on the right front peg, and lean your knee on the bar, and then with the pressure of your knee you just lift the bike, put out your arms and then you roll just like that, in a big circle. “A lot of people do this trick now, but only for a distance of around 5m or something like that, as it’s so difficult to maintain your balance. Since I’ve been doing it for three years, I’ve really mastered it and I’m able to do it for 30m and more. Maybe I can just roll on forever.” In theory “Let’s take the picture on the right as an opportunity to consider what happens when you fall and when you don’t,” says Dr Martin Apolin, of Vienna’s Institute of Sports Science. “We’ll begin with the simplest example, specifically when a cyclist is riding in a straight line. “He doesn’t fall over if the normal of the bicycle’s gravity (COG), or, in other words, the vector of the weight 30

component force FG, points to the supporting surface. Don’t confuse this with surface area: surface area is the tyres’ contact with the ground. Imagine tensing an imaginary rubber band all around the surface areas – that’s the supporting surface, and on an average bicycle is just over 1m long and a few centimetres wide. The normal of the COG has to be within this range, or the bike will tip over. “Now let’s consider this special case. Since Matthias is only riding on one wheel, the supporting area and surface area are the same – and tiny, merely a few square centimetres. What about the centre of gravity? First we’ll estimate the locations for the singular centres of gravity for both the artist and the bicycle (COG 1, COG 2). The total centre of gravity (COG) has to be on the connecting line between these two points. Matthias has a mass of 80kg, and the bike has a mass of 10kg. Thus the COG splits the line into a ratio of 8:1. “To prevent Matthias and the bicycle from falling over, the normal of the COG would have to point to the supporting surface – but it doesn’t. Why doesn’t Matthias then fall to the left? This trick only works if the rider keeps moving in a circle. When that happens, another force comes into play: the centrifugal force FC. This force also stems from COG and points horizontally outwards. Since two forces are in play here, the following applies: the artist and bicycle won’t fall over if the total force FTOTAL points towards the surface area. “The three forces can be represented as a triangle, and the ratios can be determined using the Pythagorean theorem. F TOTAL2 = FG2 + FC2. This trick requires some mathematical intuition, as well as good balance.” To see this trick in action, put ‘plastic man bmx’ into www.vimeo.com


By reinventing the Plastic Man, a French BMXer has brought old-school tricking bang up to date – but it’s the special combination of fearlessness and physics that make him magnifique in the saddle

Still life: Matthias Dandois Delaigue is probably a double World Cup winner in BMX Flatland because he's a perfectionist. “I am never satisfied with myself. I have been like this since I was a child”

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lucky numberS

Champions League FinaL Club football’s most anticipated match, the Champions League Final, takes place on May 22, at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid. It will be the 55th game played to decide the champion team of Europe. In 1955, Real Madrid were the inaugural winners – they are the tournament’s best-ever side, with nine wins and three further final appearances. The notion of a European Cup, as it was known then, only became a reality as clubs installed floodlights, enabling midweek evening fixtures. When the competition was reformatted for the 1992-93 season as the Champions League with roundrobin group stages, Marseille were its first winners.


“And, lo, in the year two thousand and ten, the Champions League final moved from the third day to the sixth.” Yes, for the first time, world club football’s prime match-up will take place on a Saturday, and not its usual Wednesday. One team did lift the cup on a Friday: Bayern Munich, in 1974, 4-0 in a replay after the Wednesday game finished 1-1. Sorry, what’s that? You didn’t get a ticket this year? Bookmark uefa.com and set an alarm for next March, the month during which the online public ballot for final tix traditionally opens.


Lethal. That is the only way to describe Gerd Müller of Bayern Munich and Germany. He scored an incredible 34 goals in 35 games at this level, giving him the best goalsper-game ratio (0.97) of any top-line striker and putting him 10th in the all-time Euro Cup/Champs League scorers chart, currently headed by Raul of Real Madrid (66 in 135, at 0.5). Three of those net-bulgers came in finals, including a brace in the 1974 final replay. All told, Der Bomber, as he was known, scored 735 goals in 793 ‘official’ matches.


6,000,000,000 That’s how many euros the Champions League is said to have generated for the European economy during 2009 (the calendar year, not the 2008-09 season), according to a recent study by Mastercard. The survey also said that winning the trophy last year was worth €110m (£97m) to Barcelona, while teams reaching the last 16 added €50m (£44m) to their balance sheet in prize money, commercial deals, merchandising and increased player value. €6bn (£5.3bn) is, roughly, the GDP of Moldova. The Moldovan champions, Sheriff, lost 3-0 on aggregate to Olympiakos of Greece in the play-off round of this season’s competition.


A football teaser to stump those who pride themselves on deep football knowledge: who is the only man to have won the Champions League with three different clubs? A common answer would be Ronaldo (the Brazilian one, not the Portuguese one), but despite spending a dozen years in Europe with Barcelona, Inter, Real Madrid and Milan from 19962008, he never played in a final. The real triple-crown winner is Clarence Seedorf of Milan, who won with Ajax in 1995, six weeks after his 19th birthday, then with Real in 1998 and Milan in 2003 and 2007.


Every season, someone, somewhere will hear that Champions League anthem (an arrangement of Handel’s ‘Zadok The Priest’; sample lyric, to be sung in your best choirboy: the chaaaaaam-pyoooons) and say, “But it’s not the champions, is it? You don’t have to win your league to qualify.” Well, quite, but Teams Scraping Into Fourth On The Last Day, Too, League isn’t a catchy title and, since 1997-98, when non-champions first played, the competition has been better for it. Some teams stretch the definition thinly, though: when Liverpool won in 2005, it had been 15 years since their previous domestic league victory. Get your final build-up at www.uefa.com

Words: Paul Wilson. PhotograPhy: getty images (4), Picturedesk.com (1), offside sPorts PhotograPhy (1)


Everything you need to know about the big match: the money, the music, the most lethal striker ever, and more

High hopes: South Africa’s Godfrey Khotso Mokoena, here winning long jump silver in the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, is setting his sights on gold, not just in long jump, but triple jump too

Heroes Taking giant leaps towards greatness

photography: getty images

36 Teri Gender Bender 38 SeBaSTian VeTTel 44 Mike WhiddeTT 48 khoTSo Mokoena 50 rachel aTherTon


teri gender bender The Red Bull Music Academy left its mark on London earlier this year. But the noise queen from Mexico City was the act who left a mess Words: Tom Hall Portrait: Dan Wilton

As PR stunts go, it couldn’t have been planned much better. Teresa Suaréz, aka Teri Gender Bender, the Mexican punk-blues enfant terrible with a sailor’s mouth, a penchant for pigs’ heads and animal entrails in her live shows, and a venomous public persona in her home country, is on the cusp of releasing debut album Sin Sin Sin. So we sit for an interview in Christ Church Spitalfields, a whitewashed shrine to all that is pure and good in Shoreditch, London. Oh, the irony. “I used to have an obsession with amputees,” says the 20-year-old, lowering her voice to almost a whisper out of respect. Nice try. Each syllable echoes like a bomb detonating through sparsely populated pews. “So I’m looking at this severed leg in the recording studio and I was like, fuck if I see that leg again I might try and take my own leg off soon.” More on that later. First, some back-story as to how this bizarre interview location came about. Teri Gender Bender has no PR in the UK. Nobody put her up to this. The house of God was simply the nearest quiet building when a bustling coffee shop was more than a dictaphone could handle. The other member of her band, Le Butcherettes drummer Normandi Heuxdaflo, is back in Mexico. The record’s not out yet, and other than a chaotic one-woman gutter-punk gore fest at the Old Blue Last that blew apart a strong supporting line-up, there’s no shows happening either. So why are we even here? During the two weeks she attended the Red Bull Music Academy in London in March, it was Suaréz who seemed to pop up in every photo, dragging an unsightly smear of red over everyone’s mustsee-and-hear lists. Her Cramps-meets-Courtney scuzz-rock informed by the dark, pithy poetics of Sylvia Plath and Simone de Beauvoir might not be revolutionary, but it’s messy, gutsy and a lot of fun. It’s been entertaining enough to bag her support slots playing to stadiums on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Mexican tour. It was authentic enough that one of her musical idols, Jack White, extended the same courtesy. And it’s weird enough for Mars Volta and At The 36

Drive-in prog-punk icon Omar Rodriguez-López to have jumped in as producers on her upcoming release. “I met Omar at a warehouse venue in Guadalajara,” she says. “We were playing a show and the power went off. So I took my megaphone and my pig’s head, jumped into the crowd and was singing at the top of my lungs, I climbed up a fence and then the fence went over and I sprained my ankle. I think Omar just thought what the fuck is this?” For all the big entrances and unplanned exits, Suaréz insists there’s a method to the madness. Keen to continue the feminist ideals of Kathleen Hanna’s Bikini Kill, and a big fan of perpetual underground cult heroes like Royal Trux’s Jennifer Herrema and the Dead Kennedys, she claims her amalgamation of all those elements, or ‘Butcher Rock’, is the movement she had no choice but to create herself. “I was born American and lived in Denver until I was 15,” she says, “but I became Mexican because my mother moved there. In Mexico, if you wanna do something artistic, it’s really hard. If you’re applying for art school, richer kids will pay their way in ahead of you because the system is so corrupt. As clichéd as it sounds, I’ve put my head and heart into what I do.” And heads, hearts and severed limbs are just how it seems to go down in Mexico. It was that gory tale of amputees that actually led to Suaréz applying for Red Bull Music Academy. “I was doing some studio sessions for a Mexican electro band,” she says. “Between them asking me to do it and me going there to do it, the singer lost his leg, but he’d had it dried up or salted or whatever and it was just sitting in the studio. The producer was just as freaked out as me by it, we talked a lot, and it was him that told me about the Academy and that I should apply.” She’s whispering again. In fact, other than dropping a few linguistic grenades, the afternoon in Christ Church hasn’t turned into an incident. It seems Teri Gender Bender is quite the contradiction. But then what the fuck did you expect? More info and videos at www.myspace.com/lebutcherettes

Name Teresa Suaréz Cosio Born May 15, 1989 Lives Mexico City, but grew up in Denver, USA All to Play for Her debut album will hit stores this summer. Sin Sin Sin is produced by Mars Volta and former At The DriveIn guitarist Omar Rodriguez-López Off the Bone Teri Gender Bender is vegan, despite having no problem posing with the occasional animal corpse

Headstrong: Teri Gender Bender’s style of punkblues is called ‘Butcher Rock’, a movement she says she had no choice but to create herself


SebaStian Vettel You wouldn’t expect this year’s top tip for the Formula One drivers’ title to be scared of mice would you? But he is, oh yes, as The Red Bulletin found out… Words: Anthony Rowlinson

Born November 3, 1987 Heppenheim, Germany Lives Switzerland Seblings Vettel has two sisters and one brother Childhood Heroes The three Michaels: Schumacher, Jordan and Jackson Naughty Corner Vettel once shut himself in a school cleaning cupboard… for half an hour until his teacher discovered him Always Quick Seb picked up a speeding fine nine seconds into his F1 career, for going too fast in the pitlane at the Turkish Grand Prix


This could be breakfast at home. Sebastian Vettel sits opposite with a modest bowl of muesli; his trainer, Tommi Parmakoski, sipping juice to the right. Floppy blond hair that curls in a mum-pleasing kind of way around his right temple, board shorts, bright red Pumas and a confident-relaxed air that buzzes around him like an invisible energy shield. But this isn’t home, of course. It’s the breakfast buffet of the seven-star Pan Pacific Hotel that adjoins the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Vettel, though dressed in his downtime civvies, is in Malaysia to do battle. It can be hard, sometimes, to equate the helmeted, fire-suited gladiators of the Formula One world tour with the stringy 20-something kids who reveal themselves out of their race armour. And in Sebastian Vettel’s case, the mismatch is extreme. He’s mature, sure, and worldly in a way that few 22-year-olds ever can be, but he still looks like your kid brother – the one you should be meeting at the train station back from college, not the one who can walk through airport arrivals and be greeted like a rock star. It has been like this almost from the off for this particular ‘kid brother’: he took a point on his debut at the US Grand Prix, back in 2007, aged just 19, thus becoming the youngest-ever driver to score in a Grand Prix. By season’s end he was confident and able enough to mix it with the big boys, recording a brilliant fourth place for Scuderia Toro Rosso at the Chinese GP, behind only two Ferraris and a McLaren. (He needed it: a week earlier in Japan he had punted Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber out of second place and himself out of third.) He won the Italian Grand Prix in his first full F1 season (becoming F1’s youngest-ever winner) and in 2009, stepping up to Red Bull’s senior F1 squad, Red Bull Racing, he took the team’s first win in its fifth season of competition. He went on to challenge for the drivers’ title until the penultimate race, to set himself up as one of the 2010 favourites. Three

races in, he had started three times from pole position and led a dominant one-two ahead of team-mate Mark Webber at the Malaysian GP. The stats confirm – and few, anyway, would argue – that Vettel is a special talent: brilliant in treacherous wet conditions (always the hallmark of a ‘natural’) and frequently devastating in the dry. Yet for all this on-track precocity, it’s Seb’s off-track style that has won hearts, as well as the respect his racing exploits demand. Vettel is, after all, funny and stands out like a comic light bulb in a paddock of rare individuals corralled too often into corporate alignment. He names his cars. He swears. He (gosh!) smiles. After his sublime win in Malaysia he joked in the post-race press conference about being “tipsy from champagne”. He is, truly, a one-off in being able to race as hard as he laughs and he’s not afraid to be asked about this apparent contradiction by The Red Bulletin. Two sets of questions have been prepared for him – hard and easy – and through a mouthful of muesli, he indicates he’s ready to meet the worst we can throw at him: “OK, we’ll start with the easy ones,” and he reaches for one of the Bulletin’s two, randomly ordered, piles of cards… Red Bulletin (Easy): What would you do if not Formula One? Sebastian Vettel: “That’s not an easy question! I don’t know. That’s the only answer. I only left high school three-and-a-half years ago and I was looking at which university to go to. Surely my dream was to become a racing driver, but I never went so far as to say, ‘OK, this is going to be a fact, I don’t need school.’ If I had gone to university I probably would have done mechanical engineering. Something technical, the stuff you can explain, rather than something that’s shades of grey.” Not so much the emotional stuff…? “Yeah, exactly.”


Name Sebastian Vettel

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en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 Fulfil your need for speed with Sebastian Vettel’s season so far

One-track mind: “I don’t know what I’d do if I wasn’t in Formula One. That’s the only answer!”


So you could have been fixing your own cars if you’d been an amateur racer? “I always loved to do that in karting, actually. Me and my dad used to do the mechanical stuff on my karts, because a mechanic at the time cost around €1500 (£1300) per weekend. So instead of that we invested in new tyres and fixed the kart on our own. My dad was very fit, but he wasn’t 25 and I had to do my part, but I enjoyed that. It’s important for a driver to know what’s going on and what has failed when something goes wrong – not just ‘engine’ or ‘tyres’ or ‘car’. For me it has always been very interesting how things work. Obviously to explain a Formula One car from the beginning to the end is a bit different – I don’t

“I’m not the kind of guy you can put on an island for a week so that I can enjoy the sun. I really like to move, try new things and have a good time”


think anyone can do it! At Red Bull Racing we have a lot of people and everyone has his own area. But that’s what makes it so interesting. It’s not just a car you can buy: everything is unique and made for it, and when it comes together it is a piece of art. You feel sorry in one way to kick it so hard on the circuit because you know how much work has gone into it. But that’s your job. It’s made for racing.” Vettel’s having trouble getting through his cereal, but gamely, between mouthfuls, he reaches for another card. (Easy): Are you the fastest driver in F1? “Ah, that’s a hard question for me. I want to be, of course, but I don’t really like this kind of question. There are many experts out there and they would be sad if no one asked them that kind of question any more, so better to ask them. But surely my target is to be the best, and that’s why I am here. I don’t really like just to take part.” (Easy): What’s the most fun you can have with your trousers on? “Ah you can ride a bike naked… if you like? That’s a possibility. everyone has something he likes most or enjoys most. I usually like to move, be active. I also enjoy the time when I can rest, but I’m not the kind of guy you put on an island for a week so that I can enjoy the sun. no way! Sometimes I have to force myself to rest, but really I like to move and do all kinds of sport, try new things – with friends if possible – and just have a good time. After that, then take it easy and go for dinner somewhere or sit around the fire.” (Easy): Is it true you used to watch the Tour de France on an indoor bike trainer, to ride with your heroes? “How did you know that? Ha! Ah, yes I used to, actually. I still do in the summer. Sometimes it’s better to train indoors because you can hold the same level in a very accurate way for a long time. The first time I remember was when I was 13 at home and I had the little TV in my room and the bike set up in front, and when I came back from school I’d get on, turn on the TV and I joined the Tour for one or two hours.” (Hard): What is fear? There’s a long pause before Vettel answers the question. This has made him reflect. “That’s a difficult question. On the one hand there’s the fact that you are afraid of certain animals, in my case mice. You’re kidding… “Yeah, really, I’m afraid of mice. But I think that real fear is… I mean… I’m not afraid driving the car and I don’t feel fear when I’m racing. even when you go off, usually you can explain it because there’s been some technical issue or maybe you made a mistake or whatever, but it’s not fear, it’s just ‘Shit!’ because you don’t know what’s coming. And you’re more afraid of that. I think fear is something… put it this way: if you have certain expectations and then you fail or some really bad things happen like you lose someone… that’s more fear to me. do you understand what I mean? It’s more an emotional thing.”


(Easy): Why do you name your cars? “I don’t know really. It has become a habit. I started a couple of years ago. This year it’s ‘Luscious Liz’, last year was ‘Kate’ and ‘Kate’s dirty Sister’ and the year before, at Toro Rosso, it was ‘Julia’.” Are they named after people, well, girls, you, er, know? He laughs as he sees where we’re going with this line of questioning. “no, no. You mean when I’ve ended up without trousers? Well, there is a bit of an explanation behind the names. First of all it has to be a nice name. It has to be a name where you can imagine a nice-looking lady, but at the same time she can be, you know, wild as well. So it would never work with a name like… ah, I have to be careful here… I don’t have an example of a name that won’t work… Daisy? “… but then if there’s a daisy reading this she might feel bad! Look, this isn’t a really deep thing, but for me it’s a way to appreciate the work that has gone into the car and all the mechanics put into the car.” (Hard): Are you losing your sense of humour? “Why?” Because you’re in a more intense situation these days. You’ve gone from being the youngest guy in F1 to being a potential champion in a very short space of time and obviously there’s pressure… “Yeah, but I see it this way: there are more expectations this year, which I think is positive, because it shows that we were in a strong position last year and people expect us to be there again. For me that’s a compliment. Above all you should always know why you are here. I’m extremely glad and proud to have reached Formula One. I went to a go-kart race last december and I saw all the young boys and sometimes girls there, and it’s funny because they’re not seeing me like another driver, someone maybe they’re used to racing against. They’re seeing a Formula One driver, which is a weird feeling for me because in some cases I’m not that much older than they are. It shows that what you do is something a lot of people care about, and for a lot of people it’s the top of your sport, so I think you should never forget this fact. Obviously, if you end up on the circuit and you do your usual stuff, it becomes routine and like a job, and of course the moment you start racing and you approach your qualifying lap, for example, you’re not thinking ‘this is nice, this is Formula One’. You’re focusing 100 per cent on the moment. But still, you should never forget where you came from and what you’re doing. Above all, you should always see the joy of what you do and enjoy it. And never lose the fun. I think that’s the same for who you are – you should not forget where you come from. And, to go back to your question, if I have a sense of humour I think I should keep it. There’s no reason why not.” (Hard): What lost you last year’s championship? Did you blow it? This question prompts a first frown from a face more used to smiling. “Obviously, looking back to last season we had a very, very good season. We started it very

Serious contender: “Last year we made mistakes, but they were extremely important because this year we’ve already learned from them”

differently from this year. Yes I had a target to become world champion and to win races but as you know, in F1 it always depends on how your car is and the whole environment. Last year we were in a very strong position. If there’s one thing that lost us last year’s championships? Mostly the fact that teams differed in their interpretations of the regulations at the start of the season [a reference back to the ‘double diffuser’ rules controversy that gave eventual title-winners Brawn GP a significant early-season advantage]. That’s one of the biggest things. When we were at the circuit we always did a reasonable job. Yes we made mistakes, yes we had failures. But at the end of the day that’s human. Some things are down to us, but I wouldn’t say we blew it. We made mistakes, but they were extremely important because this year we’ve already learned from them. Looking back, having five non-finishes wasn’t the best thing…” (Easy): Who is Gerhard Noack? He’s a guy who, when he was young, he bought himself a go-kart and wanted to go karting. I think, without hurting his feelings, he realised he wasn’t 41


very good. And he saw this young boy Michael, who turned out to be Michael Schumacher, doing very well, but not having enough money to go racing. So he decided to support him and from then onwards, when Michael was very young until he was 15 or 16, Gerhard helped him a lot: travelling with him, being his mechanic, helping him with sponsorship, acting as his ‘father’ in a way, because he was always with him. And when Michael continued into single-seater racing he was still around and had his own go-kart track in Kerpen, which is still there, actually. By fortune, when we started to race, one of the championship rounds was held in Kerpen and very early he decided to help us and we raced for his team. At that time we were racing on about €5000 (£4,400), so it was a big help! He took us all the way through to single-seaters until Red Bull came along and took things to where they are now. But Gerhard helped us a lot early on. You know, a lot of people in racing are very tight money-wise, but he was always looking for money and helping us a lot. I remember when I was seven or eight we could only just afford to race, so there was no money for 42

Youth opportunity: “Have I had too much success too soon? No, I think success is like a drug for everyone who wants to win. You want more and more and the faster the better”

team kit or anything like that. But one of the first presents I got from him when I won a race was a Tony Kart team kit shirt, which I really appreciated, like, ‘That’s so cool!’ He wasn’t tight at all: it was ‘OK, take one, take another one’. So yes he was quite a big figure in my life. First he made me happy with little presents, but most importantly he helped us to find the money and in the end helped us to find Red Bull, which, looking back, was quite crucial.” (Easy): What’s with the long hair? “My hairdresser died. no! I mean, I don’t know… Usually I always have it cut before the start of the season, but I just decided to keep the hair this time after the winter. I had a little trim, but not much off.” (Hard): You don’t like losing do you? “That’s an easy question. no! not at all. next…” (Hard): Do you ever argue with Christian Horner or Helmut Marko [the two most senior figures at Red Bull Racing]? “It depends. If I have a different point of view it might end up in a little fight, but everyone still keeps their respect. Sometimes we might have a different opinion, but to be honest I get along very well with Christian, and Helmut, so it’s not really an argument. I would say it’s more ‘a discussion’. I never end up raising my voice or getting angry or anything. (Hard): Have you had too much sex too soon? Vettel has deliberately misread the question, out loud. “Is that what you mean? Ah, OK. ‘Have you had too much, too soon?’ Um, no. I think success is like, for everyone who wants to win, is like a drug. You want more and more and the faster the better. I can only look back at what I’ve done, because everyone has his own way to the top or back to the top or whatever. And there’s always ups and downs, so looking back on what I’ve done, there were good times and bad times. Sometimes everything was running smoothly and everything was fine, but we’ve also had very difficult times, for different reasons – maybe the results were not there or I was not performing, or sometimes there was no money. From the outside it may all look rosy and nice and smooth and the ideal way and no problems, but on the inside there are a lot of things happening. One year at the start of the season my father got the call that there was no money and we thought ‘that’s it’. Then for other reasons it just came together and it turned out we had good results and could continue. But, really, it hasn’t been easy. I think it’s very important to go through this though, isn’t it? So too much too soon? I don’t think so. The steps we made… yes I was young compared to others, but I was always feeling ready for it and always open to learn. So I was expecting probably not to start at the top, but I was always expecting from myself and from my whole environment, from the team around me, that after a while we would reach the top. And if we didn’t, then something was wrong and we’d need to find out what it was.” If you do win the championship this year you’ll be the youngest world champion ever [beating the record set by McLaren’s


Lewis Hamilton in 2008, who was champion that year aged 22 and 301 days]. (Underwhelmed): “Yeah by a couple of days or something. It wouldn’t really mean much to me to be the youngest or oldest, but it would mean a lot to me to become world champion. If it comes with the ‘youngest’ thing it might be nice, but to be honest, it’s the last thing I worry about. Is this the slowest bowl of cereal you’ve ever eaten? “Yeah… It doesn’t taste so good now… What’s next?” (Easy): You’re not really German are you? “Well my passport says I’m German, so I’m afraid I am German. It’s funny, I don’t have any problem with it if people take the piss out of where I come from and most of the time they’re right. But sometimes they’re prejudiced about Germans not having a sense of humour. I think you’ll find funny and not-so-funny people in every country. But some things are quite funny also for us and for myself. I’m the type of guy who can laugh about this, so it’s OK. For instance, I’m sure a lot of english people still think that in Germany men run around with mullets. Honestly, we have as normal haircuts as people have in the UK. OK, you might see some fancy ones, but I think that’s normal for every country. every country has its habits and it’s a good thing, otherwise every country would be the same and it would be boring: people would have no reason to take the piss out of you or your country. It’s nearly time to go as Seb is about to be whisked away for a pre-race track walk, but he seems to be having fun, so we press him to answer a couple more questions. Besides, he sill hasn’t worked his way through that darn’ bowl of muesli. “OK,” he says, “one more easy one.” (Easy): Do you ever pig out…? “What does this mean?” Like stuffing yourself with burgers, chips and beer. “Ah, OK! Well yes, sometimes.” He catches a glance from trainer Tommi, sitting opposite. “Well… I mean… not often. And nothing too horrible, but fast food is usually not very good for you. Once or twice a year it doesn’t really kill you, but not every week or you’ve got a problem. But after a funny night out with friends or whatever, if it’s late and you’re looking for something to eat and there’s a fast-food restaurant that’s still open… You just go there and get a lot of bad stuff, don’t you? I take it fairly relaxed. It doesn’t kill you once or twice. If it becomes a habit then you’ve got a problem.” Vettel’s viewing the bowl of mush in front of him with increasing disdain and has resorted to just pushing the remaining contents around with a spoon. “You know what,” he says, “that was the worst bowl of muesli I’ve ever had and it tastes horrible now because it’s not muesli with milk, it’s both. Sludge. What’s left from your pile?” (Hard): Do you have any weaknesses? “I don’t like talking about myself or what is my strong point, what’s my weak point. I think I do have weaknesses. I’m not very proud of them… I’m very stubborn. Sometimes when I hit traffic on the road I get impatient if things don’t go my way. Sometimes

I freak out a little bit. And on track, well, compared to some guys I haven’t got that much experience. There are others, too, but there are plenty of other people you can ask about them. OK, last one.” (Easy): Tell us a joke. “It wouldn’t be any good. It would require something without trousers. I’ve been interviewed before and people have said: ‘Ah, you’re well known as a funny guy in the sport, tell us a joke.’ Most of the time I like jokes, but I’m not a stand-up, like, ‘OK let’s go’. It’s more out of the situation, doing funny stuff or talking and making a stupid quip. You only live once, so you have to try to have a smile on your face.” Fancy Vettel 2.0? en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 Keep up with Vettel’s season at www.redbullracing.com

“I like jokes but I’m not a stand-up. It’s more out of the situation. You only live once, so you have to try and have a smile on your face”



mike whiddett After founding a motorsport career on freestyle motocross and endless broken bones, ‘Mad Mike’ looks poised to take the US drift racing scene by storm Words: Robert Tighe Photography: Graeme Murray

Name Mike Whiddett Born January 10, 1981 Auckland, New Zealand Nickname Mad Mike Occupation Signwriter, pro drifter First Love Freestyle Motocross Achievements Beating the NZ national champion in his second-ever event; representing NZ at the 2007 World Allstars event in California, USA; making it into the top eight at the inaugural Red Bull World Drifting Championships in 2008 Drives Mazda FD RX7 Favourite Food Pasta or chocolate


‘Mad Mike’ is an obvious nickname for any slightly out there Michael. Let’s face it; most small towns have a ‘Mad Mike’. He’s the crazy dude down the local pub who bores the regulars silly with tall tales about his drinking exploits. Or he’s the loner from the mountains who takes up running and does a Forrest Gump on it and never stops. Or in this case, he’s the kid from Auckland who started riding dirt bikes as a five-year-old and has spent his whole life trying to go higher, faster and louder. ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett, however, has done more than most to earn his moniker. He has broken nearly every bone in his body and suffered close to 20 concussions. After a successful motocross career, Whiddett is all set for his first full season in the Formula Drift Pro Championship and the 29-yearold is confident he can make an impression. “They all know me in the US and they are all worried,” says ‘Mad Mike’. “I am confident we can do damage to the best in the world.” Doing damage is something Whiddett has proved adept at in the past. Bruises and breaks were a part of life for the teenage motocross tearaway, but it was after he started freestyling in his early 20s that he became a regular at Accident & Emergency. Whiddett’s reputation in motocross circles made him an obvious candidate for one of the first freestyle motocross demonstrations in New Zealand at the Big Day Out music festival in 2000. “I’ve always had this thing for showing off,” he admits. “When I was racing motocross I’d be doing no-handers and knack-knacks over the jumps.” When a friend of his asked was he still doing those tricks and interested in earning an easy 500 bucks at the Big Day Out, Whiddett jumped at the opportunity. He threw himself into the demo with his limbs flailing all over the place and the excited commentator kept shouting, “…here comes Mad Mike again. Look at Mad Mike…” and the name stuck. After the demo Whiddett was invited to pull the same stunts at a 30th birthday party the following

weekend. When he got there he realised he was the guinea pig for a makeshift jump. Underneath the ramp was a van with all the windows smashed out. The DJ was in the van setting up his decks. After a couple of dummy runs, Whiddett’s bike seized halfway up the face of the takeoff. The bike fell off the end of the takeoff, crashed into the van and smashed all the turntables. Whiddett kept going. “I flew over the handlebars and landed on the down ramp on my left leg. It felt like my leg was buried in the dirt, but I had actually flipped and rolled 6m past the down ramp. I went to grab my leg and I couldn’t feel it. I couldn’t feel it because I had snapped my femur in half and it had folded back on itself and my head was resting on my calf.” Whiddett tells the story so matter-of-factly it’s almost as if it happened to someone else. The ability to detach himself from danger (along with some titanium rods and reconstructive surgery) saw Whiddett back on his bike within six weeks, still determined to become a professional freestyle motocross rider in the US. The closest he got, however, was a couple of tours of New Zealand and Australia with the Crusty Demons. Then in 2002 at X Air, the New Zealand X Games, he suffered another serious injury. He compressed and fractured four vertebrae in his back. The doctors initially thought he was paralysed. It still wasn’t enough to convince him to give up motocross, but it did prompt him to consider alternatives. He settled on drifting. “Drifting is like freestyle motocross on four wheels,” says Whiddett. “It’s about showing off. In motocross you learn about weight transfer, traction and throttle control. A kid brought up doing motocross will be a far superior drifter to a kid who’s brought up on karting.” Whiddett grew up in Auckland city, but his mum, Sue, visited her sister’s farm every weekend to go horseriding. Sue took her only child with her, but he didn’t take to jodhpurs and gymkhanas. So

Continental drifter: After conquering New Zealand’s drift scene, ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett is now making a name for himself in the US


“Drifting is like freestyle motocross on four wheels. A kid brought up doing motocross will be a far superior drifter to a kid brought up on karting”

No smoke without fire: Tyres don’t survive long in drifting. A set lasts just three laps and drivers burn their way through 28 tyres during a day of racing


his mum bought him a dirt bike and Whiddett hasn’t slowed down since. By the time he was 10 years old he was joyriding in a neighbour’s Toyota Corolla paddock hack, drifting on the dewy grass and dodging the livestock. When he got his driver’s licence at the age of 16, he spent his weekends ‘hooning’ it in the hills with his mate Mark Tapper, now a professional rally driver. Every Thursday morning they scanned the classifieds in the Trade & Exchange for the cheapest, most beat-up banger they could find. “We’d weld up the diffs, take out the windows and then spend the whole weekend in the bush on gravel roads. Whoever wrote it off bought the car the next week.” The weekend wipeouts were the perfect training camps for burnout competitions and Whiddett smoked the opposition. He won five Skidfests in a row before graduating to drifting in 2006, maxing out his (and his fiancé Toni’s) credit cards to build and enter a car in the D1NZ, the New Zealand Drift Championship. He beat the national champion in just his second event and was invited to represent New Zealand at the 2007 World Allstars event at Irwindale Speedway in California. The following year he finished in the top eight at the inaugural

Red Bull World Drifting Championship and last year he won the Formula D Asia Pacific Championship beating 30 international drivers. Whiddett’s rapid rise through the drifting ranks convinced him he could mix it with the world’s best and he has poured everything he has into the sport. “Anything to do with wheels and I am there – skateboards, BMX, go-karts, motorbikes or cars. I love having fun and I love going fast.” Drifting isn’t all about going fast. As well as speed, three judges rate the drivers racing line (the aim is to get the back end of the car as close to the outside wall and inside clipping points as possible), angle (as sideways as possible) and style (smoking tyres, noisy engine, crowd response and an aggressive attitude all score big points). Drivers get two laps to impress the judges in qualifying before the field is whittled down to the top 32, who face off against each other in tandem battles known as tsuiso, until a winner is decided. The battle is essentially a ‘follow the leader’ format where the aim is to mirror what the lead driver does, but with more smoke and more style. A set of tyres lasts just three laps so drivers can burn their way through 28 tyres in a day of racing.


MADBUL, Whiddett’s 2004 Mazda SP3 RX8 guzzles up to 250 litres of gas during competition; his number plate is FURSTY (slang for thirsty). Whiddett has already invested more than £46,000 on his ride, but some of the cars he races against in the US are worth closer to a quater of a million. Then there are the costs of competing in the seven rounds of the Formula Drift Pro Championship which started in Long Beach, California, on April 9 and ends in October, and takes the riders from coast to coast and back again. Whiddett needed a second major sponsor to be able to afford to accept the invitation to compete in Formula Drift. At the start of January he got the phone call he was hoping for from EA Games. The gaming company will sponsor Whiddett for the 2010 season and ‘Mad Mike’ will feature in the upcoming game Need for Speed:Shift 2. EA Games’ sponsorship is recognition that drifting has made the transition from the underground to the mainstream. Whiddett explains why: “It’s loud and it’s in your face. You’ve got the smell of burning rubber and gas and smoke. You’ve got Fords and Chevrolets up against Mazdas and Nissans. Kids look at a Mazda RX7 beating a £200,000 Dodge Viper and think ‘I can buy an RX7.’”

The ‘I can do that’ accessibility of drifting has helped it gain a massive following, but has also earned it a reputation as a sport for ‘boy racers’. It’s a label that irks Whiddett. “It only takes one person to mention ‘boy racers’ and ‘drifting’ on the news and you’re back to square one. Drifters are not a bunch of boy racers. We race at over 140mph and have to control a sideways slide to within 15cm of the concrete walls to get good marks.” Despite the high speeds, Whiddett hasn’t been involved in any accidents since he took up the sport, even though he still drives to the absolute limit and isn’t shy about coming into contact with his opponents’ cars or the wall. “Drifting is a lot safer than freestyle motocross. In FMX your life is on the line with every jump, especially with some of the moves the guys are doing now.” So Whiddett has waved a wistful goodbye to motocross. “I still have a dirt bike, Toni has an 85cc KTM and my son, Lincoln, who’s two, has a Pee-Wee 50, so we take our bikes for a family day out. But it’s just for fun. I don’t want to break any more limbs.” To keep track of Mad Mike’s progress, visit his website www.madmike.co.nz or www.formulad.com



Khotso MoKoena Silver medal success at the Beijing Olympics and World Championships were never going to be enough for this South African long jumper… Words: Steve Smith Photography: Craig Kolesky

Name Godfrey Khotso Mokoena Born March 6, 1985 Heidelberg, South Africa Holds the African long jump record of 8.50m set at an IAAF Super Grand Prix meet in Madrid in 2009 Loves athletics but says… “I’m a normal guy. My life isn’t all about athletics. I’m not totally wrapped up in the sport. That would kill me.” Team Mokoena Khotso doesn’t just have a coach, he has a team of coaches. Head coach Jukka Härkönen commands a speed coach, a gym coach, and a Pilates coach The Croc “Mokoena” means “crocodile” in SeSotho. He signs off his text messages with ‘crocodile rock’ and the underside of his glove is made from crocodile skin


There are two people known for their trademark white-socks-and-a-single-glove. One was a Billie Jean denialist. And the other is Khotso Mokoena. The Olympic and World Championship long jump silver medallist laughs at the question about his signature long white socks and cut-off-finger gloved hand. “Hey man, it’s my image. I think it’s cool. You have to have some fun and enjoy yourself. And you have to look good!” It’s a throwaway comment to a throwaway question, and one that shouldn’t give you the wrong impression of a man who, in reality, is a very committed athlete. For this young South African, two second places in the two most prestigious athletic meets on the planet are not nearly enough. Khotso still burns for bigger things, and he points to this desire as his greatest strength. “I have a very positive mental attitude,” he says. “To succeed in this sport, you need the perseverance and discipline to keep training. You need that hunger to be the best. I think of becoming the best all the time. I don’t allow any negative thoughts to cloud my mind. Some athletes are out there competing because they enjoy it, but they don’t want success badly enough. I want it... I’m hungry for it... I’m very hungry… every day I wake up and I’m hungry for success.” The hunger began back in junior school where a young Khotso Mokoena competed in just about every athletics discipline but shot put. Even early on though, it was clear that the jumps – long, high and triple – were where he excelled and Khotso’s early successes were in the high and triple jump disciplines, with a fifth in the high jump at the World Youth Championships in 2001 and a gold for the triple jump at the 2004 World Junior Championships. Since 2006 though, his focus has solely been on the long jump, and notable successes so far have been a gold at the World Indoor Championships in 2008 and, of course, those two silvers at Beijing and the World Championships in Berlin last year.

However, if the rumours are true, it looks like the triple jump may well be back on Khotso’s schedule. “Yeah,” confirms Khotso. “I’ve started training for it again. Obviously I can’t compete in both events at every meet. At a normal Grand Prix I’ll either do one or the other – only at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the 2011 All-Africa Games, and the 2012 Olympics will I enter both events.” While Khotso confirms that his training schedule is all on track, having speed, strength and a welldrilled technique is one thing… athletics jumping disciplines clearly have a psychological element that sets them apart from the runners and the throwers. You can see it when they’re gearing up for a jump. The intense mental focus is played out in unconscious gestures as – rocking back and forth on their heels – hands mimic the upcoming effort. “Actually that intense focus starts when there are still two competitors to jump before me,” says Khotso. “It’s then I visualise running correctly, jumping further, I even visualise myself standing on the podium.” And after executing thousands upon thousands of jumps, can he still feel when he’s in the midst of an exceptional leap? Is there a moment during its execution when he knows the jump is close too or better than his 8.50m personal best? “Oh I know,” say Khotso. “You can feel it as soon as your foot leaves the take-off board. Each jump has a different feeling and I know immediately when I’ve nailed it.” What Khotso Mokoena obviously hasn’t nailed, is an Olympic or World Championship gold medal. “No doubt, the criticism that I haven’t won gold does get to me sometimes, but it doesn’t bother me too much because I know I just have to be patient. Sure, sometimes you wake up and I... yeah… I feel a little bit down. You know, like I’m not getting anywhere. But then I remind myself why I’m in this game. I’m here to make history. It’s what I was meant to do. And I don’t want to stop until I have made history.” Follow Khotso Mokoena’s progress at the 2010 Commonwealth Games at www.cwgdelhi2010.org

Jump lead: Khotso knows he has the hunger and the drive to be the best


Rachel atheRton She’s a woman with nerves of steel and a lady with many scars. She also is a little sister and makes a mean pudding. But more than that, she’s the fastest woman in the world on a mountain bike

Name Rachel Laura Atherton Born December 6, 1987 Salisbury, England Lives Llangynog, Wales Profession Downhill mountainbike racer Achievements British Champion, European Champion, World Champion, seven World Cup victories Web athertonracing.co.uk


The truck struggles up the narrow, steep mountain roads on the Ligurian coast. Dan Brown – manager, press advisor, nanny and, if need be, chauffeur – is at the wheel. Next to him is George David Atherton, known as Gee, the downhill World Champion. Behind them, a tall, muscular lady with light brown hair is lying fast asleep across the seat. People can’t normally sleep like that. But Rachel Atherton – the 2008 World Champion – can. “Anyone who grew up in the middle of nowhere in England’s hilly landscape needs to be able to,” she says later, post-kip. “It feels like a cradle to me. I can even make a little cave for myself in the boot and sleep like a baby.” Once we’re up the mountain, she wakes up from the half-hour power-nap in relative discomfort. She stretches like a cat and slips into her pads. It’s all routine. She pulls on her helmet and trundles over to the start. The Varigotti Downhill at Finale Ligure is fiddly and quick. The loose gravel surface underfoot is brutal on any mistakes the riders might make in their line. The Athertons are here to carry out tests and their mechanics Stevie and Andy are modifying bikes down in the valley every half hour. Today, they’re testing various tyres and how they behave in race conditions on different-width wheel-rims. Rachel Atherton is riding on the freshly attached prototype Continental Kaiser tyres for the first time. A Freelap wireless timing system, which records three intermediate times in total, is installed on the track. The girl who just moments earlier was asleep on the back seat focuses on the clock and goes onto auto-pilot. For the sixth time that day, she thrashes her tailor-made Commençal bike about, for the sixth time she slides both wheels with great control up towards the jump, and for the sixth time she speeds through the pedalling sections with the strength of a sprinter and finishes the course on these unknown tyres exactly two seconds slower, the same deficit her brother Gee had. Their judgement on the spec sheet tells it like it is. They decide that the prototype will probably never make it into mass production.

It was obvious from early on that Rachel Atherton was going to be a racer; to be honest, there was nothing else she could be. She won her first BMX race when she was just eight. “I was bigger than the other girls,” she explains. And there wasn’t much to do growing up in North Wales besides BMX. Even Atherton Sr raced occasionally, with heavy-duty gloves sewn onto his jeans as knee-pads. His eldest, Dan, was the leader of the gang of kids near their home. “The whole village used to follow him around,” says his younger sister. Rachel tried bareback riding on a Welsh Mountain Cob called Bramble for a while, but before long she was back where she was happiest: spending time with her brothers. And she soon had to head out into the forest on her bike with the little pannier on the front because the Athertons had moved. There weren’t as many BMX tracks in the area they’d moved to and, in any case, her brothers now understood that riding your bike downhill was a lot more fun that riding it on the flat. Rachel can’t remember her first downhill race in any great detail, but she does remember a bit of brotherly advice from Dan: “If you want to be a really good racer, then you’ve got to be a good rider first.” Up until that point, Rachel had mainly only got on a bike – borrowed from her brothers – for races. That was all she had to do to win back then, and winning was what it was all about after all, wasn’t it? In hindsight, the early years have blurred into one long, happy road-trip, living in a camper-van, campfires, nice people, victories, lost trainers, playing in the dirt and friendships that have stood the test of time. Even after they were crowned World Champions and World Cup-winners, the Athertons continued to take part in small, local races whenever possible. “I wish we could still go camping,” says Rachel. “The great atmosphere at the races, the fantastic people and the community spirit in downhill are unique.” Brothers Gee and Dan were also good friends, but it was no-holds-barred when they were on their bikes. Their healthy rivalry helped to up their sporting level


Words: Werner Jessner

Print 2.0

en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 To go racing with Rachel

On song: Rachel’s not only a champion mountainbike racer, she’s also a gifted singer – with lyrics written by brother Gee


Family matters: Dan (left) is the oldest and the reason that Rachel and Gee started riding bikes. Ironically, he’s the only sibling not to have worn the rainbow stripes of a world champion


I have. With men you’re constantly playing catch-up.” She has more than compensated for what she lacks in brute strength and with her excellent riding technique. In downhill there is no such thing as too difficult. Unlike alpine skiing events, men and women compete on the same course. Rachel is fine with how things have gone as long as she hasn’t lost more than 10 per cent to Gee and the other guys. But there are things that she’s better at than her brothers. “I enjoy cooking and I’m good at it. Especially at puddings,” she says, then adds: “And sometimes I can do more sit-ups than Gee.” The combination of three siblings on the same team can be ideal, or it can make for trouble. Three individual sports stars under one roof means three different opinions about everything. Eldest brother Dan, nicknamed Affy, is the calming influence in family relations when Gee or Rachel’s fuse turns out to be a bit too short once again. None of which changes the fact that the Athertons stick together. After a great 2008, Rachel goes into the new season as firm favourite. The Athertons leave a rainy Wales behind for two months in California. The dry, warm conditions should get the body in shape for the new season. An individual time trial on the race bike is penned in for this one day. Rachel is the first to set off on the course down a blocked-off street, followed by Gee and Dan. She crouches as low as she can on the new bike, wanting to give the wind as little target practice as possible. She feels strong. The training has obviously paid off. A couple of miles into her course, a pick-up truck comes flying round the corner. They both have a single chance to take evasive action. There’s no time for more than that. They both veer in the same direction. Rachel Atherton flies over the metre-high bonnet and smashes into the windscreen. There’s blood everywhere. Gee is next round the corner. Passers-by have already secured the scene of the accident and he sees Rachel lying on the ground in her tattered skinsuit. “I thought my little sister was dead,” he says of the first thought that shot into his mind. But she isn’t. Luckily she can’t see her completely swollen face and she’s fairly unperturbed by the blood. “I’ve dislocated my shoulder. you’ve got to get it back in its socket!” The only time to do that without an anaesthetic is straight after the injury’s happened. Any later and the tissue will have swollen too much. Dan has also arrived on the scene by now and the brothers turn Rachel’s arm around. There are bruises and she’s screaming in agony but they do actually manage to get the shoulder back into place. So was everything OK after that? A little shoulder injury like that should have cleared up within a month or two at most, shouldn’t it? Not a bit of it. Rachel now acknowledges that she already had an idea that it was more than just a dislocated shoulder. The numb area on her left upper arm turned out, after days of uncertainty and hefty American medical bills, to be a torn nerve. No nerve meant no muscular strength. No muscular strength meant no downhill. And no downhill meant no career. It was as simple as that. But there was still hope. Specialists would


and that also helped Rachel, who was dragged along in her brothers’ slipstream. Dad eventually decided to stay at home, but the kids carried on without him. At 18, Rachel Atherton was crowned junior female World and European Champion. The following year – 2006 – she won her first senior World Cup race in Brazil and ended the year at number three in the world rankings. Then came the historic – in sporting terms – weekend at the beginning of June 2008, when the Athertons dominated the World Cup event in Andorra. Rachel won the women’s downhill, Gee won the men’s and Dan won the four-cross. There are no siblings more successful than the Athertons in highlevel sport anywhere in the world. Later in the year Rachel and Gee topped it off by winning the Downhill World Champions’ rainbow jerseys at Val di Sole, Italy. Rachel won by an unheard of margin of 11.99 seconds. In a sport where tenths and hundredths of seconds make the difference, that is enormous. Unfathomable. It’s like a footballer scoring 12 goals in a World Cup final. The only person ever to have been as dominant as Rachel Atherton in Val die Sole in 2008 is AnneCaroline Chausson, who some consider the greatest sportswoman on two wheels. She’s a 12-time downhill World Champion, four-time dual World Champion and three-time BMX World Champion. She won 55 World Cup races, was European Champion 10 times and French Champion nine times. She won the Megavalanche and BMX Olympic gold in Beijing for good measure. “Anne-Caro is an absolute legend. I’m proud to have shared the same podium as her,” says Atherton. “But I don’t think I’ll ever be as good as her.” She might be kidding herself there. Her success is strikingly similar to Chausson’s. Whereas Rachel’s brothers urged her on and helped her to progress, Chausson was already trying to be like Cédric Gracia, who went to the same boarding school as her, when she was a little girl. He was to become a defining figure in the downhill world in the 1990s. Rachel can only see positives in training with men. “They are naturally quicker and stronger which means they can ride a more direct line. As a rule, they take more risks and improve more quickly than women do. They’re also more gutsy. If I trained with women, I wouldn’t have got as far as I have as quickly as

What’s Rachel’s favourite compliment? “You’re riding like a man”


Race craft: Rachel flies over a jump at Valnord, Andorra, on her custom-made bike. Her equipment is a level above normal downhill bikes: it’s light, and features components that aren’t available on the open market


probably be able to repair it, but not in a matter of weeks. Nerves take a long time to heal. Early that summer, a neurosurgeon removed a nerve cord from Rachel’s foot in an eight-hour operation and grafted it onto her shoulder. Rachel hasn’t felt anything in her foot since, but the sensation, and with it the muscles in and around her left shoulder and left upper arm, are slowly coming back. “I don’t know if it’ll ever be 100 per cent again, but it’ll definitely be enough to ride.” In late March 2010, Rachel took part in her first downhill race in the 14 long months since the injury. It was a small Maxxis Cup race in Portugal. It rained and the course was barely passable for all the mud. She won by a mile. It was the perfect comeback and one that she has thus far refused to talk about. Racing and riding are clearly two different things. But once a racer, always a racer. Someone of Atherton’s calibre would never be happy just pootling around. So what can she take away from the time since the injury? “I’m more patient now. Regardless of how much you want something, you have more time than you think. Before the accident I was a professional mountain biker and racer, but now I hope I’m a more well-rounded person.” In the very darkest moments she would get the rainbow jersey out of the wardrobe, put it on and quietly say to herself, “Rachel Atherton, World Champion.” That would make things better again. After the crash, she signed up for a correspondence course in English literature, which she later put on hold once she could get back to professional-level

training. She also strengthened the crew of Dirt.tv with her work as a reporter, where she conducted brilliant interviews – funny, exciting, knowledgeable – with the other riders. Having never had idols, she discovered a book, Just a Little Run Around the World, by Welshwoman Rosie Swale. “After her husband died, she set off on a run around the world via Alaska and Siberia. In winter. She fell, she broke bones, but she carried on running. Women like that inspire me.” Rachel Atherton has respect for her competitors, of course. “In the off-season we sometimes train together. But we’re professional sportswomen and it’s our job to be quicker than the others. The closer you get to someone, the harder it is to beat them. That’s why it’s important for me to keep my distance.” This is the other Rachel Atherton speaking, the complete professional. One Rachel hates getting up early in the morning. The other Rachel knows that on race days she has to be awake for as long as possible before her ride comes around. She has no choice but to get up early. “Being a professional means making sacrifices. you have to put your goals above all else. If you don’t, somebody else will.” That’s 200 days a year of not sleeping in your own bed, being nagged by little aches and pains, facing the public eye. “you’ve really got to want it all because there are no huge sums to be won in downhill,” she says. “It might sound like a cliché but it’s true. We’re in downhill because we love the sport. If we’d wanted to earn a lot of money, we’d have gone into something else, like Formula One or golf.”



you’d probably have fewer grazed shins in another sport too. Mind you, Rachel proves “…that you can be a lady and a professional sportswoman in a tough sport at the same time”. The earrings and elegant scarf she wears as a matter of course for dinner don’t go all too well with scars. “Of course I’d always like my legs to look perfect, but scratches are part of the sport. Some scars are almost like secret weapons. They make you stronger.” yet Rachel admits that the prospect of cuts and grazes could be a reason for some girls not to take up downhill. “But it’s such a tiny price to pay for all the fun you have.” Some people might never understand that. Whereas others will. England probably has the best racing scene in the world at the moment. It has great tracks, a huge number of participants, a high performance level and a serious approach. “We’ve understood that downhill is hard work, that it’s a sport in which you can’t just rely on your talent. The best racers ought to come from the US as they’ve got the best infrastructure. We don’t have chairlifts. We get uphill in trailers. It’s wet and it’s dirty. Once you’re up there, you want to make the most of your run. In other countries it’s easier to let yourself go.” This is where the Athertons have turned what seems like a disadvantage into an advantage. If you’re quick in tricky conditions, you’re going to be even quicker in warm sunshine in the South of France. What was once a freak-show with guaranteed crashes has long since been transformed into a

spectacular, top-level sport that can attract up to 20,000 spectators from Maribor to Whistler to Fort William. Asked to sum up downhill in five words, Atherton doesn’t hesitate: “Exciting, quick, technical, calculated, fun.” What about adrenalin? “It’s not a word I’d use,” she says. “you’ve got to be alert for downhill, so it’s not all about adrenalin. The person who uses their brain the least isn’t going to be the quickest. On the contrary.” She’s positive about the way her sport is developing. “Downhill is growing slowly but surely. It’s not getting more and more bureaucratised and doping isn’t a problem. We get tested at every race and I’ve never heard of a downhiller being banned.” (Bar the odd dope-smoking kid who’s been given a slap on the wrists, we should add for honesty’s sake.) Downhill could be an Olympic sport in 20 years, “…but that’s not the most important thing. The important thing is that the people riding in 20 years still enjoy it.” Rachel Atherton has everything it takes to be a unifying force in downhill, a woman whose example could give the sport greater publicity. And she still has plenty of time as she’s just 23. Steve Peat, the reigning men’s World Champion, will be 36 this year. Rachel’s sporting goal for this year is to get back the World Champion’s rainbow jersey that she had to give up without a fight last year because of her injury. “I don’t see a problem,” she says coquettishly. And nor do we, Rach. Nor do we.

Sporting life: Despite her injury, Rachel is determined to get back to her winning ways

For Rachel live go to en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 Get unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to Rachel and her brothers via the Atherton Project at www.redbull.com


A game of two halves: This is one side of African football – Didier Drogba of the Ivory Coast enjoys success at English Premier League club Chelsea and plays for his national team. Other African players may not have the financial backing, but the passion for the sport is still as great (see page 62)

Action Discover a world in motion on the following pages

PhotograPhy: getty images

58 see a man Really fly 62 afRican football aRenas 72 What it’s like to do an fmX backflip

Super Fly GuyS Action

Fancy flying head-down towards the ground at 330mph, with only your body shape to control your descent? Welcome to the extreme skydiving world of the Red Bull Air Force Words: Matt Youson





light sports are littered with the sort of people who like tweaking. Speak to anyone from air racing to hang-gliding to aerobatics and they’ll talk fanatically about set-up. The summit of ambition is a machine that handles like it isn’t there. “Like it’s just a pair of wings strapped to my back,” is the usual refrain. It’s an aspiration that brings the faintest smile to the face of Jon DeVore, manager of the Red Bull Air Force skydiving team: flying without an aircraft is practically his job description. Jon and his band of professional skydivers are pioneers of human flight. “Flying, not falling,” they say, sometimes as a motto, usually as a gentle correction for the uninitiated. Either way, the phrase expresses a desire to do something more than simply leap and let gravity do its thing. “People always describe what we do as falling out of aeroplanes,” says Jon. “That isn’t really it. Over the last couple of decades, the professional skydivers of the world have been focused on doing more than falling and building those big formations you see in all the pictures – impressive though that can be. “We’re taking the sport to new levels. One of the disciplines we’ve become famous for is ‘free-flying’. We were kinda bored simply falling on our bellies towards Earth; so we started going vertical instead: head towards Earth; feet towards Earth – whatever worked. We would fly circles around each other and carve turns – basically demonstrating that our bodies are wings, they can fly. “A normal belly-to-earth position will generate something between 110-120mph, and even the most flexible person arching as hard as they can won’t manage much more than 130mph. It’s nothing to what we can do vertical. The average vertical position is around 160mph. Head-down I’ve personally managed 317mph, though one teammate, Charles Bryan, can get upwards of 330mph. The feeling is unbelievable. You only get a minute of pure freefall but you lose yourself in that minute. It’s a very pure form of freedom – and it’s overwhelming. Even for people with the jump numbers I have.” Those jump numbers, in case you 59


were wondering, passed 16,000 last year. His repertoire also includes more than a passing interest in BASE-jumping and the middle ground of speed riding. If you haven’t heard of speed riding yet, you will soon. It entails flying down the side of a steep mountain attached to a very small parachute and (usually) a pair of skis. naturally, Jon’s desire is to be the most extreme of the extreme; his end goal in speed riding is to become the first to complete the seven summits – jumping onto the top of the highest mountain on each of the seven continental shelves and speed racing to the base. “When you’re skydiving, the first couple of thousand jumps are a very steep progression. It’s hard. You learn something, get the feeling of accomplishment, and then move on to learning something else. I’m not suggesting I have nothing else to learn, but the curve really flattens. If you want to continue getting the big rush, then you have to challenge yourself. These days I’m getting the stimulation from pulling off hard, technical flying manoeuvres, as compared to just… skydiving.”


ut there is still some mileage in ‘just skydiving’ for Jon. Together with the rest of the Red Bull Air Force, he’s a familiar figure on the north American sporting scene, and a half-time and pre-game show regular. For someone who admits to feeling no great hardship being alone with his thoughts, jumping into a stadium filled with screaming sports fans requires a definite shift of mental gears. It is, Jon acknowledges, a peculiar adrenalin rush. “At first it was very weird. Overwhelming in fact. Our sport doesn’t get the attention that even skateboarding and stuff like that have; so for us to go from quiet, serene parachute flying to suddenly swooping in to nASCAR or a Red Bull Air Race or a big nFL football game… wow! For five seconds you’re the star quarterback. Everyone is cheering, you’re pumped up. We put on a show that most people haven’t seen, a lot higher speed than the traditional parachute demos, which gets the crowd that much more jacked-up. And that feels good.” The showman in Jon has other outlets. He’s been known to fly in formation with former Red Bull Air Race World Champion Kirby Chambliss – though while Kirby pilots his Zivko Edge 540, Jon is free in the breeze, wearing a wingsuit, powered by gravity. “Compared to skydiving, the wingsuit is a whole different animal. “It slows your fall-rate so drastically that you really have a lot of time to comprehend what’s going on around you. Actually, it’s only when I’ve gone out and chased Kirby around, and we fly together for a little bit, that I’ve properly realised the power the suit gives you.” “It’s really great to make something like that work,” adds Chambliss. “We’ve done it a few times now, mike’d up so we are able to talk to each other.” Despite being a veteran of 100-plus sky-diving jumps himself, Kirby is happy to leave the wingsuit


to Jon. “I’ve never tried the suit and that’s OK – I’d probably scare myself silly,” he adds. That last comment brings out a smile from Jon: “It is pretty mental! But being able to talk to each other helps a lot. If I just heard the engine, turned around and saw this big meat grinder coming at me, it might be a little uncomfortable. Instead you get a friendly ‘coming up on your left’ message in your ear. Eventually we want to do a wing-touch flight, where I’m in human flight and Kirby is in his aircraft, and we fly side by side; my wing touching his wing. We’re a little limited with the race planes because they can’t pitch their propeller and slow down enough. But Kirby thinks he’s found an engine that will work and when he has time to make the swap, we’ll do the whole project properly.” Jon and the rest of the Air Force had very little time for recreational flying last year. They shot Human Flight 3D, a movie due for release this summer. It takes what the team do day-to-day, and gives it the full Hollywood treatment. “We’re acting, but playing ourselves. It’s all scripted; the writer interviewed us and wrote his version of our lives. For us it’s… interesting.” After a season shooting sky-diving sequences in Florida, the team decamped to the Alps for the next section of principal photography. “In Switzerland we’re mostly focusing on BASE-jumping and BASEjumping with wingsuits. We do a lot of what’s called ‘proximity flying’, where we jump off something and fly down the mountain side, rather than trying to get away from it as with a normal BASE-jump.” After Human Flight 3D has run in regular auditoria, it will be recut for IMAX. It’s an ambitious project intended to showcase this most extreme of extreme sports. The shooting schedule has been a long one, with much of the equipment and many of the techniques involved being developed, ahem, on the fly. “no one’s ever filmed a 3D movie in the air before, so we’re doing a lot of things for the first time,” says Jon. “We experimented to find out what works well in 3D and what doesn’t. Obviously we all had some experience, but we’re leaving with probably the most experience of anybody in the world. We did maybe 350-400 jumps in Florida and another hundred-plus in Switzerland – and frankly it’s left us all absolutely stoked!


ext for Jon is some serious preparation for his Seven Summits project. “I’m concentrating on north America for a while. I’m going to slide down the Cascade mountain range and do all the iconic mountains of the BC Rockies and the north West uS. Maybe in a few years I’ll be in a better position to tackle the Seven Summits. That’s still the dream.” For now it’s back to the half-time shows and air displays. not that Jon is anything other than enthusiastic about the day job. “It’s a great environment in the Red Bull Air Force. We’re blessed.” For more on the movie visit www.humanflight3dmovie.com


Human FligHt on Film


It’s the latest cinematic craze, but just how do you capture skydiving and BASE-jumping in 3D? Three-dimensional cinema has exploded in the last year, but the demands of filming a BASE-jumper leaping off a jagged mountain face and plummeting towards a treeline at 190mph are a little different to wowing audiences with a big, blue CGI Ewok. Jon Devore and friends were making up the science of aerial filming in 3D and HD as they went along. In much the same way that the Red Bull Air Race had to develop its own HD technology capable of withstanding 12G loops, so Human Flight 3D had to create the technology capable of properly capturing the adrenalin rush of the Red Bull Air Force – because it certainly didn’t exist off-the-shelf. Producer Carl Samson, who collaborated with Jon on 2002’s cinematic documentary Adrenaline Rush: The Science of Risk, spent several years working to develop the cameras, filming techniques and post-production process for Human Flight 3D, with the intention of providing a fully immersive environment that delivered both 3D depth and telescopic movement. The result was a miniaturised, HD, 3D camera and solid-state recording platform, which the athletes mounted on helmets and harnesses. Many of the aerial scenes in the movie were shot using a belly-mounted camera, strapped to the parachute harness. The 18kg customised system had two lenses for the 3D capture, with a bespoke eyepiece allowing the photographer – himself heading for the ground at high speed – to frame the shot. Complications such as a zoom function and a stop button were deemed surplus to requirements; sky-diving isn’t a sport where you can stop and go back to the beginning of the shot. “What we’re doing is a progression from what Carl Samson started back in 2000,” says Jon. “I met Carl in Canada when we were making Adrenaline Rush: The Science of Risk. One of the things it explored was the circumstances that would breed a risk-taker like myself – it was an IMAX movie so it had to be a little educational. “Over the years since, we’ve stayed in touch; he went on to make a really popular 3D dinosaur movie, then he came back to aerial flight – Carl is a very accomplished sky-diver and absolutely loves it… He wanted to tell the story of human flight, through the eyes of a certain bunch of rebel jumpers. It shows the progression we went through, from when we were young athletes when we first met up, to the point where we formed the group that eventually changed the sport and created free-flying. “The finale is when we put on the wingsuits and display proximity flying, and by doing so really showcase human flight in a way the public can understand. Because when we’re doing it 3000m up in the blue sky, people turn their heads at a weird angle, and they’ll be impressed, but they won’t really understand it. If you can take that image and put it in front of them on a cinema wall, then we have something people can understand – and that’s exactly why we’re doing Human Flight 3D.”



AfricAn ArenAs With the World Cup in South Africa now a matter of weeks away, we take an exclusive look at the state of play in football across the entire continent Words: Bartholom채us Grill Photography: Thomas Hoeffgen



Oil-rich Nigeria has squandered billions of petrodollars and is characterised by chaos, violence and corruption. It can be a surprise to learn that anything in the country, other than gravity and football, works at all. The Super Eagles, Nigeria’s national team, have become a kind of glue that holds the troubled, multiethnic state together. The stars are worshipped and cursed in equal measure, depending on results. Regardless, their exploits help

ordinary people forget their daily cares; football is a temporary antidote to hardship. People play the sport everywhere, even in the unlikeliest of places, like under this highway in Lagos, the country’s economic centre. And, like the boy standing in front of the city’s National Stadium, which is now being restored after almost a decade, all young players dream of becoming a star and taking the footballing world by storm. “Just do it” indeed.


Whether in a village in the rainforest or a backwater in the mountains, on sandy beaches or in the savannah, in refugee camps, at missions or in the big-city slums, the ritual is the same. When the scorching heat of the day subsides and the shadows grow longer, boys and men alike come together for a kick-about. They don’t need much: a roughly even piece of land, a couple of stakes or dry branches for goal posts and a ball. They play in sneakers or flip-flops or barefoot. If they haven’t got a ball, they make one using scraps of cloth, plastic bags and palm leaves. Or they use tin cans, or even hollow coconuts if need be. And they play and play, until darkness crashes down on their villages and the cicadas start their steely night-time song in the bush. Football is Africa’s sport. In this part of the world it’s as ubiquitous as machetes, drums, wooden mortars, hoes, papooses, semi-automatic Kalashnikovs, lukewarm beer and Coca-Cola. And what else can young people do? Millions upon millions grow up in poverty, and life – in the countryside or in the sprawling metropolises – doesn’t have a lot to offer. Rags for clothes, sleeping on a bare floor, waking up hungry. Running outdoors and chasing a ball. From Ghana to Cameroon, Nigeria to Zambia, Senegal to Côte d’Ivoire, people in almost all African countries identify with their footballing heroes to a far greater extent than European fans. Only in South America are the people as football-crazy as in Africa, and nowhere else do youngsters dream so avidly of one day dribbling their way out of poverty. So they dream of becoming a superstar like Roger Milla, Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, Nwankwo Kanu or Emmanuel Adebayor. They dream of England, France and Spain. Of 64

fame and fortune. But they have no idea how quickly their illusions can be shattered. Some scouts and players’ agents are no better than modern-day slave-traders. They drag adolescent talents from their native environment, promise them the world and then flog them for a tidy profit wherever they can – Romanian second division or better, or worse. Somewhere in Europe where they don’t understand the language, they become socially isolated and lonely and often wither like a plant deprived of water and sunlight. Back home, the collective enthusiasm for football is often abused for political purposes. Dictators and democrats alike love to revel in the victories of their national teams. Football can build bridges, hold fragile states together and sometimes even transcend the front in a civil war, Côte d’Ivoire being a case in point. But it can also divide nations and at times it has been known to fuel ethnic hatred. Yet beyond these aberrations, football in Africa remains what it always has been: a glittering factory of dreams, a projection of ambitions, a place where magic happens. Higher forces are at play in every match, bending the lines, changing the trajectory of the ball, dazzling the referee, hobbling the scorers. The team who hired the best witch doctor wins. At this year’s World Cup in South Africa, the African teams are going to need all the help they can get, sorcerers and all. The entire continent’s hopes will be vested in them. No event since the end of the colonial period could have given Africans’ self-esteem more of a boost. Could an African team lift the Jules Rimet Trophy for the first time in the World Cup’s 80-year history? “Ke nako,” is the slogan for the tournament of tournaments this time around. “It’s time!”

Team quarters? Changing rooms? Showers? Many of Africa’s decaying football stadiums don’t have such luxuries. Many players change into the kit they brought with them on the edge of the pitch or in rickety stands. That’s how it is for both teams at the Queensmead Stadium in Lusaka, Zambia. In Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, players sometimes miss matches because the clapped-out buses transporting them break down en route. Malawian fans who can’t afford the price of a ticket have to make do with an external view of the stadium in Blantyre. And is there an electronic panel showing the score? Not quite: the Onikan Stadium in Lagos has the same scoreboard on the roof as it did in colonial times.



The poorly tended pitch at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek looks like the hide of a mangy hyena. But the kids from Babylon would be happy to play on that kind of turf, because they have to make do with a rock-hard, dusty, bumpy pitch lined with scrubby thorn bushes. Babylon is a township on the edge of the Namibian capital, with no electricity, no water and no sewers. The kids grow up wanting, but have somehow managed to get their hands on a couple of rusty handball goals. But once they abandon themselves to play, the harsh circumstances aren’t important. At that point, just like everywhere else in the football universe, only one thing matters: getting the ball in the net.




Soccer City, the showpiece of South African football (top). The venue has a capacity of 94,000 and is one of the largest stadiums in the world. The opening game and the final of the 2010 World Cup will take place here on the edge of the vast township of Soweto. You can see what football looks like on an ordinary day at the stadium in Meadowlands (above). Patchy grass, a barren, treeless environment, temporary access roads: a facility like thousands and thousands of others in Africa. The pitch is sandwiched between tiny houses which local residents have nicknamed matchbox houses in reference to their size. But when Soweto’s best-loved clubs, the Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, are playing, the collective passion banishes all sorrow. However, only the bravest of sports fans dares venture to the hard playing fields located in the high-rise canyons of Johannesburg’s notorious Hillbrow area (right). This ‘vertical slum’ is ruled by hardship, disease and violence. No foreign football fan should stray into the area during the World Cup. 68




It’s when you’ve walked past the tin fences and taken your place in the stands that you know for sure you’re in a football stadium in Africa. Many stadiums are ramshackle and outdated; in richer parts of the world, they would have long since been razed to the ground. There’s an element of danger in visiting these places. The throng of spectators at important matches is daunting, and as the organisation is often abysmal and corrupt marshals let anyone in, there are sometimes deadly crowd surges. That doesn’t frighten away diehard fans, however. Here in the Onikan Stadium in Lagos, as elsewhere, they sit wherever they can – on external walls, up trees and electricity pylons – to follow the most beautiful game in the world.



A place without a name. Players and spectators as tiny as ants. The lines on the pitch are faint. You can barely see the goals. And all around there is nothing. A vast, arid land. No trees, no bushes, no grass, no colour. But this bird’s-eye view is misleading, because down there, somewhere on the edge of Soweto, the highlight of the week – the Sunday afternoon match between two local teams – is awaited with great anticipation. It is collective enjoyment in an otherwise monotonous, uneventful existence, whether in the rural or the poorer urban areas of Africa. But it’s more than a welcome distraction; for the men it’s a ritual, reflecting lost traditions of old.

African Arenas, the exhibition, runs from 30 April to June 2, 2010, at Werderscher Markt 1, Berlin Germany, and from 5 June to 18 July, 2010, at Artists’ House in the art culture district, 93 King Street, Nuremberg African Arenas, the book, is published by Hatje Cantz (German/English)



’ n i p p i Fl

k c ’E Flip over, flip back, flip out: Petr Pilát (below left), the rising star of FMX, takes us along for a backflip ride Words: Werner Jessner Photography: Dan Vojtech

When the moment finally came, there wasn’t much time to get nervous. At first we thought we weren’t going to do the flip at all as the weather was too bad. Then we thought maybe we would. And then I was on the KTM and we were up in the air and shortly afterwards it was all over. This is how the passive backflip works. I shook myself awake, as if from a dream, and really had to think about what exactly had just happened on this Wednesday afternoon somewhere in the Czech Republic. The days before I experienced the backflip were nervy in a way I can’t quite pin down, and the people I trust could do nothing to ease the feeling. “If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it,” some said. “You’ve gone completely soft,” said others. Then: “Think of your daughter.” The happy kid had just done her first no-handssomersault, as she called it, on the trampoline the day before. But in the end, a mixture of curiosity and basic trust won out: the Red Bull X-Fighters aren’t jackasses and although Petr Pilát, the rising star of FMX, is just 19, he’s one of the best FMX riders in the world and pulled off his first backflip aged 14. What could really go wrong? But first I wanted to 72

look into the eyes of the person I was surrendering myself to. I made my decision within seconds. A strong-but-not-too-strong handshake, a firm gaze, and precise and authoritative from the start. Here was a man you could trust. “You’re the boss,” I said and promised to do whatever he demanded of me for the next hour. In the end, we didn’t spend that much time together, but those decisive seconds, not even minutes in total, will always mean a bond between me and Petr Pilát, even if the guy could have done me very serious harm without any malicious intent. First we get on the bike. Petr is pretty much the same height as me, so there’s not much room with two men, each 190cm tall, on a KTM 200 SX designed for one person. Petr sits at the back and I’m at the front, by the fuel tank. My boots rest on top of his and I grab the underside of the handlebars, right by the fork. Elbows wherever they’ll fit. There’s no choice but to hug the fuel tank with my knees. I have to try to make myself as small as I can so that Petr can see forwards. He doesn’t have to say so, it’s just obvious. Petr puts his foot down a couple of times as he drives around to the point where the front wheel comes off the ground; he says that’s a bit like what jumping off the ramp is going to feel like.

“Sky, endless sky. Your sensors send messages to your unwitting brain”

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en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 Climb onboard to experience things from our reporter’s perspective


Riding it out (right): You can’t really sit all that comfortably, but then the journey doesn’t last very long. (Below) The force of impact – Pilát is still sitting on the bike, Jessner is by the tank

“It’s just a 200cc two-stroke model,” I remind him. “Ready?” he asks. “Ready.” On TV a backflip looks incredibly quick. On a motorbike the backflip feels incredibly slow. First you see a dark ramp growing menacingly in front of your eyes. Then you see the bright sky for a very long time. You never feel that you’re upside down. Your sensors send messages to your unwitting brain, which, not surprisingly, can’t do anything with them. You don’t feel weightless or anything like that. Nor do you hear angels singing. It’s just an astonishing sensory overload. The KTM roars twice while up in the air. That can’t be a coincidence. Petr is clearly still in command and is trying to quicken the speed we rotate at by putting his foot on the gas. And I can well imagine that an extra 80kg up front by the tank must weigh heavily on the lateral axis. The sky only leaves your field of vision at the very last second and at practically the same time there’s a mighty crash and we’re up to our helmets in the foam cubes the crash pit’s been filled with. Someone – not me – also remembers to switch off the engine. On TV, riders normally seem to land very smoothly from a flip. In actual fact it feels like jumping out of a second-floor window and not being ready for the landing because you can’t see where it is you’re going to land. The small of your back cracks. Your neck hurts. It feels like you’ve fallen. So a backflip 74

really is quite a big deal, for both body and soul. Petr high-fives me, the spectators standing around go wild and I clamber for the edge of the pit like a drowning man. It’s not at all easy to get out of. Granted, I’m a little disorientated. The motorbike is lifted out on a crane and Petr comes out after it as easy as pie, completely relaxed. The professional cool dude. I’m shitting myself. My pulse is higher now than it was before the jump. The adrenalin is still coursing through my veins. When you go to the limit yourself, you have this illusion that you can filter out some of the fear. But that wasn’t the case this time. As the backflip is a do-or-die thing, a passenger can’t do anything to improve it or make it easier or less terrifying. At worst you could screw things up by pulling something crazy out of fear. That’s the only way you can affect things up there. Otherwise it’s pure submission. Ideally you should be like a sack of potatoes – motionless and with no initiative. But I wasn’t even the first person Petr took up for a backflip that day. Martin went first. Martin Rerabek is nine years old and weighs perhaps 30kg. It wasn’t even his first backflip. It’s almost routine. Martin was Petr’s test co-pilot for the tandemflip. Martin doesn’t say much, but then he doesn’t need to. I’m more interested in Zbyněk Kobián – a massive 12 years old – who is also practising there that afternoon. He does backflips on his 85cc KTM too. By himself. Which means he did his first flip when he was two years younger than when

“You don’t feel weightless. It’s just an astonishing sensory overload”

Petr Pilát did his and was the youngest backflipper in history at the time. Čerčany, a sleepy town about an hour’s drive south of Prague, is the FMX centre of the Czech Republic, if not Europe. The kids here don’t play football, they do freestyle motocross. Čerčany isn’t big, but it’s got everything you need: a thundering train station, which drowns bike exhaust rasps. A huge mound of dirt. A foam pit. A couple of ramps with different radiuses. Paved approaches. Petr can’t say how many weeks or months he’s spent here. To warm up he regularly knocks out a few flips: left hand off the handlebars, right hand off the bars, both hands off the bars, a no-hands landing. Just the FMX basics. But you’ve got to be fully alert at all times. “One day I must have done 100 backflips, all without a hitch. But then out of the blue, one got away from me. I crashed to the ground, helmet first and the bike landed on top of me. The same thing happens to superstars too, like Travis Pastrana and Mat Rebeaud.” “That’s not really what I want to hear.” “Don’t worry. When I did the flip with you, I was concentrating 200 per cent.” “Do we want to have another go?” “OK.” Now that I’ve got my first backflip behind me, I’m determined to enjoy the next one. We get ourselves into position and do the high-five. As we turn into the approach, I notice that I’m obstructing the handlebars with tension, so I try to relax. The

engine roars, the front wheel lifts, terrifying acceleration, the adrenalin kicks in... fantastic. Petr pulls us through the radius with a burst of speed. “It all happens on the ramp. Once you’re up in the air, there’s only so much you can do to affect the jump.” Then sky. Endless sky. I try to turn my head to face the photographer. Posing for beginners. The sky is never-ending, even though the rotation seems quicker this time. Then something beige appears below and comes towards us. There’s a quick crack in the spine, or actually the neck, because I’d wanted to be so cool by looking to the side. And then that was it again. Hmm, I could get used to this. The less complex stunts do at least seem plausible from the co-rider’s point of view. Of course you can take your hand off the handlebars while the bike’s rotating. You just have to keep track of how far you’ve gone so that your hands are back where they need to be by the time you land. I’m not sure how this upbeat little theory of mine holds up on the complicated stunts. At least I could practically scramble out of the foam-pit like a professional after the second go. We have a third go but decide against landing on dirt because of my size and weight. A couple of weeks later, Petr had Pavel Bém, the Mayor of Prague, on his bike and they landed their tandem backflip on the dirt. Get totally freaked out: en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 Red Bull X-Fighters Giza, Egypt, May 14. Visit www.redbullxfighters.com


PhotograPhy: ray Demski/reD Bull Photofiles

More Body&Mind Dive in for the best in music, sport, food and culture

78 gabriella cilmi iN haNgar-7 79 chefs aNd their secrets 80 get the gear 82 eat yourself smart 84 red bull cliff diviNg 86 listiNgs 90 Nightlife 96 short story 98 miNd’s eye

Big splash: The final round of the 2009 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, at Vouliagmeni, Greece, attracted a huge crowd. Read all about this year’s series on page 84

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Hangar-7 Interview

Gabriella Cilmi From street festival to a world tour with Lady Gaga, a lot has changed in Gabriella Cilmi’s life over the past two years. But if the music biz doesn’t work out, there’s always a future as a torture museum tour guide…

red bulletin: You’ve just arrived from Melbourne where you sang the Australian national anthem at the Formula One Grand Prix... gabriella cilmi: i was so nervous! firstly because the grand Prix was in my home town. secondly, there were over 200 million tV viewers and of course something had to go wrong: the sound-mixer for the tV broadcast forgot to turn the volume up for my voice. i sang as loud as i could but no one could hear me. but the kiss on the cheek that John travolta gave me after the performance managed to make up for my disappointment a bit. 78

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en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 Listen in as Gabriella talks and sings

Gabriella Cilmi live at Hangar-7: Her set included ’80s-inspired disco tracks from her new album, her hit single ‘Sweet About Me’ and a cover of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ as an encore

Who were you rooting for? My family was supporting ferrari, but sebastian Vettel was my favourite. and Mark Webber, of course. he’s australian too, after all, and i really wanted him to win his home grand Prix. Did you manage to get any quality time with your family? sadly not. i was only in Melbourne for four days and i was constantly stressed out. but i saw plenty of my family over christmas; it was the traditional bingeeating in the cilmi household. the whole family was there and we ate every type of meat imaginable. beef, rabbit, salami. Sweet About Me is the smash soul standard that dramatically changed your life. Everyone knows it, but does

anyone know how you got a recording contact in the first place? i was discovered at an italian street festival in Melbourne where my family and i were collecting money for the church. it was incredibly boring so i went up onto a talent-spotting stage and sang an impromptu a cappella version of [rolling stones’ classic] ‘Jumping Jack flash’. Just by chance there was a guy from a record label in the audience and he signed me up. ‘Jumping Jack Flash’? Isn’t that a bit, well, old for a hip young thing like you? My uncle had a great music collection. he was the one who introduced me to artists like the stones and Janis Joplin. and led Zeppelin, who really left their

Words: florian obkircher. PhotograPhy: helge kirchberger

“look, my hair’s wavy again.” gabriella cilmi passes her hands through her flowing locks. “even though i told the hairdresser in italy that i wanted my hair straight. Maybe i should work on my italian,” she says with a mischievous grin. this 18-year-old newcomer from australia is in a good mood – an incredibly good mood when you think that for weeks she’s been doing interview after interview and concert after concert to promote her second album, Ten. this humour and ability to laugh at herself stands her in good stead and sets her apart from all the typical, talent-show flash-in-the-pan types. gabriella cilmi is a strong young woman who knows exactly what she wants: to conquer the world. or, at least, the hearts of those who are into real music, be that soul, rock or disco. and with her mega-hit Sweet About Me and a new album out, she’s going the right way about it.

PhotograPhy: helge kirchberger

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mark on me. Particularly their vocalist, robert Plant. Houses Of The Holy is one of my favourite albums. You once said that you were a female version of Robert Plant. So who’d be your Jimmy Page [Zeppelin’s legendary lead axe]? hard to say. Probably Matt bellamy from Muse. Whenever i see him live i’m blown away. i think he’s a genius. Can you remember the moment you realised you’d made your breakthrough with ‘Sweet About Me’? i heard the song on the radio in a perfume department. i looked around very furtively to see if anyone had noticed it was my song. So… did they? nope! My family first told me the song was a hit. they’d call me in london from australia every time they found an article about me. to start with, they knew more about what was happening to me than i did! Your debut album Lessons to be Learned was soulful and rocky but you’ve gone all ’80s with Ten. Fancy a change, did you? i wanted to try out something new. to start with i didn’t know exactly what that was until i heard donna summer’s I Remember Yesterday. it was utter magic! especially the songs she recorded with giorgio Moroder. the old synth sounds and the way she uses her voice, that wonderful high falsetto, definitely had an effect on Ten. and it’s way groovier than my first album. On the cover of Ten you’re holding a camera and you’re wearing not much apart from a few strips of film. But at the Brit Awards it was rumoured you told Lady Gaga to “put some clothes on”. Erm… i’ve been misquoted! it was cold at the brit awards. really cold. and lady gaga only had shorts on. honestly i was more worried about her health than about what she was or wasn’t wearing! Do you have a plan B if things don’t work out with music? no, not really, but i would like to be a museum guide. Really? At an art museum or a museum of natural history? at a torture museum! the gorier the better. i’ve always been fascinated by stories from the Middle ages. like people whose fingers were chopped off because they’d stolen something. it must be fun spooking museum-goers out with episodes like that. Tour dates, videos, music and Gabriella’s blog can be found at www. gabriellacilmi.com

Chop-chop: Cornelia Poletto’s favourite knife was made especially for her

A Question of Taste

Cornelia Poletto The star chef of her own restaurant in Hamburg – Poletto – on salt, sprouts and dissing dill The one ingredient she can’t do without is… “fleur de sel,” says Poletto, whose twist on Mediterranean cuisine has taken hamburg by storm and made her one of only eight german women to have earned a Michelin star. “We didn’t have these fine-grained, natural salts when i started out,” reveals Poletto, who trained under top chef heinz Winkler in aschau. “i started getting interested in salt seven years ago because you can really improve the aroma with what is such a simple ingredient. a little bit of fleur de sel on a steak once it’s cooked. Mmmmm! there’s a lot of hype

around flavourings at the moment, which can only be to neutral salt’s advantage.” The one thing she’d happily never eat again is… “i hated brussels sprouts as a kid,” she says. “they just looked so yellow on the plate. disgusting! but i like them now. if you just blanche them briefly, they’ll stay green and crunchy. dill is a no-no, but that’s about the only herb i don’t really like. i get enormous pleasure from wild herbs in particular: verbena, lemon balm, fennel. they really top off any dish.” The most important item of equipment in her kitchen is… “My hand-made Japanese knife. i couldn’t survive with it. i’d take it to a desert island with me. a chef without well-kept, sharp knives is no chef at all.” Cornelia Poletto is the guest chef Hangar-7’s Ikarus restaurant during May: www.hangar-7.com


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Get the Gear

Rachel Atherton’s Mountain Bike Essentials

Words: Werner jessner. PhotograPhy: Will thom (10), hadrien Picard (1)




After a 2009 cut short by injury, the former downhill world mountain bike champ is back with a vengeance (see page 50). Here are the things that keep her flying high in the saddle

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Rachel Atherton, 22, mountain bike star


1. Oakley MX O Frame Goggles www.oakley.com “The Violet Rocker colour scheme is my favourite.” 2. Skins She Compression Long Tights www.skins.net “I seem to be wearing them all the time, really. Just love the feeling.” 3. Tennis ball “I use one for massage and for stretching.”


4. Commencal Meta 5.5 Bike www.commencal.com “This is the bike I would choose for fun riding. You can do pretty much everything with it, from road training to commuting and hitting some serious tracks. Killer.” 5. Nurofen Liquid Capsules www.nurofen.com “It’s always good to carry some painkillers. Ibuprofen doesn’t slow down your reactions, and it reduces swelling.”


6. PRO Atherton Grips www.athertonracing.co.uk “OK, so you might expect me to say this, but I really mean it: these are so comfy on my hands.” 7. Diary “I write something down every day.” 8. Thera-Band Exercise Band www.thera-band.com “I first used this for rehab after my shoulder surgery. It’s also very good for training, and it doesn’t take up much space.” 9. Books “I have a good choice of books with me. I’ve enjoyed Just A Little Run Around The World by Rosie SwalePope and Still Alice by Lisa Genova. When I had to sit out the last year, I started studying English literature.” 1. Body Shop Almond Oil Daily Hand And Nail Cream www.thebodyshop.com “Hey, you can be a professional athlete and look like a lady at the same time.” Read Rachel’s diary (well, her blog) at www.athertonracing.co.uk


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A la Carte

Brain food? No problem, according to nutritionists, who can tailor a menu to boost your IQ. What’s more, they reckon you can even eat yourself beautiful

Wild rice risotto with stewed peppers, algae and tofu

Egg, salmon and cucumber

Sautéed chicken noisette with spinach, cashew nuts and red curry

Beauty food Want to stay young and attractive for longer? Of course you do. And Marianne Botta reckons it’s easy without resorting to faddish diets. Glycosylation – when sugar and proteins bond – quickens the ageing process. So, seared and wellfried foods – such as chips – are frowned upon because the heat causes a reaction between sugar, carbohydrates and proteins, which leads to glycosylation. Steaming and stewing are better, and will help prevent those naughty wrinkles appearing. You have to have protein to form keratin, which we need for healthy hair and the skin’s connective tissue fibres. Tofu is the food which contains the most of that. Those with skin trouble should avoid poultry skin, egg yolks and offal as they contain arachidonic acid, which causes inflammation in the skin cells. They should go for wheatgerm oil, which, thanks to its vitamin E content, even helps heal scars.

Brain food If you’ve got to concentrate long and hard, then you shouldn’t – surprise, surprise – eat anything heavy as this will cause blood to settle in the stomach and stop you thinking properly. Vitamin C (found in kiwis, peppers, rose hips) and E (in wheatgerm and nuts), by contrast, help stimulate the flow of blood to the brain. Also important is a consistent blood-glucose level. Eating pumpernickel will make sure of that. Wholemeal bread will give it a gentle boost. What’s really bad is dextrose, which quickly raises the blood sugar level, then sees it drop off again. If you’re tired, bananas, dried fruit and nuts help in the short term. And plenty of liquids, but a maximum of one cup of coffee a day. Fish, thanks to its Omega-3 fatty acids is good for the nerves and brain. But you should eat red meat three times a week to avoid a lack of iron which can lead to loss of concentration and even depression. Vegetarians should compensate with nuts.

Mood food Carbohydrates and not too much protein make for a good mood as they ensure that the body’s own mood setters aren’t dulled. Botta’s tip: warm milk with honey or pasta with a vegetable sauce as they help the body to create serotonin, the happiness hormone. Chocolate is proven to do the same thing, but Botta also recommends dates, figs and porridge. The Omega-3 fatty acids in fish can raise the spirits in the same way spicy food can. The body perceives the effect of chilli, curry, wasabi and ginger as pain, so produces morphine and endorphins to counteract it. Green tea also has a positive effect on the mood as it relaxes you and makes you more resistant to stress. Vanilla can make you really happy, because it smells similar to a substance you ingest with breast milk.


Hungry? You can sample delicious smart food right now at the Mayday-Bar in Hangar-7, Salzburg. Visit www.hangar-7.com

WOrdS: USChI KOrdA. phOTOGrAphY: hELGE KIrChBErGEr/rEd BULL hAnGAr-7 (3), SOnjA rUCKSTUhL (1)

Eat Yourself Smart

Marianne Botta (left) has a degree in food engineering and nutrition. The Swiss worked together with top chef Roland Trettl to create Beauty, Brain and Mood food. Now available at Hangar-7, Salzburg


Reg. charity 267444 Photo: © Rodrigo Baleia.

Cattle ranchers in Paraguay want to cut down vast tracts of uncontacted Indians’ rainforest and still portray themselves as environmentally responsible. How? Simple. Just call the islands of forests that are left ‘nature reserves’. Help restore logic. www.restorelogic.org/paraguay

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Making a Splash Twelve of the world’s best cliff divers will do battle this year for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series title, at six breathtaking locations. Even if watching men in Speedos dive off a cliff isn’t your bag, the locations are still a draw

July 24 Kragerø, Norway This pretty little coastal town in the south Norwegian county of Telemark is a cliff-diving hot spot. Protected from the strong sea winds by an almighty cliff, it’s the perfect place to put your bravery and ability to the test. Edvard Munch dubbed Kragerø, “the pearl of the coastal towns”, and immortalised it in several paintings. One of the emblems of Norway, the Heddal stave church, is also located nearby. Parts of this wooden, Gothic cathedral were built as far back as 1240. And nature’s gifts – the idyllic archipelago islands, the wild mountains, the endless forests – are enough to take your breath away. www.visitnorway.com

September 12 Hilo, Hawaii, USA The last stop on the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series tour and the place where the 2010 champion will be crowned. An appropriate location for a finale, all told, as the sport was invented here in the 18th century: a tropical climate, volcanic cliffs and the Pacific Ocean were the perfect inspiration for a watersport with a high scare factor. King Kahekili, who ritually made his warriors leap off the cliffs of Maui, is seen as the godfather of all cliff divers. Now it’s left to sportsmen to conquer the falls at Kawainui with perfect posture. Shame there’s not much time to admire the idyllic surroundings of Big Island Hawaii. www.fallsatkawainui.com

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en.redbulletin.com/print2.0 Plunge into the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series

June 6 Yucatán, Mexico The cliff-divers’ second stop is in Yucatán: their destination the unique system of water-filled sinkholes located deep in the jungle. The Mayas called these holy places ‘dzonot’ which the Spanish conquistadors rendered as ‘cenote’. The Cenote Ik Kil – also known as the ‘Sacred Blue Cenote’ – is just 2 miles away from the Mayan ruins at Chichén Itzá and is a truly magical place where waterfalls empty into the natural round pools. The cenote isn’t just reserved for cliff-divers; regular visitors can take the plunge too. yucatantoday.com/en/topics/cenotesunderwater-sinkholes


May 15 La Rochelle, France Last year, 30,000 spectators crowded into the old harbour of this French coastal town to watch cliff divers leap into the old harbour from a 27m-high platform atop the SaintNicolas Tower. Together with the Tour de la Chaine (Chain Tower), the tower is the emblem of a city that, with its numerous covered pavements, is considered an architectural masterpiece. Salt has been mined around La Rochelle for more than 1000 years. The graphic form of the salt lakes alone surrounded by the long beaches along the Atlantic coast makes for a picturesque image. And which top chef wouldn’t leap from a cliff for the perfect fleur de sel? www.larochelle-tourisme.com

photography: Macduff EvErton, f1 onLInE, IMago/IMagEbrokEr, IMago stock&pEopLE (2), MaurItIus IMagEs (5), rEd buLL photofILEs

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August 28 Sisikon, Switzerland This small, dreamy location – it has a population of just 382 – is fast becoming the epicentre of the cliff-diving scene. And rightly so. Sisikon is located by one of the most beautiful bodies of water in Switzerland – Lake Lucerne – and surrounded by the imposing peaks of Uri Rotstock and the Kaiserstock chain. So the perfect mountain scenery for those who would rather go mountaineering, rock-climbing or mountain-biking than dive into a 14° lake! And the William Tell chapel is just 2 miles away, right on the lake at the spot where he’s said to have jumped from the boat belonging to bailiff Albrecht Gessler. www.sisikon.ch

August 8 Polignano a Mare, Italy Life by the Adriatic coast in Apulia is joyful, colourful, and loud – a good description, too, of how the cliff-divers were welcomed here last year. Orlando Duque, who would later be crowned World Series Champion, was majestic as he pulled off his dive from a 26m-high plateau into the village bay, which is just 5m deep. He might even have allowed himself a plate of pasta afterwards. Apulian cooking is the very epitome of Mediterranean cuisine, which you can’t begin to talk about without mentioning olive oil. Ancient, gnarled olive trees cover the region like a carpet. www.apulia.org/index.html

For more info, visit www.redbull.com


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Pga tour the PlayerS chaMPIonShIP 06 – 09.05.10

hot SPotS

The world’s best players gather to split the men from the boys. Colombian Camillo Villegas is hoping to better his impressive 14th-place finish of 2009. TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA

World-class sport – it’s all here in our global guide Wrc rally neW Zealand 07 – 09.05.10 Reigning World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb’s experience continues to shine as he mounts a convincing title defence, while former F1 champion and World Rally Championship newcomer Kimi Räikkönen finds his feet. Or should that be wheels? Auckland, New Zealand

challenger World SerIeS 08 – 10.05.10 Teams from the business world get out of the office as they take part in the South African adventure race that’s designed to test brains as well as brawn. Cape Town, South Africa

ForMula one SPanISh grand PrIx 09.05.10 The unpredictable 2010 season heads to Barcelona for the first European race of the season. Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel hopes to stand on the podium top spot occupied here by Jenson Button last year. Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

German defending champion Steffi Laier hopes to stay on last year’s winning form in the second round of the series. Agueda, Portugal

red Bull reBatIda 13 – 14.05.10 These two-on-two football matches are part of the buildup to the FIFA World Cup. Amateur players pick up points for the difficulty of goals scored, until one duo emerges victorious from the 150 teams expected. São Paulo, Brazil

IFSc clIMBIng World cuP 14 – 15.05.10 Champion climbers Kilian Fischhuber and Angela Eiter test their bouldering skills against the world’s best as the 2010 World Cup gets underway, Greifensee, Switzerland

red Bull clIFF dIvIng World SerIeS 15.05.10

A downhill race-to-the-finish on one of Belgium’s most famous tracks, which sees 40 cyclists going wheel to wheel. Col de la Redoute, Aywaille, Belgium

The first stop of the 2010 cliff diving series kicks off dramatically: the platform at La Rochelle is the highest on the tour at a dizzying 28m. But it’s all about the mid-air acrobatics that could win points before the tour heads off to Mexico next month. La Rochelle, France

FIM MotocroSS World chaMPIonShIP 09.05.10

red Bull FlaMenco Flatland 15 – 16.05.10

It’s the fourth round and contenders including last year’s second-place man Max Nagl in MX1 and last year’s overall champion in MX2, Marvin ‘The Marv Attack’ Musquin, battle it out for the 2010 crown. Agueda, Portugal

Some of the world’s best flatland athletes get to watch a professional flamenco dancer perform a move, then mimic it on the bike, to an authentic dance soundtrack. An Olympic sport in the making? Granada, Spain

red Bull road rage 09.05.10 PhotograPhy: imago sPortfoto (1), red Bull Photofiles (3)

FIM WoMen’S MotocroSS World chaMPIonShIP 09.05.10


red Bull aIr race 08 – 09.05.10 The action returns to the Brazilian skies after a threeyear hiatus, and if the threemillion viewers of the 2007 race are anything to go by, it will be a welcome return. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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FIvB Beach volleyBall World tour 17 – 22.05.10 The first grand slam of the year gets underway for the men’s and women’s teams, with Brazilian sisters Maria-Clara and Carolina Salgado and Austrian men’s champions Clemens Doppler and Matthias Mellitzer all hoping for an early victory. Rome, Italy

ForMula one Monaco grand PrIx 16.05.10 The world’s most famous street circuit becomes a Mecca for yacht owners when the F1 circus rolls into town, but the drivers aren’t strangers to the finer things in life, and even the beautiful sea views can’t steal their eyes from the track. Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco

FIM SuPerBIke World chaMPIonShIP 16.05.10 Irish speed demon Eugene Laverty continues his quest to reach the top step of the podium after coming an impressive second in the 2009 championship. Kyalami, South Africa

BrItISh trIalS chaMPIonShIP – WeSt oF england 16.05.10 After an ankle injury setback at the start of the season, champion British rider Dougie Lampkin enters round three determined to make his mark on the scoreboard. Venue tbc, West of England

New riders, new tricks and new locations make 2010 the biggest year so far for the world’s premiere freestyle motocross contest. At the second round, riders get airborn in the shadow of Egypt’s pyramids. Giza, Egypt

The most popular international touring car series enters its second stage, edging closer to the 2010 finale to be held at a bespoke city-centre track in Shanghai, which adds an Asian leg to the tour for the first time. Valencia, Spain

Moto gP oF France 23.05.10 After scoring an impressive third place on the series podium in 2009, Spaniard Dani Pedrosa is hungry for on-track action and that important win. Le Mans, France

red Bull MaldIveS chrIS PFeIFFer Stunt ShoW 28 – 29.05.10 He may get to call a trip to the Maldives work, but the champion motorbike stunt rider doesn’t have an easy day at the office. A crowd of thousands, including local stunt riders, will watch him perfectly perform deathdefying tricks and stunts on his bike. Now that’s pressure. Male, Maldives

red Bull urBan hIll 21.05.10

Wrc rally de Portugal 28 – 30.05.10

This first-ever downhill mountain bike race in Bulgaria has a unique country-into-town track, which features obstaclestrewn woods, narrow streets and steep stairs. Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria

Portugal brought reigning champion Sébastien Loeb a win last year, a victory he’ll be hoping to repeat. But new tweaks to the route will be sure to keep all drivers on their toes. Algarve Stadium, Portugal

red Bull Souk run 21.05.10

ForMula one turkISh grand PrIx 30.05.10

The maze-like Matrah Souk, usually home to packed stalls and hungry shoppers, will be invaded by an international in-line skate race. Up to 50 skaters, including Austria’s Stefan Horngacher, have to navigate the many obstacles to make it to the finish line first. Muscat, Oman

red Bull x-FIghterS 14.05.10

dtM valencIa 23.05.10

Colombian former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya still holds the record for the fastest lap of this track and, with the refuelling ban, he should rest easy that’s not going to change during this year’s race. Istanbul Otodrom Circuit, Turkey

dIrtMaSterS WInterBerg 21 – 24.05.10

MountaIn BIke World cuP 05 – 06.06.10

This year, Europe’s biggest mountain bike freeride festival features a Best Trick contest and hosts a leg of the international Scott 4X Challenge – and all played out to a live-music soundtrack. Winterberg, Germany

The world’s best on bikes race in four-cross and downhill disciplines. Former downhill world champion, Briton Rachel Atherton, back on form after a year out for a shoulder injury, will be looking for victory. Fort William, Scotland


more body & mind JuAn Son The winsome Mexican is used to adulation in his native Mexico, and he’s now charming the rest of the world, including London, with his electro-pop vibe, see page 93.

night SPotS Club nights, gigs, festivals – here’s where to party after dark the whole world over

Melt! Klub WeeKender 06.05.10

PhotograPhy: thomas butler/red bull music academy, dan Wilton/red bull music academy, adam tarasiuk, andy hall

This popular electronic rock fest has a signature mix of A-list and underground acts that this year includes Massive Attack, Friendly Fires, Fake Blood, Sinden and Four Tet. It’s little surprise the annual attendance has rocketed from 200 to well over 20,000 during its 13-year existence. Münze, Berlin, Germany

red bull Art of Motion & red bull brAndWAgen reincArnAtion 07.05.10 People are running up walls, jumping across balconies. Why? Because they can. Free running is one of the most creative and acrobatic outdoor activities the concrete jungle can offer, and the best urban athletes in the world meet at the Red Bull Art of Motion. This is also the first outing for the new Red Bull Brandwagen, which has two mobile stages. The Beth Edges and Da Staummtisc are confirmed acts. Arena, Vienna, Austria

J-WoW (burAKA SoM SiSteMA) 07.05.10 Inventors of the ‘Sound Of Kuduro’, the Lisbonite members of Buraka Som Sistema made their name in 2008 with their Angolan house beats, fast, fierce, danceable and pimped with raps by guest stars such as MIA. After an extensive world tour, the members are now enjoying solo stints, bringing the masses their kuduro sounds with a modern twist. Social Club, Paris, France


benJi b 07.05.10 Hip-hop, broken beats and deep house are three musical genres in which Benji B is an expert. With his radio show ‘Deviation’ on BBC 1Xtra and his club night of the same name, he has championed young up-and-coming talent, becoming the first to bring big acts such as Fatima and Flying Lotus over to Europe. Pontins, Southport, England

Joy orbiSon 07.05.10 The south London DJ and producer made waves on the musical seas with his release Hyph Mngo last year, showcasing his trademark mix of soulful house, 2step, jungle and funky, with vocal snippets and sorrowful synths. New track ‘The Shrew would have Cushioned the Blow’ cements his reputation as someone bringing the future to the present. Numbers @ The Sub Club, Glasgow, Scotland

All toMorroW’S PArtieS feStivAl curAted by MAtt groening 07 - 09.05.10 To leave a comic artist to the curation of a music festival seems a bit risky – unless that man is Matt Groening, revered creator of The Simpsons. Not that it automatically qualifies him for the job, but having bands like Panda Bear, The Stooges, The XX and Joanna Newsom on the lineup proves that the 56-year-old ex-music journalist is more than up to it. Butlins Holiday Centre, Minehead, England

MoveMent electronic MuSic feStivAl 29 – 31. 5. 10 See some of the city’s great heroes such as Model 500, plus Hudson Mohawke on the Red Bull Music Academy Stage. Hart Plaza, Detroit, USA

more body & mind robert SereK The head of Polish Vice magazine gives us a 24-hour tour through Warsaw, from hearty breakfasts to DJs in delicatessens, and through to the last dance at dawn – see page 94.

red bull MuSic AcAdeMy & fM4 PreSent lA bouM deluxe tour 08.05.10 La Boum De Luxe FM4 is on the right frequency for fans of electronic music and energetic weekends. Now, with a list of dates, new tracks and high energy, the radio show is hitting the streets with the Chicago house legend Farley Jackmaster Funk behind the turntables throughout the night. Republic, Salzburg, Austria

SPAce diMenSion controller 08.05.10 “Hanging out in space and towing Astro-Babes” are just two of the listed recreational activities of Jack Hamill, aka Space Dimension Controller. But the beat maker from Belfast is no fantasist – his dedication to deephouse and his drum machine has made him a hot tip for stratospheric stardom. Twisted Pepper, Dublin, Ireland

cAMo 08.05.10 Austrian-born Reini Rietsch leads a life of skateboarding and synthesisers. By day he engages in a passion for skateboarding that dates back to 1992, and by night he’s at the forefront of the drum ’n’ bass movement. He’s earned plays on top radio stations such as BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Kiss 101, producing popular podcasts. Now he’s packing up his board and trusty laptop for a tour that takes in Europe and Australia. Lodz, Poland

fiction Electronic music in its many guises is what draws the crowds to this sleek, hip club, in Cape Town, South Africa, see page 92.

King MidAS Sound 12.05.10 Bass is his lifeblood. Whether as The Bug, or with his new spoken-word project Dub King Midas Sound, it’s the low frequencies that tickle London musician Kevin Martin. Expect gut-trembling basslines and haunting vocals. Palace, St Gallen, Switzerland

SPring feStivAl 12 - 15.05.10 As a city, Graz has it good. How many other destinations can boast a spaceship disguised as a museum in the city centre? Then there’s the festival, an annual melting pot of electronic music making. This year, Theo Parrish, Mortitz von Oswald Trio, Joker, Kode9 and Benji B are appearing on the Red Bull Music Academy stage at the opening night at PPC. Various Locations, Graz, Austria

nuitS SonoreS 12 - 16.05.10 The parks, museums, factories and even swimming pools of Lyon are transformed into festival venues each year around Whitsun, becoming home to some of the world’s biggest musical acts. Flying in for 2010 are Hot Chip, Hudson Mohawke, Mayer Hawthorne, Unkle and many more. Marché Gare, Lyon, France

le butcheretteS 14.05.10 Fake blood flows in streams, somewhere on the stage sits a pig’s head and Teri Gender Bender is abusing her guitar. It’s all in a day’s work for the punk-blues duo from Mexico. Art Pub, Querétaro, Mexico

chArlie dArK 08.05.10

night of the MuSeuMS 15.05.10

From the club to the poetry circle and back again: having started out as a rapper and member of legendary British trio Attica Blues, the east Londoner then devoted himself to poetry, performing at spoken-word events and teaching kids how to write. Now, with his experimental hip-hop beats and words of violence, he’s fully back in the club. PIYN, Auckland, New Zealand

More than one hundred museums and galleries open their doors to over 160,000 culture lovers for the night. The tradition began in 2005 and continues to balloon in popularity. This year, an exhibition on the history of the wedding dress culminates with the curator marrying her fiancé at midnight. And the title of the show? What Was I Thinking? Belgrade, Serbia


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curt morgan santa barbara Reel Time

That’s Not It

RED BULLETIN: So tell us about your new film, Flight. CURT MoRGAN: It’s another snowboard film (laughs). It’s like That’s It, That’s All, but a little bit more of a documentary. We’ve done the same thing for so long. If we stay in snow, it’s got to keep evolving. What we want to try and do is ride terrain that has never been ridden. We’ve made a conscious effort to pursue mountains that haven’t been shredded before. Is it markedly different from That’s It, That’s All? Aesthetically and visually yes. We love what we were able to do with That’s It, That’s All visually. It holds that same visual aesthetic. We’ve built a bunch of different camera systems – we’re using a lot of cable stuff and we’re using high-speed cinematography. There will be people who like That’s It, That’s All more and there will be people who like Flight more. I think this will reach the masses a lot more. Any idea of what it might look like? I had no idea what That’s It, That’s All was going to be until it was done. You can’t script snowboarding. It’s nice to have a plan, but you never end up sticking to it. We planned on shooting mostly in Jackson (in Wyoming). 90

Travis [Rice, Morgan’s partner in That’s It, That’s All] wanted to do the craziest snowboarding ever done. I wanted to go off and tell a story. But Jackson had no snow. We went up to Canada, and shot over 20 avalanches. I would love to say I had some amazing plan and amazing script written in stone and we’re sticking to it. All I know is that we have the best cameras in the world, and amazing crew and amazing snowboarders and the whole world to paint on. For a young filmmaker, you’re using some remarkable equipment. How do things like the Cineflex influence your filmmaking vision? It’s shaped the way I do all my projects. That’s my AK-47 and then I got my pistol and I got my bayonet (laughs). It’s like having a lot of arrows in the quiver to be able to fire into any target. At the same time, having all the gear makes it a lot more difficult. Because we spend a lot of time fixing it, we spend a lot of time learning about it and we spend a lot of time trying to maintain it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Flight ended up being about trying to make a snowboarding movie. It’s become more difficult to do, the more elements you add to

it. Our lenses now weigh 30lb as opposed to 4lb, and there’s a considerable financial risk. So not exactly the ultra-flexibility of a typical snowboard or surf film… We used to travel on the spur of the moment. Now we’re forced to plan a little more, and I hate having to plan. And we’re forced to lock down in an area, with 36 equipment cases and a huge trailer and we have so many people. It’s like running a day-care centre or a kids’ camp. It’s like we’re doing film school on the road. So why do you use them? I’m a firm believer in production quality. I’ve made projects for nothing with simple cameras. But I’ve got to the point where the only way I’m going to enjoy shooting a snowboard film is to add in all these visual elements. We’ve come away with a lot bigger crew. We’re in the backcountry with 15 people now. It’s still not really big enough, but we’re not James Cameron, so we need to deal with it. But James Cameron is the ultimate goal. Yeah. I’m focusing now on trying, in some way, shape or form, to go completely 3D soon. But that’s a whole other element. Then you’re talking about 120lb cameras, as opposed to 40lb cameras. The tools we have

PhotograPhy: andy Sorge/Brain Farm (1), mark galluP (3)

A year ago, Curt Morgan detonated the action sport genre with his sweeping, ambitious snowboarding film, that’s it, that’s all. He tells Andreas Tzortzis why his next project might raise the bar even higher

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Freeze frame: Curt Morgan (left). Travis Rice (this page) in scenes from the new film Flight

SWede:Art 15.05.10 Many musicians are inspired by their hometown, but with Joachim Whipper this is definitely not the case. Although he comes from the sleepy Bavarian town of Passau, his mix of dubstep, hip-hop and wonky would be far more at home in the brick houses and dark clubs of Brixton, London. Solaris, Linz, Austria

culturA urbAnA 15.05.10 This festival celebrates the entire hip-hop subculture, featuring rappers, DJs, B-Boys and graffiti writing, with discussions, workshops, battles, and acts such as Raekwon and Looptroop. Telefónica Arena, Madrid, Spain

red bull big tune 19.05.10 The world’s first series of producer head-to-heads in the form of a live stage beat-off, with rising and established musical talents putting their skills to the test. This time young would-be Kanyes from Philadelphia take their beats into battle. WCL, Philadelphia, USA

ScubA 21.05.10

give the end user a better experience. And it gives us a challenge. I was really happy with That’s It, That’s All, so if we come up with a film that hits that bar again, we’d be happy. But I feel like we’re going to break that again, I really do. Maybe it’s just a step to the left, instead of a step up. I want the viewer to feel what the athlete is feeling. If you’re going to come along and watch an hour, an hour and a half of snowboarding, I want you to feel like you went on that twoyear mission with the boys, you know what I mean? Not just, ‘Here’s an interview and here’s an action shot and good night.’ I want to feel like people are immersed in it. Where has your inspiration come from? I’ve always been a huge fan of natural history and what the BBC pulled off with Planet Earth. Honestly, Planet Earth was the whole reason That’s It, That’s All really happened. I wasn’t going to make another film and I was watching that and researching what they used to make it and I thought we got to do something with this. This is it. Talk about what is most important to your filmmaking. I spend a lot of time researching new ways of creating visual stimulation for my projects. I think my biggest goal is to put

someone in a trance. If I ever become distracted while I’m watching something that I’m editing, then I know it sucks. If I can pick a song, or sound design, so that even if you don’t like it, you’re still hypnotised by it, that’s my goal. Visually, when I’m working on something, that’s how I think about it, I want you to zone out, techno-style. When can we expect to see Flight? I would say in September 2011. That’s the plan, unless we end up making a 10-year project out of it. There are other sports like skating and surfing which are easier to shoot. With snowboarding, you’re constantly fighting the weather. You put yourself in the worst weather situations. We go to Alaska and spend a few 100k sitting in the lodge. If the sun never comes out, we rolled the dice and lost. So we have to be careful of how we pick our battles, but at the same time it’s a total Russian roulette to make these films. If you happen to have picked a sunny day, and if the rider doesn’t have a hurt ankle, and if the camera’s not busted, then you might end up getting something done. To see footage of That’s It, That’s All, log on to www.thatsit-thatsall.com. For Curt Morgan’s latest projects, log onto www.brainfarmcinema.com

His debut album Triangulation is already a classic with the music press, signalling that dubstep as a genre may have managed to survive its own hype. Trauw, Amsterdam, Netherlands

debut 21.05.10 Beneath the arches of London Bridge Station, something is stirring as London’s newest live music venue prepares to open its doors. Music meets art as live bands and DJs provide the soundtrack to live painting and art battles, all against a backdrop of murals, pictures and sculpture by emerging street artists. Debut, London, England

diSSonAnze feStivAl 21 - 23.05.10 With a musical line-up fit for the palatial backdrop of this old congress building, the annual feast of electronic music is set to live up to its reputation. Darkstar, Gil Scott-Heron, Richie Hawtin and Pantha du Prince are just a few of those taking their beats where they’ve never gone before. Palazzo Dei Congressi, Rome, Italy


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iArMAroc feSt 21 - 23.05.10 The festival organisers are playing their cards close to their chests. While they have made it known that Wareika, dOP, Dyed Soundorom and TM Juke will all be making the trip to the Romanian forest for the annual union of art and music, fans of the wooded three-dayer have to wait for the rest of the line-up mystery to unfold. Forest Area, Urziceni, Romania

Fiction cape town

volte-fAce 22.05.10

roni Size 22.05.10 Since his mega hit Brown Paper Bag dominated turntables and airwaves around the world back in 1997, the Bristolian DJ has been largely absent from the charts. But don’t be fooled – Size’s record bag is never far from his side. And with a Mercury Award for album New Forms and an entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the best–selling drum ’n’ bass album of all time under his belt, no one can dispute his pedigree. DoB, Belgrade, Serbia

AzKenA rocK 24 - 26.05.10 Bob Dylan, Kiss and The Damned are taking to the stage for this huge rock festival, but despite its reputation as a destination for, ahem, more seasoned rockers, fresh acts such as The Black Lips and Airbourne make this a headbanging destination for the whole family. Teatro Principal & La Plaza De La Virgen Blanca, Vitoria, Spain

n-tyPe 25.05.10 The selector from south-west England has won the title of Best Dubstep DJ, built a following with his weekly slot on underground radio station Rinse.FM, played on BBC Radio One and travelled the globe spreading his relentless sounds. But tonight it’s all going to be about the home crowd. Basement 45, Bristol, England


Party central: Fiction has a deserved reputation for experimental electronic music

World’s Best Clubs

Better than Fiction Pac Man mosaics on the walls, a Victorian party balcony and a hunger for new sounds. Florian Obkircher finds Fiction DJ bar burns the brightest on Cape Town’s Long Street It’s Friday night and Long Street is alive. The humidity is thick, the sound deafening. The throngs of revellers drink and laugh. Heavy bass rattles car door frames, the party crowd discusses the next stop of the night. The verandas of colourful Victorian buildings that are this street’s calling card are packed – but none more so than one balcony on the corner of Buiten Street. “Come up!” a girl calls down to her friends. “They’re playing electronic music tonight.” A black sign saying ‘Fiction’ hangs above the door and it’s immediately obvious why. Posters of science-fiction classics like Metropolis hang along the staircase heading up to the first floor. The design motif continues inside, contrasted slightly by the classic yet sleek interior. Pac Man

Escape route: clubbers take a dance break on the balcony

mosaics blend with glittering chandeliers, alien stencils are offset by elegant sofas. Granted, these are sober observations. The focus at this late hour is on the music, and the Killer Robot Clique obliges. Four years ago, the Clique DJs were the ones who made electronic music popular at Fiction. “It wasn’t easy to get people interested in our new style at the beginning,” says DJ Bruno. “But DJs like Richie Hawtin kicked off the Minimal hype, even in Cape Town.” This willingness to experiment, the hunger for new sounds, is what distinguishes Fiction. Except for Tuesday’s student night with indie rock, the club’s standard fare is electronic music. Thursday is drum ’n’ bass, Friday, techno, followed by an eclectic potpourri on Saturday. And while a few revellers take a break on the ornate balcony, the beat thumps on through the night inside. Fiction DJ Bar & Lounge, 226 Long Street, Cape Town, South Africa. Tel: +27 21 424 5709; www.fictionbar.com

PhotograPhy: andy hall

If bass was a virus, Infestus would be the main transmitter. The Portuguese newcomer describes his dancehall breaks as “a hip-hop fusion that can shake even the sunset”, a claim put to the test on home soil when he takes to the stage with his multi-media dance project Volte-Face. Casa das Artes, Famalicão, Portugal

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Juan Son London In the wings: Juan Son, a participant in the Red Bull Music Academy, dazzles on stage at the Roundhouse

PhotograPhy: dan Wilton/red bull music academy (1), thomas butler/red bull music academy (1)

Green Room

Peter Pan Mexican pop sensation Juan Son loves the odd animal outfit and King Ludwig II. Florian Obkircher was on hand when he debuted his serenade – in turtle costume – to the mad Bavarian king in London White cowboy boots, silver leggings, a green turtle suit on his upper body, owl make-up and gold angel wings in his dishevelled, dark brown hair. Juan Son turns heads. Young girls whisper in his presence, concert-goers grin and nod at him. The Mexican musician stands confidently in the public area of the Roundhouse in London and smiles politely back at them. He’s used to it by now. “I’ve always dressed up on stage,” says Juan Son, real name Perada. “I’ve dressed as a slice of pizza. As a giant prawn. I buy my outfits in toy shops or children’s costume shops.” The desire for escapism has been a leitmotif

throughout the 26-year-old’s life. His parents moved around a lot when he was a child. They went from Mexico to Texas and back again. He changed schools nine times. His mother’s records – from The Carpenters to ABBA – gave him something comfortable to cling on to. As did Disney soundtracks and musicals. “Whenever I went to New York with my father, we always went to a musical. My favourite was Phantom of the Opera. I could identify with the main character because I was rebuffed by a girl at my school. I might not have had a mask but I was fat. I had a fullbody mask, if you like,” he chuckles. Two decades later, he’s a bona fide idol. He and his indie band, Porter, have sold more than 40,000 albums in Mexico alone. Fans besieged his hotel room and waited for him at the airport in LA when Porter appeared alongside Portishead and Kraftwerk at the Coachella Festival. Since splitting with the band in 2008, Perada lives and works in New York, writing three songs of electro pop a day that sound like neo folk from the children’s playroom. His first solo album, Mermaid Sashimi, earned him a Latin Grammy nomination for the song Nada last year. “It wasn’t easy being on stage on my own

at first,” he reveals. “I felt so naked. So vulnerable.” He seems to have gotten over it, though, appearing at the Roundhouse with a laptop, an acoustic guitar, and jokes about mermaid sushi and owls for his audience. He asks for quiet once, bursting out a “Please, shut the fuck up”, as he prepares to sing’ Ludwig II’. Open mouths, wide eyes and silence greet him. Juan Son just nods politely and carries on. “During a show, singersongwriter Juana Molina once said, ‘I’d like you all to be quiet straight away.’ At the time I thought, ‘What a bitch!’ But now I know what she meant,” Juan Son explains after the gig. And he probably wouldn’t have said anything if the song wasn’t so dear to him. “A friend in Berlin showed me her Neuschwanstein tattoo. I was so enchanted by the castle’s beauty that I went to Bavaria there and then. Ludwig II inspired me to write a song in his honour in which he admits to a love-hate relationship with Wagner,” Juan Son explains, his eyes sparkling. It appears Peter Pan has found his Neverland in Neuschwanstein. Listen to Juan Son’s studio gig at the Red Bull Music Academy London at www. redbullmusicacademyradio.com/shows/2502


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Wild at heart: Robert Serek has lived in Warsaw for 20 years, and since discovering the city’s party scene he hasn’t looked back

robert Serek warsaw

Resident Artist

Vice City

I opened my Comme des Garçons guerrilla outlets in the area of Zbawiciela Square, and the streets of Mokotowska and Kozykowa, so that’s where my day usually starts and, often, ends. #24 is a shop-and-cafe type of place, where I usually start with a carrot juice or a grapefruit and orange mix and a sandwich à la Serek, ie ham, cheese and a sliced tomato (serek is cheese in Polish) . And when I get bored, there are at least two other options – one is a banquet at the Austrian-Czech tavern U Szwejka (1), where traditional scrambled eggs are mixed with sausages, a thick slice of bread and cottage cheese. It’s pretty cheap and they serve beer on weekends and Mondays, if your night has not quite ended yet. A 94

Wienerschnitzel is also cheap here on Mondays – and it’s the biggest one you can get in this part of Europe. Among the cosier options, I recommend Przegryz (2), for breakfast and dinner. It’s a small restaurant with homemade food. The duck is delicious, the homemade meat patties are yummy and they also have an excellent Czech beer called Zlatopramen, which is not like the mass-produced ones

available everywhere else. Besides, you can go there with your dog or cat and laugh your head off looking at Raczkowski’s drawings from Przekrój, the weekly news magazine. A must, despite its recent fights with municipal bureaucrats, is the legendary Miedzy Nami (3). It’s one of the oldest gayfriendly spots in Warsaw and is a hub for trendsetters. Nothing tops the atmosphere of its pavement cafe in the summer or

PhotograPhy: adam tarasiuk

The vast Polish capital requires an insider to navigate properly. So we asked Robert Serek, the editor of Vice Poland, to pull an all-nighter for us

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Soul food (from top): Plan B always attracts a hip Warsaw crowd. Przegryz serves great homemade fare. A quiet moment at Delikatesy before DJ Jacek Sienkiewicz entertains the clientele

promotional activities by both Polish and international photographers. Each day sees a different menu and an inexpensive, delicious dinner, free internet access (like all the other places mentioned here) and various occasions to celebrate. OK, so it is getting dark. We have wined and dined a little, and now it’s time to party. A word of warning: Warsaw is a difficult city, full of paradoxes and empty streets in the middle of the week. You need to know where to go so as not to lose time getting lost. A couple of places are always busy. I personally recommend Plan B (4), at Zbawiciela Square, always open and full of interesting Warsaw people. Nothing can compare to a summer spent here, with

The fact that Spaniards know how to party is no secret, and the festival organisers from the Iberian Peninsula also have good taste in music. This event offers sun, cervezas and one of the best lineups of the summer. Besides old heroes such as Liquid Liquid and Pavement, it pulls indie newcomers like Japandroids and Monotonix. Parc Del Forum, Barcelona, Spain



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countless Coca-Cola mugs filled with beer, a disguise so as not to irritate the local police. However, Plan B has some serious competition. Powisle (5) rules this year. With no neighbours, the large area around the bar allows for the type of large gatherings that typically require a permit from the municipal authorities. On a warm evening, it’s common to see hundreds of people simply hanging around. The drawback is the small bar, where it’s easier to wait to get old than to get served. Fortunately there’s a petrol station in the vicinity, so you can replenish alcohol reserves and play games with huge and slightly gloomy security guards. Drinking alcohol in public is not allowed, but don’t ever let a security guard tell you that. They’re powerless to fine you. There are few clubs in Warsaw, at least the sort of clubs you’d like to show your mates. Platinum and Nine attract a specific type who can only be tolerated when drunk. But there are alternatives. Polish techno DJ guru Jacek Sienkiewicz hosts experimental music evenings in Delikatesy (6) on Sundays. HungryHungryModels are a popular act and so is clubnight Sorry GhettoBlaster. Koko Bend clubnight is full of kitsch (yes, this is a masterpiece of Karim, Zepa and mine), plus there’s Boniecki, AM Radio and Artur8 for all those who are looking for a great night out. So, look – and you will find. Finally, if you really want to finish yourself off, you must go to Zakaski i Przekaski (7) or U Pana Romana, order a few shots and a quick bite. A drink costs ¤ 1, food ¤2, regardless of the exchange rate. And if you still have some energy, you can go to Starbucks, but not so much for the coffee – more to admire the beauty of Polish girls who sit there in herds. See Robert Serek’s blog at www.rs-store.pl/blog

electric Wire huStle SoundSySteM 28.05.10 The sounds of the Wellington trio have just been put on pole position on Gilles Peterson’s latest compilation, and they’ve already shared a stage with Benji B, Alice Russell and DJ Krush. So although the EWH haven’t been around long, their blend of hip-hop, psychedelic and soul has them going places. Townhall, Christchurch, New Zealand

iMMergut feStivAl 28 - 29.05.10 Ten years on and still as indie as you like, Immergut has never harboured mega-festival ambitions. The music selection, with bands like Bonaparte and Efterklang, is carefully curated and the location contained, meaning that the queues in front of the toilets are tolerable. For those who like it cosy, Immergut is, as the German suggests, always good. Festival grounds, Neustrelitz, Germany

PinKPoP 28 - 30.05.10 Don’t worry, gaudy outfits are not a must at this festival. The ‘pink’ in the name refers not to the colour but to ‘Pinksteren’, the Dutch word for Whitsun, the long-weekend home of the annual music gathering. Expect rock, indie and some pop, with Motorhead, Green Day and Temper Trap all in attendance. Megaland, Landgraaf, Netherlands

eleKtro guzzi 29.05.10 The Vienna trio make bass, guitar and drums sound live though armed only with their computers. There are no pre-recorded performances for the collective, however. Bridging the gap between band and DJ performance, their techno and dub sounds are created on stage. Mellow Festival, Sofia, Bulgaria


A short story by Peter Smith-Davies

Lavender Woodsmoke


rt reached forward to pick up the dry stick near his feet. He would use it to stir the barbecue. as he leaned, he felt a tightness across the muscles in his lower back that had been used hard all afternoon to shift rocks in the river bed, to move the course of the river flow, to create a still backwater where trout would gather and present themselves more easily to be caught. With his right hand he clasped the stick, enjoying its hard roughness against the calluses of his palm. their texture was similar: coarse tree-skin against coarse man-skin. art was happiest, always, when he felt close to nature. the feel of the stick and the glow of the fire and the light from the swollen moon far, far above gave him a sense of being, of belonging, of existing as part of a greater, organic whole, rather than simply as a man in the late hours of one allotted day. art looked at the barbecue. the embers glowed red now. a deep, insistent, white-crusted red, and he sucked up the warmth against the clear-sky chill that washed his face. a breeze was coming up through the valley, tickling leaves and needles on the forest trees. it had done this forever, he thought. it would continue to do so forever. it channelled across the stones 96

that marked the bed of the summer-dry river, picking up moisture and cooling a degree as it flowed over the mountain waters, hurrying their way south-west. By the time the breeze reached art, it had passed through his vegetable garden, lacing around the bean-stalks and vines, picking up their scent, holding it, carrying it, bringing stories of where it had been. it was with him now, cool and full of scents and places: pine, salt, garlic, grass, mountains, water, sea, lakes. it spoke to him like a valley spirit, comforting as it cooled, permanent in its very transience. art felt cocooned by the draught, as if it had arrived for him and him only, for this very moment. Which, in a way, it had. Without him there to appreciate it, who could know of its presence? Who would be able to tell children, grandchildren, wife, lover, of the precious evening moment when a man could find himself at peace with the world, thanks to a simple caress of wind? the gusts blew into the barbecue. the charcoal brightened in an instant, responding to this touch of nature. “God’s dimmer switch,” art mumbled to nobody. a plane passed way overhead, rumbling a jet-stream farewell. nothing else disturbed his happy solitude. there was a fish on the griddle. He had caught it earlier. it had been a fat,

wily trout, strong enough to swim easily against the flow of the river. But art had caught it. Caught it and killed it – smack! – fast and hard against a rock; taken his opinel knife and gutted it, cleaned it in the clear, solid waters of the salat. and soon he would eat it. But not yet. the food he had earned must not be rushed. He had learned through years of working the French soil to respect the abundance of what it could provide. How, through his attention and care, through years of watching and listening, he had come to understand the seasons for planting and harvesting; how to rotate his land; the poacher’s trick of tickling a trout into a trance, reaching for it, feeling its firm body unable to offer any resistance; then taking it from the water, knowing it would be the freshest fish he could ever taste. He thought again, with satisfaction, of his afternoon in the riverbed. the skin of his back and of his neck were hot still, from hours unprotected against the sun. He had spent the time hunched over the water, lost in a mechanistic trance, as he re-arranged water against rock, stone against riverbed, to create calm areas where he knew weary trout would gather to rest. some people said ‘tickling’ was illegal. But who would catch him here? art looked again at his hands. His fingertips were raw and cut from the

illustration: james taylor

Two brothers, two very different lives. But maybe closer than they think…

More Body & Mind hours of digging at rock bases, loosening the shingle that had held them firm against the river flow. it was as if he’d had to sacrifice flesh to gain flesh: that the salat would not give up its most coveted prize without demanding something in return. art had been happy to make that bargain, as he had been all his life. He was a bright man. academically gifted. He had been tempted by a career in law until a teenage epiphany that turned him from a life spent enforcing man-made rules, towards one dedicated, instead, to the pursuit of more eternal themes; of trying to understand his place in the matrix; accepting that he was part of something far greater than he might ever comprehend, then spending his years embracing that fact and wondering at it, instead of blitzing, blind, through a processed life. a spit-hiss-crack from the barbecue drew art’s attention once more to the smoke-roasting fish in front of him. it was almost ready. He lowered his right hand to the lavender bush alongside him; grabbed a handful of purple heads; tossed them into the flames. With a rush, their oils scented the air, filling his head with a giddying essence as he drew his breath in, hard, to capture this moment. eyes closed, he could taste their colour, flooding his tongue, drenching his sinuses. enough. He reached for the foil around his trout, picked it from the flames, placed it on the wooden board that he ate from every night. He was ready. He would eat.


ean. mean, cheap and small. mean, cheap, small and uncomfortable. mean, cheap, small, uncomfortable, plasticky and nasty. David was only 78 minutes into his flight from liverpool john lennon airport to Palma mallorca (he was timing its duration in the forlorn hope it might pass quicker) and already he had long since run out of damning adjectives to apply to his discomfort. He hated flying with budget airlines. this, surely, was satan’s last laugh. He could see lucifer cackling: “yes, you can fly to the Costas for a fiver. But look at the company you have to endure!” Dante had nothing on this, the 10th circle of Hell. David, well-to-do, middle-class, privately educated, tunbridge Wellsdwelling David, was surrounded by lowlife scum. they were shaven-headed, tattooed, loud, uncouth, swearing, drunken commoners of the type who, as far as he was concerned, had barely

any right to life, let alone to be sharing the same conditioned air as him. David was in a state of high anxiety. He was trapped in a window seat and to his left, a drunk scouser (why did every cliché have to be proven so often true, he wondered) had slumped onto his shoulder, unable to support his own weight, held in place only by the straining lap belt. the drunk stank and was drooling. an orange crust was developing at the furthest corners his mouth. so deep was this foul man’s stupor, he was far from being able to comprehend his state of near collapse, and the frankly unacceptable intrusion into David’s personal space. then, suddenly, jolted by mild turbulence, the drunk awoke, looked around pie-eyed to assess his whereabouts, registered David, focused momentarily, uttered a slurred, accented “sorry, mate”, then fell headlong once again into stupefaction. “oh God,” David moaned. “oh God.” He had no idea what to do with himself. there was no in-flight entertainment; his iPhone had gone flat, having run out of juice on a desperate extended call back to the office to check the details of the criminal case on which he was working; his john Grisham novel was in his bag, in the overhead locker, impossible for him to reach on account of the inebriated torso by now laying across his lap; and he had finished the only bits of the FT he wanted to read. “oh God,” he moaned. “sweet jesus.” a rubbery, burning smell reached his nostrils. across the aisle, a chubby lass who appeared to be wearing nothing more than lycra hotpants, white high heels and a boob tube, had ordered a ham and cheese panini from the catering trolley. it had arrived, nuclear hot from the microwave somewhere at the plane’s arse and now she was eating it, smearing hot fat and ketchup around her greedy mouth, wantonly adding to the rolls of lard that encompassed her belly, hips and thighs. thighs that seemed to melt, sweatily, into the vinyl seat beneath her plainly ample buttocks. For a man who had never much enjoyed the company of his fellow man, this was unremitting torture. at school David had been a loner. He and his brother, both always among the brightest in their school years, had been each other’s company and strength throughout boyhood and long into their teens. they had both decided on careers in law and David, as the eldest, had headed off to Durham university. art, he was sure, would follow, until Fate,

in the form of a raven-haired marseilles beauty, played one of her little tricks, luring his younger brother to France, with the promise of sex, knowledge and a more exotic life. the siblings hadn’t seen each other since David had headed north from the family home one september, to begin his final university year. occasional letters had assured the family that art was well, safe and happy, but he had never revealed his whereabouts, nor invited return correspondence. their parents were infirm now, and had suffered for decades at the loss, not-loss of a son. the reverie had taken David away for a moment from his surroundings. the weight of the drunkard had left him; he had forgotten the pitiless discomfort of his cheap seat and the smell of the rancid sandwich being eaten mere inches away. all his being, instead, was consumed by a longing to see his brother, and by the most profound sadness born of the knowledge that they would likely never see each other again. He allowed his tight-bundled thoughts to unravel and realised that for perhaps the first time in his adult life, he was questioning what he was doing. Why was he putting himself through this torment? What social conditioning insisted that he remained in a loveless career, bound by peer pressure and the residual family obligations felt by any eldest son? What career diktat had driven him onto this godforsaken plane, heading to southern spain, for a meeting with the Guardia Civil, to try to help some ex-pat lowlife escape months in a cell, when most likely it was what the scumbag deserved? all these thoughts sprinted through David’s unhappy mind, chasing each other like dogs after their tails, until one, finally, fixed itself clear and hard: he would find art. no matter how long it took, or how much it cost, he would trace the brother he had once loved so much.


hirty-five thousand feet below, art took his first mouthful of succulent, smoked trout. Who knows why, at that very moment, he chose to look up at the plane passing overhead, hinting through an echo of a roar, at a life he had left behind.

About the author

Peter Smith-Davies is a Renaissance man, having been born in Florence. Anxious to escape his roots and deviate from the beaten track, he now lives in Surrey. 97


hat is it about the Olympic Games that brings out the megalomaniac in politicians? Why are dictators always so attracted by kitsch? These are related questions as asteroid Calamity-2012 speeds towards London. Expected date of impact: July 27. Avoid the area. Adolf Hitler was attracted – at exactly what level we cannot now be certain – to athletes. strange that while the party he founded routinely imprisoned and sterilised homosexuals, the Führer had a volubly enthusiastic interest in the study and display of toned, ripped male bodies. It was Hitler who chose the classical statue of Myron’s Discobolus (The Discus Thrower) to open Leni riefenstahl’s film of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. This ripplingly muscled male nude was the prototype for the Nazis’ ‘New Man’ – all strength through joy and schlock Aryan dignity. Adi wrote the specification and passed it on to his creative hot shop, the Hitler Youth: “slender and supple, swift as a greyhound, tough as leather and hard as Krupp steel”. Know what I’m saying, Adolf? At first, Hitler did not like the idea of the Olympics, since the athletic meritocracy of competition might – unfortunately, in his view – allow the Africans and Jews to demonstrate their superiority over fat pink boys from Kaiserslautern, full of insolence and flatulence from beer and sausages. But soon he was persuaded by the propaganda advantages of a successful Games. sure, Hitler went ape when someone showed him Modernist proposals for the Olympic buildings, since Modernism he equated with Jews and Bolsheviks. But the smooth Albert speer, his number two and himself an architect, averted a crisis by replacing all the flat glass in the Modernist designs with more “appropriate” Germanic stone. And so Hitler began to get enthused and not just by young men in thongs. Yes, the 1940 Olympics would be allowed to go ahead in Tokyo, but thereafter the Games

Mind’s Eye

Game for a Laugh Stephen Bayley awards no medals to our design efforts for the Olympics would in perpetuity be in Nuremberg. He increased the budget of Berlin ’36 from 1.5m Marks to 28m and thereafter did not blink at further insane over-runs. Which brings us to London E15, time present. In terms of architecture and design, the London Olympics is already somewhere between a crisis and a catastrophe. The managing director of Mercedes-Benz told me that in Germany it would be illegal to organise such an event without firmer guarantees regarding access and infrastructure. Dramatic architecture by, for example, Zaha Hadid, has been brutally ‘valueengineered’ (translation: cost-cut by witless philistines) and yet still threatens to bust budgets. Insultingly, we are told that certain buildings will be ‘iconic’ and become a ‘legacy’. These words are signals-passed-atdanger to the astute. As Proust knew, ‘wise reflections from the past help us safeguard the future’. Well, my wise reflection is this: you cannot declare something to be iconic. Only history

can decide. Equally, you cannot create a legacy: the public will decide what they treasure as an inheritance. This is not to say that an event of Olympic scale cannot be a positive stimulus to the host city or nation. In 1964, the Tokyo Olympics launched Japan as a modern nation (their 1940 slot was cancelled by other pressing events). Kenzo Tange’s brilliant architecture changed perceptions of what a stadium could be. In Munich 1972, graphic designer Otl Aicher created a signage system of pictograms which remain a world-standard. Barcelona 1992 rebranded Catalonia. so far in London, optimism is not winning the struggle with realism. The 2012 Olympics logo is an incoherent and amateurish mess with none of the clarity and wit possessed by great graphics. This is in a city that says it is the creative capital of the world. A good logo should work in all sizes and all media. This does not work in any. How dismaying to have to spell L-o-n-d-o-n over the splodge. This is a pitiable failure in communications. Would you want it on a T-shirt? Exactly. Then there is Anish Kapoor’s landmark structure, an open-work metal tower, preserved in high esteem forever… because it was never built. Kapoor specialises in gigantic one-liners that impress only because of their size and that someone could be arsed to build them. This too is very big, but that is its only positive. Kapoor’s tower is quite the opposite of conceptual art in that there is no concept at all. Nor elegance, delight or surprise. Because computers allow you to construct doodles, this does not mean that you should let them. There’s not a lot of art or intelligence in London’s Olympic effort. But, then, this was an Olympic Games considered not as sport, but as politics. Stephen Bayley is a former director of the Design Museum in London and an award-winning writer

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The nexT issue of The Red BulleTin is ouT on June 1 & June 6, 2010


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