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beyond the ordinary
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FUNNY GUY O n s e t w i t h S e t h Rog e n
Rocket Men B u i l d yo u r ow n s p a c e s h i p
SURF OR DIE Surviving giant waves
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RACERs R a c h e l a n d G e e A t h e r t o n o n h o w t o b e a t y o u r p e r s o n a l b e s t
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THE WORLD OF RED BULL
riders of the storms
The big-wave surfers risking their lives to find and conquer the largest waves in the world
The Red Bulletin celebrates the best in sport, adventure, music and culture, but what is the link between a kid with a computer making amazing beats, a climber finding a route up an unconquered rock face and a team of engineers making a race vehicle for a worldclass driver? They all want to succeed, and to do that, they look at ways to reach the next level: higher, faster, better, more innovative. This month, we’ve got the Athertons chasing the extra one per cent on their mountain bikes – and they show how you can do it, too. Then we have the surfers riding the world’s biggest waves. Plus, Marc Marquez, the MotoGP world champ who practises in a vineyard (nb: he’s 21). All this, and more: we hope you enjoy the issue. 06
“Motocross teaches you to be creative. You have to improvise”
Marc Marquez, page 58
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at a glance Bullevard 10 look and listen This month’s edition of The Red Bulletin starts on the right note with a 14-page musical interlude
Features 26 To the next level
Gee and Rachel Atherton on how they – and you – can bike harder
Mattias Fredriksson (cover), Andrew Chisholm, JIM KRANTZ, lukas maeder, thomas pedersen, Manchul Kim, christoph meissner
The world MotoGP champion takes The Red Bulletin for a spin around his private practice track
36 Big-wave riders
The daredevil surfers taking on the world’s highest waves
48 Pro video gamers
Could you play all day and night for a living? These guys do
54 Drum major
Meet the Picasso of percussion
58 Inside track
World champ at 20: is Marc Marquez rewriting the rules of MotoGP?
72 The odd couple
row like a pro
World-class oarsmen Mario Gyr and Simon Schürch outline a winning formula by revealing their training secrets
Seth Rogen and Zac Efron fight for the right to party in their new film
Two Danes are working on their own private space programme, but can their rockets really go into orbit?
74 Ready for lift-off
‘Houston, we have a hammer’: the two men building their own spaceship
48 game boys
The Korean teen pros spending their days and nights playing video games in pursuit of lucrative cash prizes the red bulletin
54 the beat master
He plays concerts almost five hours long: Martin Grubinger is the greatest drummer in the world
84 85 86 88 89 90 92 93 94 96 98
travel Truck racing in Colorado training Get fit like a rower get the gear Two-wheeled tech party The best club in Sweden My city What a DJ loves in Bern enter now Wings For Life World Run music Foster The People’s top tunes new games Wolfenstein roars back buyer’s guide Smartphone add-ons save the Date Unmissable events magic moment Out-skating gravity
Contributors who’s on board this issue
The Red Bulletin Gulf Edition, 2308-5851
The Red Bulletin is published by Red Bull Media House GmbH General Manager Wolfgang Winter Publisher Franz Renkin Editors-in-Chief Alexander Macheck, Robert Sperl Editor Paul Wilson Creative Director Erik Turek Art Directors Kasimir Reimann, Miles English Photo Director Fritz Schuster Production Editor Marion Wildmann Managing Editor Daniel Kudernatsch Chief Sub-Editor Nancy James
jim Krantz Shooting the 21-year-old MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez, was a labour of love for the award-winning photographer, as he is a passionate motorcyclist. From the beginning of the shoot, at the Spanish vineyard where Marquez has a practice track, the chemistry between the two was evident. By the end of the day, each man would say of the other: “This guy is crazy.” Krantz was so inspired that he went online and booked superbike lessons back home in the US. His Marquez portfolio begins on page 58.
In order to capture still images of the incredible high-speed drummer Martin Grubinger (40 beats per second is his record), Austrian lensman Meissner prepared a set of drumsticks embedded with LEDs. “We only had 10 minutes,” says Meissner. “Luckily Grubinger is a pro. He played until both the sticks broke, but I had all the pictures I needed.” See page 54.
Deputy Chief Sub-Editor Joe Curran Assistant Editors Ulrich Corazza, Werner Jessner, Ruth Morgan, Florian Obkircher, Arek Pia˛tek, Andreas Rottenschlager Contributing Editor Stefan Wagner Bullevard Georg Eckelsberger, Raffael Fritz, Sophie Haslinger, Marianne Minar, Boro Petric, Holger Potye, Martina Powell, Mara Simperler, Clemens Stachel, Manon Steiner, Lukas Wagner Design Martina de Carvalho-Hutter, Silvia Druml, Kevin Goll, Carita Najewitz, Esther Straganz Photo Editors Susie Forman (Creative Photo Director), Rudi Übelhör (Deputy Photo Director), Marion Batty, Eva Kerschbaum Repro Managers Clemens Ragotzky (manager), Karsten Lehmann, Josef Mühlbacher Head of Production Michael Bergmeister Production Wolfgang Stecher (manager), Walter O Sádaba, Matthias Zimmermann (app) Printed by British Industries, Kuwait; www.britishindustries.net Finance Siegmar Hofstetter, Simone Mihalits Marketing & Country Management Stefan Ebner (manager), Elisabeth Salcher, Lukas Scharmbacher, Sara Varming Distribution Klaus Pleninger, Peter Schiffer Marketing Design Julia Schweikhardt, Peter Knethl
bernd Hauser The 42-year-old Dane has won journalism prizes for his reporting from Africa. But on assignment for The Red Bulletin, he didn’t need to fly to the story: he cycled there instead. The HQ of amateur astronauts Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen of Copenhagen Suborbitals is five minutes’ pedal from his flat. “What impresses me most about them is their resilience,” says Hauser. “They’ve been working on this for years and yet in spite of the setbacks, they’re still back in the workshop every day.” Hauser’s tale takes off – sorry – on page 74.
Mattias Fredriksson Living near the mountains in Sweden, it’s no wonder Fredriksson is noted for his mountain bike and ski photos. A senior staffer at Powder and Bike magazines, he keeps himself almost as fit as the athletes he shoots. “I ski more than 100 days a year and the same riding my bikes,” he says, “or else I would never be able to keep up. In Fuerteventura, I was constantly running around the hills to shoot Gee and Rachel Atherton. It was a lot of fun.” It begins on page 26.
“The guy is a pro. He played the drums until both sticks broke” Christoph meissner
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Let’s Twist and shout
K a n y e, ! go h o m e c h a n c e t h e r a p p e r
The new rhyme minister
Acid Rap, released last year, showed Chance The Rapper to be full of soul. He raps about missing his mom’s comfort food and high-school kids getting shot with equal zeal. He has brains, a great vocal range and a subtle sense of humour. His first mixtape was called 10 Day, after the length of his suspension from school: don’t be surprised if he eventually releases My Month Off After Headlining Coachella. He turns 21 on April 16.
A mixtape turned Chicago’s Chancelor Bennett from promising young performer into new hip-hop hope
The Kosovan-born Londoner is involved with what the press loves to call a ‘feud’ with Rihanna. Ri snubbed Rita at Grammy afterparties earlier this year. We would be delighted to broker peace
p o p q u i z
Who said that? These words will go down in history, but which musical megastars spoke them?
e Rit a , y to lov It ’s e a s a fan yon e is r e v e t but no
Music’s Secrets Out Ondrea Barbe/Corbis Outline
Big names answer the music business’s big questions in a new behind-the-scenes film What motivates sound visionary Brian Eno? How does James Murphy, ex of LCD Soundsystem, run his record label? Why does disco legend Giorgio Moroder suffer from stage fright? These questions and more are answered in full and from the horses’ mouths in a new feature-length documentary, What Difference Does It Make?
Filmmaker Ralf Schmerberg lurked with camera when the Red Bull Music Academy pitched up in New York last year, bringing together young musicians and huge names from the industry. His film is a study in talent, a reveal of musical secrets and, above all, a passion project. Watch the film in full at rbma15.com
“I’ve always been famous, it’s just no one knew it.”
2 “I am a god. Now what?”
3 “I believe in free love and that’s just how I feel.”
LANA Del REY
ANSWERS: 1. Lady Gaga 2. Kanye West, 3. Lana del Rey
ER ’ RE O : AD
corbisgetty images(2), Universal Music, StevenTaylor, Alix Malek, Nicole_Nodland, sony music, Chad Wadsworth/Red Bull Content Pool(2)
Celebrating 15 years of Red Bull Music Academy, the film had a sametime, differentplace premiere in more than 60 cinemas globally
GUANTANAMO | + | METALLICA The US’s ‘torture playlist’ at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp included Enter Sandman by Metallica and American Pie by Don McLean.
Supermarket | + | 50 cent Music encourages purchases, but retailers advise against playing hip-hop because the gangster image rubs off on consumers and shoplifting increases.
as been m u sic h , r e fo r b m cha hoped to r t u re e r h ave v e e h t n o t ld ou flo or a ke r s w e dance ys it s m a w From th in abused sed and
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Illustratorgetty images(4), picturedesk.com(2), shutterstock(2), Corbis(2) flickr.com
s! r a e y m rs! my ea
n w o d Photographer
Burgers | + | Pavarotti An Australian burger joint banishes lurking teens by playing opera and classical music. The strategy works, but the neighbours arenâ€™t too happy about it.
Kim Jong-Un | + | Modern Talking North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is said to have loved German synth-pop duo Modern Talking when he was a boy. His favourite song was Brother Louie.
young jong song
4 /4 T I M E T R AV E L
Partying like it’s 1989, cringing at 1999 and not quite believing the music of 2009 is already half a decade old
Depeche Mode, Personal Jesus You aren’t doing much wrong if you get covered by Johnny Cash. Nirvana, Bleach The Seattle grungesters’ album was a critical hit, but it didn’t achieve chart success until after their follow-up, Nevermind, was released. Miles Davis, Aura A concept album from music’s Mr Cool. The title track only uses 10 notes. Music for your mind, not your body.
YEARS Eiffel 65, blue At least the band happily admits that the colour was chosen just as randomly as the rest of the lyrics. Da ba dee. Lou bega, mambo no 5 How did he manage to talk Monica, Erica, Rita, Tina, Sandra, Mary and Jessica into anything with this trashy tune? Christina aguilera, genie in a bottle Another Britney wannabe with a decent tune. She’ll fade away like the rest of them. Hindsight, eh?
lady gaga, bad romance Oh oh oh oh ohhh oh oh-oh ohhh oh-oh it’s apparently your best, but we prefer Poker Face – and the meat dress. Susan boyle, i dreamed a dream Shy spinster + talent show + YouTube = rare recipe for success. Kraftwerk, the catalogue Deluxe box set rerelease of eight seminal electronica albums. It’s the music of the past, but it still sounds like the future.
KO M A*
Our resident artist, Kainrath, pays honour to Daft Punk and Avicii
*KOMA: KAINRATH’S OEUVRES OF MODERN ART
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Y THAT PHOTOGRAPH REATHLESS LEAVES YOU B
HO ARE THE PEOPLE W E WORLD CHANGING TH
© Paulo Calisto
HAT ADVENTURE T DARIES N U BREAKS BO
YOUR MOMENT. BEYOND THE ORDINARY
B U L L E V AR D
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getty images, picturedesk.com
What of Bey’s little sister, Solange? Her last record was the 2012 EP True. Since then, her sense of style has eclipsed her music (two appearances in Vogue’s Best Dressed list) and this year the 27-year-old became Art Director and Creative Consultant for Puma
B U L L E V AR D
W h a t L y r i c s R e a ll y M e a n
getty images(2), Corbis, klar archiv
What musicians say and what we hear them say aren’t always one and the same thing
Born in the Usa
Fight for your right
bruce springsteen The unofficial American national anthem. But have you actually listened to the lyrics other than the chorus? The song tells the story of a Vietnam War veteran who can’t find a job. Doesn’t sound quite so patriotic now, does it?
beastie boys The Beastie Boys intended that their song (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party) would poke fun at party anthems like I Wanna Rock by Twisted Sister… but they accidentally wrote the mother of all party songs instead. What a drag.
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Big In Japan
Alphaville Not an anthem to the overseas success of the German synthpop band, but the tale of lovers in despair. The worst of the pair’s problems arises when one suggests getting the money for drugs by entering the oldest profession in the world.
elton john If this song makes you think of a deadly but gorgeous female assassin on TV or in two films (French and remake), you should know that despite Elton John wooing a female Russian soldier in the track’s video, Nikita is a male Russian name.
it whatmeans now?
P o l i t p o p
What do world leaders listen to before they send armies into battle? Or when they’re pretending to listen to a translated speech through headphones? Work it harder, make it better. Do it faster, makes us stronger. Yes, you can.
She’s standing right in front of me. Speaking words of wisdom. Let it be me! Oh Nikita Khrushchev I don’t love you so!
Angela Merkel HAS A LOT OF TIME FOR The Beatles
Vladimir Putin LOVES Elton John
Barack Obama LISTENS TO Kanye West
The Chancellor of Germany listens to classical music when she’s cooking. But Merkel was a Beatles fan back in her wild days. She bought her first Fab Four record in Moscow. The only thing she still has in common with the band now is her haircut.
The Russian president wanted to make it clear just how open-minded he was when it came to music before the Olympics. “Elton John is a wonderful musician. Millions of us love him, regardless of his, um, sexual orientation.” Just to be clear, Putin did not say this.
In 2009, the US president called the rapper an idiot because he interrupted the MTV VMAs as Taylor Swift was accepting a prize. But they’re back on good terms now. “Kanye West’s music is outstanding,” Obama gushed last year. “I’ve got a lot of his stuff on my iPad.”
15M SECONDS OF FAME 1. Five Canadians and one guitar for a cover of Somebody That I Used to Know, by Gotye. (156 million views) 2. Look up ‘cute’ in the dictionary and you see this: a five-year-old Japanese boy playing I’m Yours by Jason Mraz on the ukulele. (63 million) 3. You can hit big even if you don’t sing. A frustrated video editor in Taiwan resigns by dancing one night in the office to Kanye West’s I’m Gone. (17 million)
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In YouTube’s global talent contest some amateur musical uploaders are more successful than others
BIG IS BEAUTIFUL
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E u r o v i s i o n s o n g c o n t e s t
Continental divide Splitting 740 million people into lovers and haters, this year it’s in Copenhagen on May 10. Below: a roster of ‘legends’
super apps From marvellous melodic games to DJ decks for your mobile: five music apps to download right now
12 F IN L A
Scratch on your touchscreen: DJAY 2 will make a real DJ out of you instead of you just putting on your old playlists.
With 100,000 radio stations and two million podcasts, TUNEIN makes sure you’ve always got new stuff to listen to.
Half game, half synth creates splendid electronica to soundtrack a sci-fi movie: this is MUSYC.
Hard rock Hallelujah
Lordi (Athens, 2006) They rocked to first place like Tolkien’s orcs in platforms. In March, they released a seventh album, To Beast Or Not To Beast. That is the question.
Ne partez pas sans moi (Dublin, 1988) She made quite the impact winning 28 years ago: as much for the size of her hair as the power of her voice. sweden, 10pts
Waterloo (Brighton, 1974) Napoleon did surrender, as did the rest of Europe then the whole world to the best-selling pure pop band of all-time.
Dancing Lasha Tumbai (Helsinki, 2007) Very possibly a work of avant-garde art: Andriy Danylko performing as Verka Serduchka, a lady of a certain age in a futuristic astronaut outfit, who immediately earwormed her way into European hearts. Sieben, sieben, ein, zwei, tanzen!” How did it only come second?
FIGURE is an easy-to-use music-maker thick with bass, synth and drums. In five minutes, you can be the new Calvin Harris.
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Get SONGKICK and never miss out on concert tickets again. It tells you about your favourite bands’ tour plans.
B U L L E V ARD
Make music, not war Pedro Reyes takes guns decommissioned by the Mexican army and transforms them into musical installations with an anti-violence message. For that, he deserves a 21-gun salute, or a symphony, as he would call it.
y z a r c s d n u o s
pedro reyes, Courtesy Lisson Gallery, London(4), Alexander Koller, Anna Stoecher(2)
t â€™s p lay orin g: le b e r a no e r at tle an d p ia o u r get t c e h Drums t d it ar s an gun-gu
playing the tuber The Vegetable Orchestra of Vienna makes instruments out of vegetables. The downside is that their creations rot and new ones have to be made fresh for each performance, but at least thereâ€™s always soup after a concert.
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B U LLE V AR D
P e r s o n a l i t y t e s t
Which star are you?
Behind the music is a star with the same kind of likes and dislikes as the rest of us. Find out who you really are
Give peace a chance?
D o y o u l i ke
Friend of Jesus? N
Drugs: just say yes?
L i ke k Kid Roc
Fa c e b o o k ?
Hate your veggies?
est Kanye W
hicks Dixie C
ga Lady Ga
No the red bulletin
Universal Music(3), warner music, corbis, getty images(2), Tom Munro, A-way
FROM THE MAN WHO BROUGHT YOU SUCH SONGS AS
“WHO” — “WHAT” — “WHEN” — “WHERE”
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be like beck Beck’s Morning Phase, was kind of not his 12th album. After his 11th, 2008’s Modern Guilt, came Song Reader, 20 songs only available as downloadable sheet music. songreader.net the red bulletin
B U L L E V AR D
t h e n e x t s u p e r s ta r s
A combination of the oboe and a hologram, the holophonor will sadly only be available in the 31st century. At least if we’re to believe the makers of Futurama, that is.
Almost famous We’ll be hearing more from these up-and-comers in 2014, as they fight to enter the pop circus’s big top
Mø What do you get if you cross electro, indie pop, soul and street vibes? The answer is summed up in two letters: MØ. The Dane’s trademark is a braided plait, which she swings like a propeller. In our view, she’s about to take off.
Royal Blood So rock music’s over, is it? You won’t say that when you listen to Brits Benji Talent and Mike Kerr. Vocals, bass and drums: simple, but effective. The Arctic Monkeys agree and promptly snapped up the duo as a support act.
h i g h -t e c h s o u n d
Future music now
BOOM - BOOM - BOOM - BOOM - BOOM BOOM - BOOM - BOOM - BOOM - BOOM BOOM - BOOM - BOOM - BOOM - BOOM BOOM - BOOM - BOOM - BOOM - BOOM BOOM - BOOM - BOOM - THWACK
rubber soul You bend and distort sounds on the Seaboard’s sensitive keyboard as it if were half-guitar, halfpiano, surfing through the octaves by swiping your fingers. The harder you press the rubber keys, the more intense the sound. roli.com
Light music A hand-held synthesizer that produces notes and melodies after you draw patterns on its grid of LEDs. Japanese artist Toshio Iwai, a video games developer, debuted the device in 2007; it’s now made by Yamaha. global.yamaha.com
electro blow Both a musical instrument and software controller, played somewhat bassoonlike via 18 keys and mouthpiece. It lives at the intersection of electronic music and jazz, and is so much better than that description. eigenlabs.com
dietmar kainrath, sascha bierl
What will the music of tomorrow sound like? That will depend what it’s being played on. We take a look into the instrument-making laboratory
James Marcus Haney
FKA Twigs She went up to London aged 17 to be a dancer. Instead, she took steps as a singer, winning people over with her gentle voice, trip-hop beats and surreal videos. Now dancing has been set aside; we’re all the better for it.
From Metal Cats by Alexandra Crockett, published by powerHouse Books
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Course work The Athertons are pushing boundaries in training in their quest for the perfect downhill mountain bike run
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f a m i ly t i e s “My brothers started riding and I didn’t want to be left at home alone,” says Rachel (right, with brother Gee). “They still help me today, I wouldn’t be in this position without them”
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A Keeping it fresh
My routine has changed a lot over the years,” says Gee Atherton. “Every year is an improvement. I like to try new things and not get into a rut”
Thursday morning in January, and Rachel Atherton is inside a lab at the University of Birmingham, a small room lit by fluorescent strip lights and complete with a model skeleton and a whiteboard covered in half-erased equations. It’s an incongruous setting for one of the best downhill mountain bike riders in the world, yet she’s here, legs pumping hard on the pedals of a static bike, breaths coming in loud, rhythmic bursts. Her blonde hair is tied back, her cheeks are flushed, the long-sleeved top she arrived in now removed despite the cold. Rachel’s fitness trainer and two physiologists are quietly observing as the 26-year-old’s efforts are translated into dramatic scribbles on a monitor to her left, a red line showing her increasing heart rate, a blue line her cadence and a green line the power she’s generating. Every three minutes, the resistance increases, shown on the monitor as another step up on a graphic staircase. One of the physiologists leans in at regular intervals to take a blood sample from Rachel’s right index finger, from which the amount of lactic acid she’s producing is measured, and notes down the reading on a chart. This is what mountain bike training looks like in 2014. Rachel and her downhill mountain biking brother Gee are at the forefront of their sport, and are pushing the boundaries of training in search of the perfect run. They’re breaking down every
aspect of their physical ability on a bike into graphs, charts and stats with constant testing, using power meters and heart monitors both on their bikes and in the lab. They, along with their enduroriding eldest brother Dan, (he is 33; Gee, the 2010 downhill champion, is 29) have travelled here from their home in North Wales several times in the last 18 months, since they started working with a new fitness coach. Alan Milway is a 33-year-old sports scientist, former British motocross team coach and exdownhill rider, and a firm believer in figures over feelings. Like some Midlands version of Mouse from The Matrix, he’s able to look at a sheet of numbers and see an athlete: where they’re strong, where they’re lacking. “I probably look at an athlete in a different way to most people,” he says. “But for me, numbers are the starting point. A lot of the coaches I see don’t do evidence-based stuff. A lot of them believe if you thrash an athlete so hard they crawl out of the gym then you’re doing a good job. But I take a more academic approach.” Milway is one of the first trainers to devise an evidence-based, bespoke training programme for professional riders in enduro, mountain biking’s longdistance event on trails with climbs and drops, which can last several hours, and downhill, an extreme discipline in which riders tackle steep courses littered with obstacles ranging from tree roots to rocks at speeds of up to 80kph. “Downhill is rider-led,” Milway says, “they go on the
feeling of it, but often what they feel isn’t completely right. The power data we record at races means I know how long Gee or Rach is pedalling for in one go, how hard they’re pedalling, what their leg speed is, and if you’re going downhill, there is an optimum leg speed, you can plot it on a graph. Once you know what they’re doing on the bike, you can adjust the gears based on the evidence. Not a lot of people have looked at that.” Having read about Milway’s successes with, among others, former world downhill champion Danny Hart, Gee approached him about working with the team at the end of 2012. Milway was quick to accept. “When I first saw the Athertons’ testing notes I said to their manager, ‘Just give me a winter!’” he says. “I was so excited as, even though their results were good, they weren’t anywhere near their peak, so I knew we could really go places.” It seems he was right. Last year, despite carrying minor injuries, Gee led the World Cup series right up until the last event, when he was beaten into second place, and Rachel had her bestever season, winning the national championship, the World Championship and the World Cup series. She won the first race of the latter by 10 seconds, a huge margin in a sport that can come down to 10ths of seconds. Today, in the lab, is a chance to see how Rachel is performing ahead of the start of the 2014 World Cup in April, using test data recorded three weeks after she won the world championship in 2013 as a sort of gold standard against which to measure. She’s just completed her third and last test of the day, 10 brutal, maximum-power sprints. She leans over on the bike, exhausted, but the news is good. She has averaged the equivalent of 218 revolutions per minute, only two off her post-world-champs level of 220. “Oh, lovely,” says Milway. Three days later, Milway, the three Atherton siblings and Atherton Racing teammates Marc Beaumont, a DH and enduro racer, and 16-year-old enduro wunderkind Martin Maes, arrive at the Canary Island of Fuerteventura. Despite the winter sunshine, this is no holiday. The Playitas resort is akin to a sports reformatory. Almost every resident is a professional athlete, here for punishing runs in the black volcanic hills, and sessions in the Olympic-sized pool and the huge gym complex. Rather than arguments about towels on sun loungers, today there’s a situation brewing over the Swedish Olympic judo team having commandeered all the free weights. 32
he Athertons are here for two-weeks of pre-season strength and endurance work, their first training camp of 2014. When they were starting out, these sorts of intense training camps were unheard of. Just 15 years ago the Jack Daniels-drinking, punk rock-singing US downhill mountain biker Shaun Palmer stood on a UCI World Cup podium wearing a gold sequined suit and crown, before heading to his tour bus to celebrate with a bottle or two of Crown Royal whisky. Training was a dirty word. “Back then it wasn’t enough to be someone who raced downhill,” says Gee. “Everyone was trying to be a rock star, not training, partying the night before the race. The training side of it was relatively unknown. If people were training it was super-basic, and they were keeping it very quiet because it wasn’t cool. Of course it wasn’t cheating, but it was looked at in that way.” But, even as Palmer won athlete of the year awards and graced the front covers
of magazines in the 2000s, a new cleanliving generation that included the Athertons was coming to dethrone him. Gee and Dan’s initial attempts at training weren’t up to much. “As juniors, training meant watching Rocky movies to get fired up, then painting motivational words on the garage walls,” laughs Dan. But their senior careers have revolved around gym work, road bike rides, and rehab sessions with specialists, as over the last decade the entire professional downhill community embraced the training revolution. “Me and my brothers have used a professional trainer since I was 16,” says Rachel. “It’s become more and more about the training, rather than being gnarly and shredding. Tenths of seconds can separate first and third place, so you’re always looking for new ways to make those gains.” Ironically, the Athertons’ new scientific approach has taken training off the list of conversational topics, but for the opposite reason of being uncool: now it’s too valuable to discuss. “There is secrecy involved,” says Gee. “There are elements the red bulletin
No beach h o l i d ay The Playitas resort in Fuerteventura is home from home for athletes looking to improve their performance; the Athertons are regulars
come e b s â€™ t â€œI ore m d n a more the about g n traini than r at h e r a r ly n being g eddingâ€? r and sh
we won’t talk about: it’s a competition at the end of the day. As soon as one person sees something, it’s out there. At the World Champs, the French team are known for it – they’re there in the starting hut studying what’s on your bike, what you’re wearing. But then everyone knows we’re using the SRM power cranks [the static bike used in the lab] and that’s fine. Unless you have someone like Alan who gets that data and knows what to do with it, then it’s not going to work for you.” Like any coach, Milway is acutely aware that his value lies in being able to keep his athletes ahead of the pack. “I’m constantly assessing what we’re happy to talk about and what we’re not,” he says. “Some of the things we’re doing, no one else has even considered, much of what we consider normal, other athletes won’t even be thinking about. And we’re quite happy to keep it that way. I want to make myself as valuable to my athletes as possible, and the only way I’m going to do that is by doing things other people aren’t.” The first afternoon sessions in Fuerteventura will be biking, but this morning, it’s a gym session for the whole team. The gym has become a second home to the Athertons after Milway put them on a strength-gain programme. “I knew that’s where they’d see the results,” he says. “I’ve had them doing heavy lifting. Their gains went right up on the graphs after just a few months.” Rachel seems to have gained as much psychologically from Milway’s approach as she has in muscle. “Strength is the main difference I’ve noticed with Alan,” she says. “That’s been a massive gain for me. With the testing it became clear that my pedalling was a weak point; now I’m the strongest pedaller out there. Without testing, you can sort of kid yourself that you’re where you need to be, but when you test you can’t hide, the stats don’t lie. Mentally, going out there knowing you’re where you need to be physically is huge. It made a big difference to my last season.” “It’s simple really: if athletes are fitter and stronger, it means they can race faster and go for longer,” says Gee. “In the past two years, I’ve had more crashes than I’ve had in my life, the biggest crashes of my career, and I’ve got up and walked away from them. I’m pretty sure that’s down to having someone like Alan with us. We need to be more scientific about things, there’s no point having an awesome bike if you can’t race it to its maximum level. Man and machine have to match each other, and now we know how to get there.” Measure your bike progress against the Athertons: redbull.co.uk/personalbest
Be A better Rider tomorrow C h a n g e s y o u ca n m a k e n o w, f r o m i n s i d e t h e At h e r t o n Rac i n g T e a m
10 top tips 1
Ride different disciplines
“The road bike links well to the downhill bike as the intensity you reach on the mountain bike can be replicated on the road bike, you can make the rides quite brutal and short. They’re better for training as the risk of crashing on a downhill track is massive, so I would never ask an athlete to do 12 flat-out downhill runs in a row. On a road bike, you can achieve the same intensity more safely.” Alan Milway, Team Fitness Coach
Stretching it out
“I’ve started doing a lot of yoga and stretching for my back and hips, as my back started getting really tight, and once I started stretching properly after the rides that stopped. It’s made a huge difference to me. I stretch for half an hour before a session, then most evenings for an hour to 90 minutes. We stretch in the gym, too. Even if it’s just a few basic moves, to open up your hip flexors and shoulders, don’t underestimate how much it will help your riding and recovery. Especially if you’re on a road bike, because of the posture you ride in.” Rachel Atherton
Get into a corner
Put on weights
The eyes have it
“If you’re going into a corner, a lot of riders have their feet level on the pedals, but if you drop your outside foot to the bottom, and bring the inside foot up, that brings your weight more into the corner, so you’re more solid, and you can lean in and rail it more easily. If your feet are level, your weight is still quite high, which will cause you to slow down a bit and lose stability.” Rachel Atherton
“If you choose one move in the gym to help your cycling, make it a deadlift. It’s pretty simple to learn, but then you can really add the weight on as you progress. It makes a huge difference to your power. It works your legs, bum, back, core and shoulders, so it’s a whole body move. If you’ve only got half an hour for your workout, this is the most efficient way to spend it.” Rachel Atherton
“If you’re riding cross-country, you’ll have your seat high to climb, but many riders don’t necessarily think about then lowering their seat for a descent. If the seat’s too high, it will make you lean back too far, or push you over the front so your weight’s unbalanced. If it’s lowered, the bike can move around more easily on the descent, and you can corner better as your weight’s more central. A lot of people now have these dropper seat posts which are easy to adjust, so it’s easy.” Rachel Atherton
“Where you’re looking makes a big difference to where you end up. Your body will follow your line of sight, so a turn almost happens from your head downwards. Going into a turn, keep your eyes on your exit point, and you’ll find your whole body follows you round and adjusts to exiting the turn rather than being in the turn.” Gee Atherton Clever cornering: dropping your outside foot makes you more solid on the bends
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Set your sag
Don’t make it easy on yourself
“A lot of riders get stuck in a rut with how they run their bike, from tyre pressure to suspension. You can make a lot of difference to your ride by adjusting your suspension according to conditions. The sag is the optimum depth at which the suspension sits when you’re on the bike, and should be around a third of the way through its stroke. So if a 100kg dude sat on my bike, it would be well beyond halfway through its stroke, and you see people riding like that all the time, wondering why they can’t ride their bikes.” Marc Beaumont
“Train and ride with someone who’s as fit, fast and strong as you are. If you can push one another, that’s going to speed up your progress massively. Me and Marc ride together a lot. It also means you can compare notes on lines, too. It keeps it fun, and it’s always motivational to have someone to bounce ideas around with.” Gee Atherton
“When it comes to tracks, don’t stick to what you know. The best progression in your riding will come when you force yourself to leave your comfort zone. Build new sections on a track, so it’s tailored to your standard, but still poses a challenge, or take the time to travel out to somewhere that offers you a new biking experience.” Gee Atherton
“If you’re on a fast track, you need to be aggressive with your braking, rather than dragging them the whole way. When you’re at full speed on a straight, you’re completely off the brakes, then snap the brakes on as hard as you can, as late as you can when you need them. It’s something we work on, and something you see a lot of riders doing. It’s a big temptation to drag the brakes all the way down, but it’s a bad habit to get into. If you’re specific in your braking points it’s a better way to get down the track, and you’ll notice the difference.” Gee Atherton
weighty issue Increased strength has been a huge gain for Rachel, who can now deadlift 50kg
Alan Milway (centre) assesses Gee and Rachel’s training data
Hard yards: road training can benefit downhill the red bulletin
BIG RIDERS Wanted: surfers to conquer previously impossible waves. Essential: weather app, surfboard, 4x4 and unshakeable ability to stare death in the face words: Fernando Gueiros
Big Wave World Tour champion Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker surfs Jaws, a swell near Pe’ahi, Hawaii
a long a 15km stretch of the Kamehameha Highway, on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii, you can find and understand the history of big-wave surfing. If you tell a Hawaiian you’re going to this place, they’ll say, “So you like big waves, right?” Here is where you’ll find the big-wave surf break called Waimea, and about 80km southwest, on the island of Maui, there is the Pe’ahi break, known as Jaws, which in the last 20 years has become a place where surfers can ride waves 60ft high. Surfers like Carlos Burle, from Brazil, and Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker, from South Africa, visit the Hawaiian Islands every December and January, ready to tackle the giant breaks. Burle, 46, is the former big-wave world record holder. In 2001, he rode a 68-footer on the surf break known as Mavericks, off the North Californian coast. His record was broken in 2008, then in 2012, the American Garrett McNamara set the current high watermark: a 78ft wave surfed at a recently discovered break at Praia do Norte, in Portugal. (In February this year, English surfer Andrew Cotton surfed a huge wave in the Portuguese break; at the time of writing, officials were deciding if Cotton would be the new world-record holder.) Burle, McNamara and Cotton surfed these monster walls of water using towin, a surfing technique first seen in 1992 in which a jet-ski – usually ridden by a fellow big-waver; McNamara was towing 38
The 46-year-old Brazilian is waiting for Guinness World Records to confirm if he or Englishman Andrew Cotton has surfed the world’s biggest wave – set in the same waters. Burle pulled off his feat on the same day he saved a fellow surfer from drowning.
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picturedesk.com, brian bielmann
Wall of water: Carlos Burle rides the famous NazarĂŠ wave off the coast of Portugal
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At 30, Long is one of the youngest of the current wave of top surfers. The Californian came to prominence when he took victory in the notoriously challenging Eddie Aikau Invitational, a contest that only takes place in Waimea when the waves are at least 20ft high.
Cotton in February – pulls the surfer into the ocean so he can more easily catch fast-moving waves. Tow surfing changed the big-wave scene. “It’s the only option when the waves are too big to paddle,” says Burle. “Plus, the crowds want to see carnage, big drops, big wipeouts, ultimate rescues.” Twiggy Baker, 40, has been a pro bigwave rider for more than a decade. He doesn’t use tow-in, preferring instead to paddle under his own steam. “Paddling is the true spirit of big-wave surfing,” says Baker. “It gives you a better sense of what you’re trying to achieve. More people are coming back to paddle surfing and tow surfing, unless it’s for the biggest wave in the world, has less meaning.” The current paddle surfing record is a 61ft wave, caught by an American surfer, Shawn Dollar, in Cortes Bank, 160km off the California coast. Baker believes it will be very hard, if not impossible, to go beyond this mark. At 30, American Greg Long is but a youngster compared to Baker and Burle. Born in California, he is the wonder boy of the big-surf community and a winner of the Eddie Aikau Invitational, a contest that only takes place in Waimea when the waves are at least 20ft high. He won it in 2009, the last time it was held and only the eighth time it has been staged in 31 years. In 2012, Long was swallowed by a 40ft wave in Cortes Bank. “Since that session,
Hawaiian surfer Shane Dorian has been testing a pioneering new buoyancy suit that could save lives. Below: The Mavericks Invitational is one of the world’s most keenly contested big-wave surf contests
where I basically drowned,” he says, “I’ve struggled to get my head back in the game of riding big waves.” He was found unconscious at the foam after a dramatic rescue operation. “After that, I felt like I wanted to ride a wave,” he says, “but at the same time, I didn’t. It was a year-long struggle to find perspective in my life and find what big waves meant to me, again, and why I was going to continue doing it.”
blowing, after a rainy morning. Out on the ocean, the waves are 6-8ft high – kids stuff for Baker, who just a few weeks earlier conquered waves 30-40ft high to win the Mavericks Invitational, a long-standing big-wave surf contest. Mavericks was discovered, in the cold Californian waters of Half Moon Bay, in 1975. For 15 years, only one man surfed it, and when Jeff Clark shared his secret with some surfer friends, Mavericks became one of the main big-wave spots in the world. “Every place has its dangers,” says Baker, with a chicken teriyaki sandwich in his hands. “You need to stay calm: that’s the game.” At Mavericks, the danger is a big hole in the middle of the break that can suck you down and you can’t get back up. Two experienced surfers have drowned like this, and there have been many more non-fatal accidents. “The greatest big-wave surfers in the world go to Mav’s to test their limits,” says Baker. Big-wave surfers are always ready for that test. When storms appear on the radar, which doesn’t happen very often, they usually only have two or three days
Short Breath, Deep Breath Twiggy Baker parks his blue 4x4 outside Malama’s supermarket, in Haleiwa, a town on the North Shore and walks to the bakery next door. A fresh breeze is
“Every place has its dangers. You need to stay calm: that’s the game”
david stewart, todd glaser, billabong
history of modern big-wave surfing
Hawaiian kings went first in the 1700s; there was a tipping point nearly 60 years ago and the bar was raised again in the 1990s.
1956 American surfer Greg Noll, known as Da Bull, is photographed dropping a 15ft wave on a huge wooden longboard
in Waimea Bay, Oahu, Hawaii.
1963 Noll and Mike Stange surf the feared Third Reef Pipeline, with waves as big as those surfed in nearby Waimea by Noll.
1972 Surfers from Australia and America look for
Australian surfer Laurie Towner is dwarfed by Shipsterns Bluff, a daunting big wave near Tasmania
“you need madness and safety. it’s calculated insanity”
to arrange the travel and assemble the gear and get to the beach in shape both physically and mentally. “Short breath, deep breath,” says Baker, describing his breathing pattern before he enters into the water. “This is for the oxygen levels. You stay calm this way.” Most big riders stay relaxed and fit through similar habits. “One of the staple activities is yoga,” says Long. “From a physical standpoint, you’ve got the strength, flexibility and balance, and then you delve into the mental and spiritual philosophies behind it, and you get into world of trying to control your mind and your thoughts. It’s the panic in big waves in the ocean that is your biggest enemy – and what will kill you in the end.” Besides yoga and breathing exercises, big riders spend time swimming, paddling, spear fishing, freediving, doing heavy cardio workouts and running on sand. To Hell And Back Carlos Burle is grinning. He drops a 6ft wave on his longboard. He’s surfed waves more than 10 times higher than this one, but he paddles precisely on his way back to the outside of the break. His years of experience learning how to read the ocean make him a wise and consistent surfer. Alongside him now, his wife, Ligia, is benefiting from his advice about positioning. “There are times we’re far apart, like when I spent 20 days at Nazaré, for instance,” says Burle, of his marriage, “but when we’re together like now, I try to make up for that and stick real close.” Back home, in Waialua, after a long session of stretching and helping his youngest son, Reno, play a video game, Burle remembers the worst of those 20 days at Nazaré, the Portuguese coastal town from which big-wave surfers head out to the Praia do Norte break. It might also have been the worst day of his life. big waves outside Hawaii. Breaks like Rincon, in California, and Petacalco in Mexico, were registered for the first time.
At the recently discovered Todos Santos shallow reef in Mexico, US surfers such as Tom Curren and Mike Parsons surf waves 18-20ft high.
1991 Laird Hamilton, Buzzy Kerbox and Darrick Doerner begin to surf big waves on smaller boards (enabling greater control), towed by motorboat.
1992 Pe’ahi, a break commonly known as Jaws, in Maui, Hawaii, is surfed by Hamilton and Kerbox, with the
TOP FIVE NEW SPOTS Recently discovered breaks point to a big future for big-wave surfing
Belharra, France Has everything that big-wave hunters are looking for: “It’s a safe place to surf even when it’s big. It’s not so risky and you can surf here even on the biggest days,” says Twiggy Baker. Close to Biarritz, in France, Belharra became big news in big surf after a monster paddle session in January this year.
Nazare, Portugal Garrett McNamara has studied the waves off Praia do Norte, near the town of Nazaré, for four years. The wave known as Nazaré Cannon is a new frontier of tow-in surfing. The wall of water is huge and, according to big rider Carlos Burle, who surfed Nazaré in October 2013, there’s no hope of paddle surfing here.
Punta Docas, Chile “The Chilean coastline will surely yield more breaks like this,” says Burle. “There are a lot of inhospitable places.” The latest find is Punta Docas, north-east of Santiago. The water is cold, but the waves can reach up to 60ft. Is this the first step in Chile becoming the world centre of big-wave surfing?
Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania Perhaps the most jaw-dropping wave of all time, this nasty reef produces double- and triple-up waves (with two or three lips over the surfer’s head, as seen on the opening spread of this article). Surfers take their chances not only with a huge wave but also with the rocks on which the waves can crash.
Mullaghmore, Ireland The freezing waters off Ireland are bearable thanks to modern wetsuits. Less easy to take is some of the most intense wave activity in the world. You must be quick to enjoy it, though. “I’ve got there and seen perfect surf breaking over the rocks,” says Burle, “but, half an hour later, there were only rocks.”
Burle was riding the jet-ski that towed Maya Gabeira, one of few female big-wave surfers, on the morning of October 28, 2013. The waves were 60-70ft and Gabeira, a 27-year-old from Brazil, got up on her board on the second one of the day. Her board bounced on the water three times, she lost control and was thrown down into the ocean. She was assaulted by three massive waves in a row and disappeared underwater for about four minutes. After spotting her, Burle tried to reach her on his jet-ski, which was towing a rescue
board, but failed. “I saw her moving, which showed she was alive, but when I saw her again I realised she wasn’t reacting.” After another wave series, Gabeira was floating and then was gone again. Burle got to where he thought she would surface: “I knew she would come up.” He leapt off the jet-ski, spread his arms to grab her and attached himself to her life vest. “When the tide dragged us, I firmly locked both feet in the sand and held Maya. Then the wave came then I lost my footing and shook about,” he recalls. the red bulletin
Grant ‘TWIGgy’ baker
Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker is South Africa’s most decorated big-wave surfer. He won Mavericks Invitational for the second time in January of this year, and is the 2013/2014 Big Wave World Tour champion.
alan van gysen, brian bielmann
“Paddling is the true spirit of big-wave surfing” He lost his footing twice more as he dragged Gabeira to the beach where he was joined by a lifeguard, who had been unable to attempt a rescue because he lacked the gear to do so in those conditions. Gabeira underwent CPR until an ambulance came. “It wasn’t the right way to rescue her, but everything turned out all right,” says Burle. Gabeira was awake and safe when Burle went back into water later the same day. He surfed a 78-footer – a world record contender currently under review the red bulletin
help of jet-skis: 60ft waves now surfable.
1992 Jeff Clark reveals his surfing of Mavericks, in Half Moon Bay, California, for over 15 years. The secret is out, it becomes a big-wave touchstone.
1992 A feature in Surfer
magazine calls Mavericks the ‘Voodoo Wave’, cementing its reputation.
1998 The ISA Big Wave Championship is held in Todos Santos, Mexico, on waves of 25-35ft. Brazilian Carlos Burle is the champion.
with Andrew Cotton’s, in the same spot, four-and-a-half months later. “That day,” says Burle, “I went to hell and came back.” Big Gets Bigger Twiggy Baker does approve of one aspect of tow-in surfing: it has taught the paddle surfers more about safety in big waves. “The rescue gear used on tow surfing is very important for paddle surfers,” he says, referring to inflatable suits and the jet-ski support at rescuing. “You need the madness, but you need 45
Paddle vs Tow-in It divides big-wave surfing in two: should surfers reach the heights under their own steam, or be pulled towards walls of water by jet-skis? Tow-in surfing technique was established in 1992, when jet-skis were first used to pull surfers so that they could catch faster-moving waves. Before that, paddling was the only way to reach the big ones. The biggest ones, surfed from the 1950s to the early 1990s, were 20-25ft high. With the introduction of tow-in, waves of 40, 50 and 60ft were ridden. It was as if mountain climbers found higher peaks than Everest. Tow-in became the centre of the big-wave community. But paddle surfing is now experiencing a resurgence. “I’m never going to be the one that agrees that something is impossible,” says Greg Long. “If someone 10 years ago would have told me you were going to
go paddle into 20ft Jaws, that would have seemed impossible.” In 2011, Hawaiian surfer Shane Dorian took paddle surfing to another level, when he propelled himself into the Jaws break at Maui using only his hands and surfed a 57ft wave. Some surfers think paddle surfing is finite. “One thing I’m sure of,” says Carlos Burle, “is that paddling with the arms is limited. Giant Teahupoo, when it’s more than 25ft? Can’t be done paddling. Nazaré, 78ft tall? Impossible.” “If you are trying to put a number on it, I think anything over 60ft on the face you’re getting into the tow-in realm,” says Long. “But given the proper conditions, say if you find the perfectly glassy day at, say, Cortes Bank, you could try and paddle into a bigger wave, and you probably could.” That tow-in has led to significant progress in big-wave riding is undeniable. Previously unreachable spots were surfed
to have fully considered all possible safety aspects. It’s calculated insanity.” Carlos Burle believes that an essential part of being human is to push limits, and technology has played a part in big-wave surfers regularly doing just that. “Lighter and warmer wetsuits, inflatable suits, better boards, rescue teams, radios, gear that can let you go to inhospitable areas. It’s all good.” The planning and preparation for a big-wave surfer is laborious. You can count on the fingers of two hands how many big-wave swells happen during one year. “It’s challenging getting to the right place, trying to drop some waves and getting back alive,” says Baker. “It’s a tough lifestyle, to keep it up and keep travelling. There is no money involved. The great pleasure is simply being there.” Surfing big waves, especially the ones yet to be discovered, requires nautical permits, local knowledge and organised 46
and new records set. New technologies and gear entered the game, which surfers of all types now use. “Paddle and towin are two different sports that helped each other and they both progressed,” says Grant Baker, who, like Long, Burle and all other big-wave surfers, is excited about what is to come. “The future will see paddling even bigger and tow-in taking the action to places we never thought would be viable.” Big-wave world records Paddle 2005: 55ft (Shawn Dollar, Mavericks, California,) 2011: 57ft (Shane Dorian, Jaws, Hawaii) 2012: 61ft (Shawn Dollar, Cortes Bank, California) Tow-in 1998: 68ft (Carlos Burle, Mavericks, California) 2008: 77ft (Mike Parsons, Cortes Bank, California) 2011: 78ft (Garret McNamara, Nazaré, Portugal)
A tow-in session with Laird Hamilton (below), in Teahupoo, Tahiti, becomes the world-famous ride – and accompanying pic – known as The Millennium Wave.
The Big Wave World Tour is launched.
2011 Danilo Couto, Shane Dorian and Ian Walsh surf a huge Jaws swell with 55-60ft waves, with no tow-in: paddle surfing is back on the agenda.
2011 Shane Dorian invents an inflatable flotation vest, based on airline life jackets, that gives big-wave surfers an extra level of safety – and the freedom to go higher.
safety crews. You need 4x4s, jet-skis, plenty of surfboards 9-12ft long, wetsuits and safety equipment. During a big-wave competition, the logistical difficulties and costs are less thanks to the involvement of surfing associations and local communities. The Eddie Aikau Invitational and Mavericks Invitational have been good for the sport of big-wave surfing. They are fixed points in an otherwise random universe, places where crowds can gather and media can report for big-wave surfing’s increasing global fanbase. For many years, they were the only regular competitions, but they were joined by events at big-wave spots Todos Santos (Mexico), Dungeons (South Africa) and Pico Alto (Peru). “It pushes us out of our comfort zones,” says Greg Long. “We’re all friends, but when prize money is involved, a competitive instinct naturally arises, with 45 minutes to catch a wave during a heat. Then, at the end of the day, when we get back to the pier or wherever, it’s all friendship and fun.” After further big-wave spots emerged, during the last decade, a tournament was announced to take in the world’s big breaks. Former surfer Gary Linden promoted the first Big Wave World Tour in 2009/10; Carlos Burle was the first winner. “The BWWT got bigger and it’s still growing,” says Burle. “We all owe Gary for this. What he’s doing is awesome.” From the 2014-15 season, which begins in August this year, the tour’s organisation is under the rule of sports marketing company ZoSea, which performs the same task for the ASP World Tours, regular surfing’s most prestigious series. Changes made by ZoSea include better webcasts and media coverage, increased marketing and new rules, such as the wave coefficient, which means that a bigger wave face is worth more points. “Previously, at Chile’s or Peru’s contests,” says Long, “if you weren’t there on the cliff you didn’t get to see any of it until a couple of weeks later, when the photos and video eventually came out. So the new regime is going to be a good thing, I’m sure.” Back at Burle’s house in Waialua, Reno eats his popcorn and Ligia steps into the kitchen, where Burle is seated at the table with his laptop open. On the screen, twinkling red, yellow, and green colours indicate weather forecast radars monitoring storms around the globe. He studies the map, looking for a next move, shakes his head and complains about the winds. When the red spots move into the right places, then it’s time to move. bigwaveworldtour.com
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Game Boys I n a n o n d esc ri pt h ou se i n S e ou l , te e n a g ers s pen d t h ei r d ays a n d l ate n i g hts p l ay i n g t h e rea l -t i m e strateg y v i d e o ga m e S ta r C raf t I I . We l come to eSpo r ts, w h ere sta rd o m m ea n s h ou rs i n f ront of t h e com pu ter, h u n dreds of t h o u sa n d s i n t h e b a n k a ccou nt—a n d psyc h i c s p re di ct w h e n you ‘ l l g et a g i rl fri en d. Wo rd s: A n n D on a h u e P h otog ra p hy: M a n c h u l K i m
mong athletes, the frustration of losing is palpable. There is Miguel Cabrera arguing with an umpire over the strike zone and getting ejected; there is an irate Peyton Manning hunched over on the team bench, staring a hole into the ground; there is Kobe Bryant strutting angrily off the court at Staples Center, ignoring the proffered hands of fans leaning over the railing, hoping for a high-five.
Seung Hyun Lee’s irritation takes the form of a wrenching low simmer. He can’t eat. He didn’t get much sleep. He sits at a café in the hip Samseong-dong district of Seoul and just watches his sundae melt, chunks of kiwi floating in vanilla ice cream. “I think one of the reasons we failed is that I was desperate to win the game,” he says. Lee is a video game player. He is 16 years old. But this is not your average teenager playing an average video game. Lee is a professional gamer, a champion of the Global StarCraft II League and a two-time champion of the Major League Gaming Pro Circuit. In the past 18 months, he has won six major tournaments and taken home close to $175,000 in prize money. Last night, Lee’s loss was simultaneously shown on four television networks in South Korea, with tens of thousands more people watching live streams of the matchplay on the Internet around the world. The game Lee plays, StarCraft II, is a science–fiction strategy game—imagine chess with aliens and colorful twodimensional explosions. Two players meet online, and while a computer hosts the map that provides the field of play, the action in the game is the strategic realtime strike-counterstrike of the players facing off. StarCraft II is Lee’s everything—he plays under the name “Life.” He lives in a training house with his 16 teammates in a the red bulletin
Seung Hyun Lee is one of the top professional video game players in the world. His game of choice is StarCraft II, and he plays under the name â€œLife.â€?
suburb of Seoul, where they eat, sleep, and breathe the game. There is no time to hang out with friends, no time for a girlfriend, no time for family outside of a quick occasional phone call. His constant focus is to excel at playing video games. So when Lee loses, it is not just a strike against his skills, it’s something more profound. It’s a rupture of his entire way of life. If getting back to winning form means practicing more than the 14 hours a day that he already spends in front of the computer, Lee is going to do it.
he StarTale house, which takes up two floors in a midrise building in Incheon, could be pictured next to the dictionary definition of “nondescript”: It is gray. It is blocky. It is made out of concrete. It is located near the airport, and there is a hairdresser across the street. It is, in other words, a place with zero distractions. Throughout Seoul, there are a dozen of these training houses, each packed with young men who play video games professionally, all funded by a corporate sponsor that pays for rent, food, and an astronomical electricity bill. In return, the sponsors get TV and online exposure across a video-game-obsessed nation— and, increasingly, world. Video gaming is an immense business, with an estimated $63 billion of global revenue in 2012, according to entertainment industry research firm
I f g e t t i ng back to wi n n i ng for m m e a n s p r acticin g m o r e tha n the 14 h o u rs a day that h e a l re a dy sp e nd s i n f r o nt of the c o m p ute r , Le e is g o i n g to d o it. DFC Intelligence. That is almost twice the amount of revenue brought in by theatrical movies—global box office revenue last year was just $34.7 billion. Most of the millions of people who play video games are casual gamers—you know who you are, you Candy Crush fans—but there is an emerging class of players, like Lee, who make serious bucks and get global acclaim by winning tournaments. “He is the best player by far—he’s so consistent, and since he’s so young, if he brings the right attitude to the table, he’s going to dominate the scene for a long time,” says Thomas Kilian, a member of the broadcast announcing team that provides the English-language play-byplay of video game competitions for Korean network GOM.TV. South Korea is ground zero for professional eSports, thanks to the country’s outstanding IT infrastructure. During the 1990s, Korea invested in
Lee and Choco in the StarTale training house.
public utilities and laid thousands of miles of fiber-optic cable. In real-world terms, this means that while someone in Los Angeles has trouble downloading a simple attachment on their phone, someone in Seoul is watching live streaming HDTV on theirs. Another reason for Korea’s video game dominance is the “PC bang” culture. The PC bang (pronounced “bahng,” Korean for “room”) is a café filled with computers connected to the Internet. “For middle school students and high school students, there’s not a lot of things for them to do,” says Ji Sung Choi, the 25-year-old captain and elder statesman of the StarTale team, who plays under the name “Bomber.” Teenagers gather in the PC bang after school to play games as a cheap form of entertainment, and as they age, the obsession carries over into following professional video gamers and watching matches on TV. Into this perfect cultural and technological mix came the game StarCraft II in 2010. A sequel to a game first released by Blizzard Entertainment in 1998, StarCraft II allows players to compete over the Internet—and with the quick broadband speeds in Korea, there isn’t any crashing or stuttering in the gameplay, even when hundreds of thousands of people are playing online simultaneously. More than 5.1 million copies of the game have been sold at a list price of $39.99—it’s the equivalent of the select few summer blockbuster movies each year that earn $200 million. Lee and Choi both started playing video games at PC bangs, where they realized not only were they good enough to beat their friends, but they were good enough to beat most of the strangers they played online. Starcraft II games are played online at Battle.net, on servers hosted by Blizzard. Data collected by these servers—who plays who, who beats who, and what kind of strategies are employed by the victors—are noted by Korean eSports coaches, who also read online message boards to find out which players are generating discussion. “If a player is popular online, it means there are a lot of eyes on them,” says StarTale team coach Hee Won Yun. If a gamer creates enough of a stir, he is recruited to join one of the professional training houses in Seoul. It is in those houses where playing video games evolves from being a hobby into being a rigorous preparation for competition. It’s war college for eSports.
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Above, the StarTale team trains for competition in Incheon. Below, the TV stage at GOM.TV in Gangnam, where tournaments are broadcast.
he foyer of the fourthfloor entrance to the StarTale house is a tangle of two items: shoes and trophies. While 20 pairs of shoes are haphazardly scattered throughout the entryway, the trophies are lined up in cabinets and on shelves, sometimes stacked two or three deep. ESports doesn’t have an off-season; there are dozens of professional video game tournaments every year. Members of StarTale travel across the world collecting wins: the United States, China, Germany, Sweden. From down the hall comes an incessant click-click-clicking. Inside the main StarCraft II training room are a dozen computers, with a professional gamer staring into each screen. Lee doesn’t budge when a large group enters the room; like his teammates, he’s wearing headphones with the sounds of the game cranked up. A giant portable air conditioner churns from the corner—but it’s pointed to cool off the computers, not the players.
M e m b e rs of the startal e H ou se tr ave l a r o u n d the wor l d col l ecti ng tr op hi es: T h e U.S. , Chi na, Ge r ma n y, Swe d e n . Lee and Choi spend some of their rare weekend downtime in Seoul’s Seonjeongneung Park.
A typical training day in the StarTale house begins at 11 a.m.; the team plays until 3 p.m. and takes a one-hour break for eating and exercise. Then there is a second training set of four hours, with another one-hour dinner break at 8 p.m. The team then plays from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m., when it’s time to go to bed. Lee’s schedule is a little bit different because he is still in school; he attends classes in Seoul three times a week, where he is in the equivalent of 10th grade. “It’s a specialized high school for video game players,” he says. “They are OK if I just go to four classes in the morning, and they support us. It really surprised me. If I have a game, I don’t have to go to school.” For those outside the professional eSports realm, it’s a dream lifestyle— Skipping school to play video games all day? Really?—but being a top professional means relinquishing every other interest outside of the game. “I don’t actually hang out with friends,” Lee says. “My days are always dedicated to gaming.” As the players age into their the red bulletin
After a stunning series of wins to start his career, Lee faltered in several tournaments. The pressure to rebound is intense.
20s, they gain perspective—and while they don’t regret the hours that gaming requires, the toll such focus takes becomes a little more apparent. “Every night I dream about StarCraft,” Choi says. “It’s really torturing me. My day is filled with training and training, and even in my dreams I’m playing it.” But the amount of practice required is essential. In StarCraft II, it’s the only way to model the potential outcomes of the game. Each player selects one of three alien races to play at the outset—and each of those races then has dozens of weapons that could be deployed, so StarCraft II has almost endless permutations of gameplay. Before tournaments, professional gamers watch tape of their competitors—just like NFL game prep—to determine their opponent’s default tactics and weak spots. Beyond faultless mental concentration, StarCraft II requires the ability to navigate a mouse and a keyboard with jaw-dropping speed, a metric known as “actions per minute” that, in elites, translates to issuing 300 commands in the game per 60 seconds. It’s like juggling 10 pins on fire, a concentrated blur of keyboarding and clicking. Professional gamers tweak their keyboards and mice to their own personal specifications and carry them in fitted, padded bags that are guarded like a Stradivarius. “If the equipment doesn’t fit me well, it really impacts the results of the game,” Lee says. the red bulletin
“If it gets stolen or I lose it on game day, it’s a big deal. But if I lose it a couple of days before, then right away I get on the Internet and order the exact same one.” For the two hours each day that the players are awake and not gaming, the StarTale team retreats to their living quarters, two floors above the training room. It has a certain frat-house vibe; while several women are professional gamers in Korea, they don’t live in the training houses. There are two sets of bunk beds in each bedroom and random dumbbells scattered around the floor. StarTale’s very fluffy cat, Choco, lounges on a battered white leather couch in the living room. (“I love the cat!” Lee says. “But I don’t think he’s a cat that has a happy life because he never gets out of the house.”)
ee lived with his family until he moved into the StarTale house just over a year ago—he never sees or spends the money he earns from winning tournaments, because it goes directly into a bank account managed by his parents. He’s jittery and brash, quick to laugh and be the center of attention in goofy sunglasses, but just as quick to bury his head in his phone. His all-or-nothing personality mimics his style of play—his offensive strategy is the equivalent of going all-in in poker on every hand—and there is a side dish of taunting, too; at the start of one of his recent matches, he created a star pattern with one of his pawns in homage to his team. Upon joining, Lee promptly fell into his role of being the picked-on youngest of the StarTale house. “I feel to the bone that I’m the little brother,” he says. “It’s always the little brother that has to do all of the cleaning.” And being an eSports prodigy doesn’t make you immune to pranks, it turns out. “I hate it when they hide my stuff,” he complains. “That’s what they do
“ M y day i s fi l l e d wi t h tr a i ni n g a n d t r a i n i ng, a n d e ve n i n my d r e ams I’m p l ay i ng Star cr af t.”
every day. It really angers me. I don’t like my stuff being lost.” StarTale is considered an up-andcoming team in the eSports pantheon in Korea; the team is relatively new, having formed in 2010. Much of the pressure to succeed falls on Lee and Choi, who are at opposite ends of their careers—Lee, the promising upstart, and Choi, the veteran. Choi is thoughtful and reflective, appreciative of what gaming has brought him—the chance to travel the world, to earn significant money as a young man, to go skydiving (even though he was afraid the wind would blow off his glasses during the freefall). He intends to start his compulsory military service in about two years, when he is 27. The interactions between Lee and Choi—a blend of empathy, advice, and banter—are emblematic of how the members of StarTale do triple-duty in each other’s lives: co-workers, friends, and family. Lee’s loss the previous night was also a loss for Choi, as it happened as part of a team tournament; StarTale was obliterated by their competitor AxiomAcer in the Global StarCraft II Team League—a humiliating defeat known as an “All-Kill,” where one player on the opposing team sweeps four players in succession. “We did research, as always, but I didn’t expect the way they would play,” Lee says. “If we were prepared for that, we could have blocked them. But we didn’t.” Choi was so dejected that at 3 a.m. he consulted a psychic operating out of a storefront in Hongdae, a bar area popular with college students. “He said things are looking good for me,” Choi tells Lee the next day as they take a hike through Seonjeongneung Park, a respite of green amid Seoul’s skyscrapers. “He said life would take a peak in September, and then another one in December, when I get a girlfriend.” Lee, still irritated by the loss, isn’t having it. “You know they just tell you what you want to hear because you’re paying them, right?” he asks. “Yes, I know that,” Choi scowls. Thanks to their ruthless dedication, the duo rebounded at the Ritmix Russian Starcraft II League tournament in late summer. The two faced off in the final, with Lee winning the best of seven contest by a score of 4-2 in just over an hour. Life has his life back in order. “Ever since I was very, very young, I wanted to be a pro gamer,” Lee says. “I love it. I don’t have any regrets. I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Game stop: @redbullesports
beat master He eclipses Keith Moon for frantic drumming and plays concerts nearly five hours long: Martin Grubinger is the greatest percussionist in the world
Words: Andreas Rottenschlager Photography: Christoph Meissner
here are nights when Martin Grubinger collapses from exhaustion behind two soundproofed doors in his rehearsal room. Sleep gets the better of him after he spends anything up to 14 hours at his percussion instruments. “I’ve been known to drop off at my marimba,” he says, “and one time I just lay down on the floor next to my drum kit. You play until you are completely exhausted. Eventually your upper body just keels forward. And then you wake up again a few hours later.” Grubinger, 30, is sitting in the small kitchen on the ground floor of his house in the small town of Neukirchen an der Vockla in Austria. The walls are painted white and there’s the smell of coffee. Grubinger comes across as remarkably fit for someone who spends the night in a music rehearsal room. He has a boyish face, smooth skin and ruddy cheeks. Plump veins throb on his lower arms. Martin Grubinger is the world’s most radical percussionist. He can play several percussion instruments at virtuoso level. He is one of the best in the world at interpreting the marimba, the XXL version of the xylophone. The New York Times called him a “master of the high-speed chase” for his ability to make 40 beats a second on the head of a snare drum. Grubinger is the only kind of musician who plays marathon percussion concerts with classical orchestras that last for hours. His heart pounds away at a rate of up to 195 beats per minute and his weight can drop by up to 2kg during a show. Last year, he performed 68 concerts on three continents. His playing has left its mark on a whole section of instruments. Before Grubinger came along, percussionists played in the back row of the orchestra. Now composers are writing pieces just for him. Some of them are so complicated that only he can play them. “What appeals to me is taking things to the limit,” he explains. “I want to know what I can get out of my body and the instrument. As the soloist, you’re playing with 70 musicians in the orchestra. You have to get every single note just right over a period of several hours. You need to be as fit as an endurance athlete, otherwise there’ll be too much acid in your muscles and you won’t have the strength for minutes of frantic activity at a time. 55
“But at the same time, you also have to be able to play with feeling, to convey phrasing and volume. You’ve got to be able to do it all, from playing the cymbals almost inaudibly to going mad on the pipe snare – 140 decibels is as loud as a jet fighter taking off.” Grubinger grew up in the Austrian town of Thalgau, near Salzburg, the son of a professor of percussion. As a boy, he heard his father’s pupils practising in the family home. He says that he learnt music in the way other children learn to speak. Aged 12, he passed the entrance exam for a private university of music in Linz. That meant regular school lessons in the mornings and undergraduate courses in the afternoons. He left school as soon as he could, aged 15, without graduating and the register showing that he had missed 680 hours’ of lessons. He then spent most of the next six years either in the university’s rehearsal rooms or his bed, so that by the age of 21, he was a virtuoso percussionist, playing internationally in competitions and with orchestras. But this wasn’t enough, so he devised a challenge for himself: play six concerts in a single evening, including three premieres, at the Golden Hall of Viennese Music Association, the most famous concert hall in the world. In all, that would be four-and-a-half hours of extremely complex music – 600,000 notes in a single evening, no sheet music. Grubinger would learn the concert by heart. “I’d like to give the drums a new identity,” he said. “You’ll kill yourself,” said one of his former professors. At 6pm on November 17, 2006, Grubinger took to the stage of the Golden Hall and positioned himself in the middle of a semi-circle made up of 200 percussion instruments: conga drums, bongos, kettledrums, cymbals. Accompanying him was the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. He began drumming. The veins in his neck began to bulge and sweat dripped from his face onto the heads of the drums. During the
On the beat: “Learning marathon concerts is like learning choreography”
breaks, he dipped his hands in ice-cold water. Afterwards, he was unable to remember large parts of the evening – “I’d got into the flow. I was watching myself drumming. My hands knew by themselves where they had to go” – but he had pulled off this tour de force. His hands were shaking as he took his bow. One review likened his performance to climbing Mount Everest without extra oxygen. The percussion marathon had made Martin Grubinger famous. It’s dusk in Austria and Grubinger is looking out of a window at coniferous trees and gentle hills in the rock-star house he had built last year. The living area on the first floor is made up of three glass cubes. On the ground floor, the rehearsal room measures 200m2. Lead doors keep the music in check and the windows are triple-glazed. Visiting musicians can practise here round the clock. Grubinger had a bedroom built for them. A delivery ramp leads straight to the rehearsal room. “I need that to survive,” he explains. He takes six tonnes of equipment with him when he’s on the road with an orchestra. “You’d go mad if you had to drag stuff up to the first floor.” With a packed 2014 concert schedule, Grubinger has to practice, so at about 9pm, he heads for his rehearsal room. There’s just one point to clear up: how do you learn 600,000 notes by heart? “You break the concert down into movements. You break the movements down into units of four bars each. You
THE CONCERT THAT MADE HIM FAMOUS LASTED FOUR-AND-A-HALF HOURS, DURING WHICH HE PLAYED 600,000 NOTES 56
then practise those four bars, for weeks if necessary, at the lowest level you can set on the metronome: 35bpm. You practise those four bars until they become second nature. Then you practise the next four. Learning marathon concerts by heart is the same as learning choreography.” Grubinger doesn’t use music stands. “I don’t like them. They get between me and the audience. Music stands block off my power.” If you want to understand what Grubinger means by his power, type the words “planet rudiment” into YouTube and click on the top result. Rudiments are technical exercises as practised by percussion pupils during lessons. Planet Rudiment is a piece Grubinger wrote that ramps the technique up to the extreme. At his concerts, he usually saves it for last. In the video, Grubinger stands in front of a black pipe snare. He takes a deep breath and then starts to rap his drumsticks on the taut drumhead. The tempo rises until his sticks disappear in a blur. He also twirls the sticks in his hands time and again; he does tricks so quickly that your eye can barely keep up. In the middle of this frantic activity, Grubinger kneels down by the drum, rolls the left drumstick out of his hand and onto his left forearm and drums that against the drumhead using the right drumstick. Grubinger stands up again, never missing a beat. He builds to his finale, pectoral muscles twitching, face contorted into a grimace. He is now drumming for all he’s worth and it sounds like machinegun fire. He ends the piece with a single, resounding thwack on the drum’s metal edge, then gasps for air. In four minutes, everything you need to know about him and his 10-year concert career: speed, precision and virtuosity, all pepped up with a hint of crazy. martingrubinger.com the red bulletin
MARQU inside track The reigning world MotoGP champion sits atop his sport aged just 21. He took The Red Bulletin for a spin around his private practice grounds â€“ hidden in a Spanish vineyard words: Werner Jessner photography: jim krantz
“MOTOCROSS TEACHES YOU TO BE CREATIVE,” SAYS MARC MARQUEZ. “THE COURSE CHANGES WITH EVERY LAP. YOU’VE GOT TO IMPROVISE CONSTANTLY. IT’S A SKILL THAT HELPS YOU WHEN YOU’RE ON THE CIRCUIT”
“I CAN’T REMEMBER MY FIRST TIME AT A RACETRACK. I WAS ONE. MY FATHER HAD ALREADY TAKEN ME ALONG TO A MOTOCROSS RACE”
“TRAINING IN A GROUP IS MORE FUN. THE CHALLENGE IS TO BE FASTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE – AND THEY WANT TO BEAT THE WORLD CHAMPION”
“WHAT’S MY DEFINITION OF THE PERFECT DAY? SOME MOTOCROSS IN THE MORNING, A DIRT TRACK AROUND LUNCHTIME, A BIT OF MOTOGP IN THE AFTERNOON AND DINNER WITH A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN”
hirty years ago, a young man burst onto the road-bike racing scene and smashed all records to smithereens. He made his debut in the sport’s top flight, Grand Prix motorcycle racing, when he was 19 and was world champion by the age of 21. The experts were convinced that his records would never be broken. The whizzkid was called ‘Fast’ Freddie Spencer and the secret to his success was a youth spent honing his motor skills on US dirt tracks. Dirt-track bikes have no front brakes. You steer by opening up the throttle and shifting your weight and you’re always drifting slightly sideways. In 2013, another young man made his mark in MotoGP, as top-flight racing has been known since 2002. He was so good that the usual route to the top was bypassed: rookies have to work their way up in satellite teams before they’re given a ride with the big factory teams. But Honda saw the future in Marc Marquez, the reigning champion of the lower Moto2 class. At just 20 years of age, he would ride alongside experienced fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa for Repsol Honda. Marquez finished his first race on the podium. Then he won his second race. Last November he became the youngest MotoGP world champion in history at 20 years and 266 days. Like Fast Freddie, dirt track was also the secret to his success. The cradle of Marquez’s achievements is the vineyards surrounding his hometown of Lleida, about
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150km west of Barcelona. Hidden among the grapes that go to make the Costers del Segre wine is a welltended dirt track and a motocross course, with changing rooms and a small canteen. Not a typical spot to find a world champion, a man who now can’t go anywhere outside this place without being recognised. “The first photo you have taken with a fan tends to set off a chain reaction,” Marquez says. “I saw a banner in the stands in Spain once that said, ‘I’ll take my underwear off if you have your photo taken with me.’ Last year I autographed a woman’s breasts, a man’s backside, a baby and a €500 note. The person it belonged to presumably hoped it’s going to increase in value.” Marquez, his younger brother Alex, a successful Moto3 rider, and Tito Rabat from Moto2, are all training here in Lleida. “They want to beat me,” says Marquez, “and I want to be half-a-second per lap quicker than them.” He says the competition here is as merciless as if it were a MotoGP race. “I love battling it out hard. I don’t get as much out of a race I’ve won by four or five seconds as one that gets the adrenalin pumping and is decided on the final turn. Like [in 2013] when Jorge Lorenzo edged me at Silverstone on the last turn, that didn’t annoy me. There’s a limit, but it depends on the situation. Everyone will try anything on the last corner.” As for his opponents: “Lorenzo’s strength is his consistency and [Valentino] 67
“I HAVE A REPUTATION FOR BEING RUTHLESS WHEN OVERTAKING. BUT THAT’S HOW IT SHOULD BE, AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED. ANYONE WILL DO ANYTHING TO BE AHEAD AT THE LAST CORNER. THAT’S WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT”
“THAT MOMENT WHEN YOU’RE JUST ABOUT TO CRASH LASTS ForEVER, ESPECIALLY IF IT’S LOOKING LIKE A BAD ONE. YOU FIGHT, FIGHT AND KEEP ON FIGHTING AND THEN BANG! EVERYTHING HAPPENS in A FLASH”
As the reigning MotoGP World Champion, Marquez has the right to race number 1, but decided to keep his favourite 93
Rossi is particularly strong on the last lap.” Marquez is aggressive; he drifts and often looks like he’s not in control. “I have to ride like that if I want to be quick. A rounded, relaxed style doesn’t work for me.” Though Marquez has won world champion titles in MotoGP, Moto2 and the 125cc categories, he still lives at home, and sleeps in his childhood bedroom, with posters of FC Barcelona and Valentino Rossi on the walls. “Rossi was my idol. Dani Pedrosa was my yardstick.” He has since left both in his wake and is now the main rider at the Repsol Honda team. “Maybe it’ll be harder this year because everyone’s expecting great things of me. But I like pressure.” He has also now adjusted to his employer’s Japanese way of doing things. “The Japanese love to evaluate and discuss things. I wanted to change the handlebar grips at the first test. That was nothing to do with how the bike itself was performing; it was purely a matter of my own personal taste. They had to have a meeting to get them changed. But that meticulousness is what makes Honda successful.”
Gold & Goose/Red Bull Content Pool
arquez, who loves “big-balls” tracks, like Phillip Island in Australia with its blind bends that he takes at full throttle, combines fearlessness with impressive serenity. “I sleep incredibly well the night before a race. Nine, sometimes 10 hours.” His only concession on race day is “blue underwear when I’m practising and red when I’m racing.” Just a few days after that relaxed afternoon in Lleida, Marquez becomes the trending topic in motorsport, after breaking his leg while riding on the dirt track. “It was a bit of a stupid crash,” he admits. “A friend came off his bike in front of me; I managed to avoid him. That should have been that, but I turned round to check on him – which is when my foot got stuck on the edge of the track and I broke my right fibula.” He hopes to be fit to defend his title in the 2014 MotoGP season. Missing almost all of the preseason hasn’t given him too much cause for concern: he dominated the MotoGP test prior to the injury. But does the break mean the end of Marquez’s dirt-track racing? “Hang on! That was the first time I’ve ever been injured on one.” And how does he plan to occupy his time until the start of the season? “Maybe I’ll finally apply for my motorbike licence.” The quickest man in the world on two wheels is permitted to drive a car on the road, but not a motorbike. motogp.com
odd Couple Seth Rogen and Zac Efron fight for the right to party in their new film, Bad Neighbours Words: Ann Donahue
Jeff Vespa/Contour, picturedesk.com
alk, bonk, sprawl. Walk, bonk, sprawl. Seth Rogen, the king of smart stoner comedy, is filming multiple takes of a scene on a quiet residential Los Angeles street. He’s walking across the front lawn of a tidy renovated Victorian house, minding his own business, when an oversized inflatable exercise ball slams into him and knocks him off his feet. Walk, bonk, sprawl. Rogen overexaggerates the impact for effect, launching onto a safety mat. A stuntman takes a few turns, pushing the pratfall even more. The crew laughs appreciatively when director Nick Stoller yells “Cut!” By contrast, the swarm of paparazzi across the street could not care less. All of their the red bulletin
telephoto lenses are trained not on Rogen’s repeated flailing, but on his co-star, Zac Efron, as he stands motionless in the background of the scene. This is the set of Bad Neighbours, with the irresistible comic pairing of Disney-pretty-boy-turnedadult-pretty-boy Efron as a Machiavellian college fraternity boss and everyman Rogen as a sort-of upstanding family guy. The comedy, also starring Rose Byrne, is generating a lot of buzz with its Old School-meets-TheHangover trailers. Here, Rogen and Efron come clean about making a dirty comedy. the red bulletin: Are your characters essentially the generals in a war between a family and a fraternity? seth rogen: My character is a new father, and he and his
wife used to party together a lot and I think they’re having a hard time now that their lives are drastically changing. They just get their first house and then a fraternity moves in next door. At first, it raises all of our temptations, and then it turns into contempt. Zac Efron: We’re a pretty rambunctious group of guys. We actually burned down our other [fraternity] house. My character is the president of the fraternity and he’s coming to grips with how quickly his adult future is coming and that he’s not going to get to be the king of the world anymore. How does this compare to what you’re going through in real life? SR: I definitely relate to it. Me and my wife don’t have any kids, and this is probably why we don’t have kids. We’re afraid that we won’t be able to do any of the fun shit that we like to do right now. There’s some raunchy stuff in this movie: dildos, babies eating condoms, pornographic garden shrubbery, you name it. Rose Byrne, who typically plays angelic characters, is in the middle of all of this [as Rogen’s wife]. What’s she like?
“Zac’s a lot tougher than I thought” Seth Rogen SR: She gets right in there. I think she says some pretty dirty things herself. We really didn’t want it to be a story about the naggy wife stopping the husband from doing stupid fun shit. ZE: Seems like a pretty perfect wife. SR: You almost believe she would marry me.
“Seth puts himself out there. He’s just a great guy” Zac Efron ZE: She’s so quick: she has fantastic timing. In the dancing scenes with the fraternity, she was so damn funny. She really went for it. Was this a deliberate choice on everyone’s part to change up the kind of roles they’re known for? ZE: I did a movie with Dennis Quaid [At Any Price], and I asked him ‘If you could go back to your younger self, what would you tell him?’ He said to just keep doing as many different types of movies and you can, and always change it up. I only wanted to be in a comedy if it was something I believed in. I believed in Seth and Nick Stoller [director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to The Greek]. SR: We won’t let you down, Zac. ZE: I don’t think you can. SR: Oh, yes we can. What made you laugh hardest during filming? SR: The fraternity is always throwing these crazy, ridiculous themed parties. They throw a De Niro-themed party where everyone dresses as a different character. Davey Franco’s De Niro impression is pretty staggering. What have you learned about each other that you didn’t know before? SR: Zac’s a lot tougher than I thought [laughs]. ZE: I think Seth put himself out there pretty well. I knew a lot about him. He’s just a great guy. SR: I’m really racist. I keep that under wraps. Bad Neighbours is out worldwide from May 8: neighbors-movie.com
The Finål Two Danes are working on their own private space programme. It’s great that their homemade rockets keep going higher, faster and straighter, but can they really go into orbit in five years’ time?
Words: Bernd Hauser Photography: Uffe Weng 74
Frø nti er
The homemade HEAT 1X rocket launches off the Baltic coast. Left: rocket-makers Peter Madsen (left) and Kristian von Bengtson in Copenhagen
“I’m more afraid of dying alone in an old people’s home than on board a rocket I’ve built myself” Peter Madsen 76
eter Madsen sticks a photo of his wife, Sirid, onto the dashboard in front of him. An assistant shuts the hatch from outside. He waves one last time. His heart is racing. Countdown – “three, two, one, zero!” – and the four rocket engines roar into life.
He is wedged into his seat by 200,000bhp and a force of 4G, about four times his bodyweight The words, “This is my finest hour,” race through Peter Madsen’s head as he flies into space aboard his homemade HEAT 1600 rocket. Madsen plays this scene over and over in his head as he lies on a mattress under his desk at night. After a couple of hours of sleep and a cup of instant coffee, it’s back to work at the HAB, the Horizontal Assembly Building, at Copenhagen Suborbitals, the company Madsen and his partner Kristian von Bengtson set up in 2008. When will the dream of spaceflight come true? Will it be in four years? Five? Madsen will be 50 by then, but the engineer and entrepreneur is sure of one thing: come true it will. HAB, the Danish Space Centre, is a plain corrugated iron shed in an abandoned shipyard on the outskirts of Copenhagen. This is where Madsen cuts, knocks, drills and hammers away at his dream. But why is he doing it here and not, say, at NASA? “NASA works with a lot of subcontractors who build the engines,” he says. “I’d be sent off to work with some company like Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, where I’d be a tiny cog in a big machine. I wouldn’t like it. It’d be a disaster. At Copenhagen Suborbitals I’m the one making the decisions. I get to build a rocket from scratch, rather than just being responsible for one tiny part of it. I want to work on it, design it and then actually build it. I love all that!” Architect and spacecraft designer Kristian von Bengtson used to work for NASA, but resigned when all his designs ended up in the bin. He had worked Madsen and von on the interiors of spacecraft Bengtson founded for the Constellation Program, Copenhagen Suborbitals (above which aimed to send men and far left) in 2008, back to the moon and was cut to build a rocket by President Obama in 2010. from scratch. Left: Just as von Bengtson had a seating-design for had enough of PowerPoint the space capsule, “a presentations and theoretical narrow space rammed with technology” designs, he read something
about Madsen in a newspaper. Madsen had built the biggest private submarine in the world and now said that he wanted â€œto send a rocket into space with himself as guinea-pigâ€?. Von Bengtson was electrified and met Madsen at his home: Nautilus, a 34-tonne submarine he built himself. Submarines are like space capsules: narrow spaces rammed with technology, protective shells in an environment hostile to life. Meeting Madsen made von Bengtson sure of one thing: if he was 78
Throughout his life, Madsen has never had a problem with what so many people are afraid of: looking ridiculous
going to make his dream of actual space travel come true, then they would do it together. They spoke at length and made sketches; Madsen would take care of getting the rocket 100km into the air, von Bengtson was to be responsible for Madsen surviving the flight. Since they planned a suborbital, 15-minute parabolic trip into space, they named their space programme Copenhagen Suborbitals. Initial tasks were divided up clearly between the two men. Madsen took care of building the rocket, with von Bengtson in charge of the capsule and parachutes. The first thing the two of them did was head off to the hardware store to get sheets of metal and cork. “Cork is a fantastic material for a heat shield,” says von Bengtson. “It can withstand temperatures of over 1,000°C.” In June 2010, Nautilus towed the first launch pad, called Sputnik, out from Copenhagen into the Baltic Sea. On it stood HEAT 1X, Copenhagen Suborbitals’ first rocket. It was 9m long, weighed 2 tonnes and was built to reach an altitude of 16km. A dummy pilot, Rescue Randy, peeked out through a Perspex dome at the top of the minispaceship. Rescue Randy was meant to return to the water safe and sound by parachute once the rocket had burnt out. The rocket’s propulsion unit consisted of 500 litres of liquid oxygen, which would be fed into a rubber block weighing 500kg, and then ignited. Local and international press were waiting in boats, cameras at the ready. “Three, two, one, zero!” Nothing happened. The rocket didn’t budge. The liquid oxygen, which had been cooled to -183°C, had caused a valve to freeze. A battery that was part of the system designed to keep the valve open, which came from a €10 hairdryer bought in the supermarket, had run out.
Madsen tinkers away at his dream (left) in a shed in a Copenhagen shipyard (right). He aims to go into space aboard his rocket in 2018. Until then, it’ll be Rescue Randy the dummy (below) manning the test flights
he rocket men were not only met with derision. Private individuals gave money. Companies donated steel, equipment and fuel so that the duo could try again. The support group soon had 300 members, each of them paying €13 a month. Madsen began to blog about his progress for Ingenioren, a Danish weekly engineering magazine. Readers gave their advice. Specialists kept getting in touch with HAB, saying they wanted to help out for free. The following summer, the launch pad, made by welding together railway tracks, was once again anchored in the Baltic Sea. HEAT 1X, take two. Twenty-five thousand Ingenioren readers were following events on the homepage. The Danish TV channel TV2 sent a helicopter and was reporting live. A first countdown led to nothing; during the second, the engine ignited. Onlookers could see the train of fire by the time the countdown had reached one and the rocket roared upwards into the sky. At a public viewing event at Copenhagen’s planetarium, the project’s supporters leapt out of their seats, fists raised in the air. “We go supersonic,” said Madsen, from the launch pad, after two seconds of flight. But the rocket suddenly began to spin like a firework on Guy Fawkes Night. It only reached a height of 2.8km, less than 20 per cent of the planned altitude. The rocket’s parachutes didn’t open properly and Rescue Randy came crashing back down into the water in his mini-space capsule at high speed. When the team went to salvage the metal tube, they saw it was dented; a human being wouldn’t have survived the impact. No one mocked Copenhagen Suborbitals that day. The support group grew to 450 members. Why hadn’t the rocket worked on the first countdown? “An electric connection had probably come loose,” said von Bengtson. And why did it work on the second countdown? “That’s the thing with loose connections. Sometimes the electricity still flows.” In the summer of 2012, von Bengtson and Madsen began testing an ejector seat for a new
space capsule in the shape of a truncated cone. Then came a breakthrough; that the HEAT 1X spun alerted its makers to the fact that rockets need to be actively steered. So a new, 4.5m-long SAPPHIRE test rocket was built with four copper rudders underneath the engine. A programmer from among the assistants wrote a piece of software that checked the rocket’s trajectory 500 times a second and could constantly correct it via the rudders.
When he had completed the first of his three submarines and wanted to display it, there was a crowd of technicians and engineers standing on the embankment. One of them shouted out, “Have you done a welding course?” Madsen shouted back, “Yes!” The man continued: “Did you fail?” “He wanted to hurt me,” says Madsen. He has since carried out 1,000 submarine descents. Madsen and von Bengtson have been living the dream for a lot of other people, too. Copenhagen Suborbitals has 40 assistants and 800 supporters, many of whom are technicians and engineers. Almost all of them have to make compromises in their day jobs. “But we do what we really want to be doing every day,” says von Bengtson. “I write technically when I blog about our project,” Madsen explains. It’s his way of stealing his way into his readers’ hearts. “What really excites them is the poetry of this absurd mission.” Sometimes Madsen can’t bear the noise of all the work and the people in the HAB. At those times, he goes for a walk around the shipyard, where flowers sprout from torn-up asphalt and broken concrete, attracting bumblebees, buzzing like machines. Bumblebees have a large body and small wings. It is amazing that they can fly at all, and yet fly they do.
Top: assistants heave parts of the SAPPHIRE rocket onto the launch device. Above: company founder Peter Madsen: “What excites our supporters is the poetry of this absurd mission”
he team went back on the Baltic in June 2013, now supported by Vostok, an old German rescue ship doubling as mission control vessel. (Madsen had blogged that they had to have the ship; donations for the purchase price of €40,000 came in within days.) The SAPPHIRE soared into the sky, perfectly vertically. If ever there was a suggestion of the rocket going off course, the rudders corrected things in a matter of milliseconds. The rocket reached a height of 8.3km, with a high speed of 1,239kph. Ingenioren hailed it as “a huge success”, despite the parachutes failing again and SAPPHIRE sinking in the Baltic Sea. The team would work on a new release mechanism. The next task is to integrate the active steering into the HEAT 2X, a rocket 9m long, a rough version of which is already sitting in the HAB, scheduled to be ready for launch in the summer of 2014, 200,000bhp engine and all. The HEAT 2X does not have the special rubber hybrid engine of its predecessor. It is a liquid rocket, fuelled by alcohol and liquid oxygen. The rocket is a 1:3 scale model of the planned HEAT 1600, which is very much in the vein of rocket pioneer Wernher von Braun’s V2. That monster of a machine, which Madsen wants to take into space, should be ready for the off by summer 2015, initially with Rescue Randy on board. Madsen wants to be in the capsule himself in 2018. Throughout his life, Madsen has never had a problem with what other people are afraid of: looking ridiculous. Whether it be opening a theatre or sailing around the world, fear of failure stops people taking action. “We don’t do anything that might be risky, be that economically or personally,” he says. He is going so far as to risk his life with this rocket project. “A lot of people realise at 40 that they have a boring job, a boring house, a boring wife. I try not to get bored. I’m much more afraid of dying alone and abandoned in an old people’s home than on board a rocket I’ve put together myself.” Madsen’s personal belongings could fit into two plastic bags. He never finished his mechanical engineering degree or a number of other courses he started. Before he married and moved in with Sirid (and before she’d had a space capsule tattooed on her upper arm), he lived in workshops and submarines. He never wanted to have a career. He always wanted to build submarines and especially rockets, “because they are mythical and beautiful, with all that power that they have”.
â€œWe went to the hardware store at the end of our first meeting. Cork is ideal stuff for a heat shieldâ€? Kristian von Bengtson
Preparing to launch the SAPPHIRE rocket from the Baltic Sea, June 2013
More than a feeling: the subwoofer you wear MUSIC, page 92
Where to go and what to do
ac t i o n ! T r a v e l / G e a r / T r a i n i n g / N i g h t l i f e / M U S I C / p a r t i e s / c i t i e s / c l u b s / E v e n ts Truck non-stop: spend a day in the desert in an off-road vehicle
It might look beachy, but this is no place to sunbathe. the colorado desert provides the ultimate driving test
TRAVEL, page 84
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Desert dessert What to do after the truck driving
sail away Swap the dusty roar of the track for the crashing rapids of the Dolores River. The Gateway Resort’s Adventure Centre offers wet and wild rafting, kayaking and tubing. gatewaycanyons.com
DESERT TRUCKS Driving does not come more extreme than careering around the dusty Colorado canyons in a physics-defying truck Deserts can be relentlessly quiet, but not when you’re strapped into a 6.2-litre, V8-powered Pro-Baja truck, flying off sandy ramps at 140kph and catching air time in Colorado’s canyon country. Driven Experiences provides expert tuition at their Emerald Desert Training Facility in Mesa County, on how to handle their customised trucks around an off-road track. “Driving at high-speeds on the constantly changing dirt is a real challenge, as the longer you’re out there, the more holes start appearing,” says Travis Nailor, one satisfied and exhilarated customer. “It’s a battle to find the right line and hit the speed, but when you do, man, what a buzz. It’s a very addictive experience.” A range of driving packages is available, and you can even hire out the whole place, depending on your requirements and budget. Most people stay at the nearby Gateway Canyons Resort (rooms from US$450 per night) because, frankly, this is deep in the desert and there’s nothing else for miles. “Even experienced road racers can’t quite believe what these trucks can do,” says Andrew Hendricks, a Driven Experiences instructor. Prices range from “One described it to me as like US$600 for an driving a Transformer on the eight-lap ride for moon. But it’s like night and day. two passengers, to $2,600 for a full day. Most rookies are scared at first, More info at: driven but at the end of the day you have experiences.com to drag them out of the vehicle.” 84
Pimped-up ride: get your thrills on custom trucks in Colorado
Fly high Fancy a change of perspective? See the aweinspiring Colorado landscape from a helicopter or Cessna plane ride over gaping canyons and soaring mountainous terrain. gatewaycanyons.com
Advice from the inside flying lesson “When you approach a ramp, you think you don’t know what’s going to happen, but keep very calm, it’s going to be OK, just keep the gas on,” says off-road racing legend Chuck Dempsey. “You’ll hit the ramp and fly what feels like 40ft in the air. When you land you’ll feel like there’s nothing that you can’t do or jump, you feel indestructible in this crazy-ass beast of a machine.”
“Our trucks place a real physical demand on the driver,” says Driven Experiences’s Andrew Hendricks. “If someone is serious about getting all they can out of driving here, I suggest they should work-out hard the week before coming, just to train their body to sweat.”
zip along They’re about 320km away down Highway 50, but the zip lines at Salida are worth the drive: the 695ft-long Leap of Faith line and the superfast Gun Barrel span a 200ft valley. captainzipline.com
the red bulletin
Row for it: Mario Gyr (left) and Simon Schürch
“We need max strength”
High and dry: about a third of their training is in the gym
IN THE BALANCE A simple way to build quad muscles and balance. Beginners may want stop after step 2 a few times, get used to the movements, and only then progress to step 3
lukas maeder(3), shutterstock
rowing A world-class duo on how to win as one. Plus: train like they do “Rowers are different from other endurance sportsmen and women,” says Switzerland’s Mario Gyr, who, alongside compatriot Simon Schürch, won the silver medal in lightweight double sculls at the 2013 World Rowing Championships in South Korea. “We always need maximum strength for every stroke. About 60 per cent of what we do to improve our endurance we do in the water, and 40 per cent in the weights room.” Schürch knows that he and Gyr must match each other exactly if they are to succeed. “We work on our technique to improve our stroke synchronisation, because the more synchronised our strokes are, the more stable the boat is and that means we’re quicker. Your legs are the most important thing in rowing: they generate the most power. As well as up to three hours a day in the water, we’ll work our quads in the gym on the leg-press machine and do squats with a 105kg barbell on our shoulders.” the red bulletin
Stand on one leg, lift the other off the ground and get your balance
Bend your standing leg at the knee, put your other leg out in front and bend at the waist
E AT TH I S ! A PRO PROTEIN TIP
Squat down low, then stand up again. Do five reps on each leg
Rowers have to be large and lean, and thus are among pro sport’s leading guzzlers of protein shakes. If you’re sick of shakes, get a fork and whisk a shot-glass of water with the suggested measure of powder until it goes mousse-like and you can eat it.
get the gear
stay alive what you need when the going gets rough
Stop that High-tech brakes mean stopping exactly when required: a necessity on rugged terrain In the frame The chrome steel alloy of the KTM 300 is its strength, but it’s also light, making the bike easy to handle
LS2 helmet “It’s strong and lightweight. I put in long hours on the bike: if my helmet was too heavy it would trash my neck and shoulders.” ls2helmets.com
Leatt neck brace “I’ve had some big crashes and broken a couple of braces, but I’m still walking and talking, so this is doing its job.
Power plant “I can fix anything on this bike,” says Birch. “I carry a tube of Pratley Steel Quickset Epoxy, so if I put a hole in the engine I can glue it back together again”
Essentials of extreme e nduro The kit you need to thrive in the toughest two-wheeled environments on Earth Tough guy: Chris Birch competes in the Hard Enduro series
Reliability, a smooth ride and the ability to overcome obstacles. These are the qualities Chris Birch needs in a bike. The 33-year-old from New Zealand has been riding KTM bikes since 2003. “You can overheat them, throw them down waterfalls or drive them up cliff faces and they keep coming back for more,” he says.
The new KTM Freeride 350 XC-F is his go-to bike for shorter, sprintdistance races, but for multi-day events like Red Bull Romaniacs or The Roof of Africa, he pulls out his old faithful, a KTM 300 two-stroke (above). “It’s my safety blanket,” he says. “It’s a bike I know very well.” chrisbirch.co.nz
Alpinestars boots “If I’m doing lots of jumps, I’ll wear the Tech 10s. I use these lighter, more flexible Tech 8s when I have to push my bike up a lot of hills.” alpinestars.com
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ONE WHOLE EXTRA HOUR WITH THE LADS !
Playtime Than Drivetime! More Like
Töp Tünes Music-making girls of Gothenburg
Yukimi Nagano The vocalist from synth soul band Little Dragon counts Damon Albarn among her admirers. Her group’s fourth album, Nabuma Rubberband, is out on May 13.
No warm beer
Five floors of fun: first-class night out in Sweden’s second city
GOTHENBURG The best club in Sweden grew out of frustration with all the bad ones
Yaki-da Storgatan 47 411 38 Göteborg, Sweden www.yaki-da.se
Dinner Time Before you dive into the nightlife, take some time to explore Gothenburg’s Restaurants
Anna von Hausswolff Her gigs feel like midnight masses: the church organ is her prime instrument. She calls her music funeral pop. Don’t be put off by this: try new album Ceremony.
Market A newly opened KoMex eatery in front of the iconic Feskekôrkan, a fish market inside a church building. Market’s got a colourful menu, tasteful interior and DJs spinning disco every weekend. Rosenlundsgatan 8
Saigon Zoo A small and modest fast-food place with great Vietnamese dishes for a quick bite or to take away. There are some good record stores in the area, too. Stigbergstorget
Scout Klas This Red Bull Music Academy graduate finds inspiration in Italian horror films. Her sound exists in the space between stuttering hip-hop and subtle electronica.
the red bulletin
At the turn of the 20th century, one of the finest residences on Gothenburg’s main drag was a five-storey townhouse occupied by a nobleman and his family. Ten years into the 21st century, it was turned into a club, Yaki-Da. Today, it’s the home of the city’s best night out. Yaki-Da still has links to its glorious past: DJs play in spaces stuffed with antique furniture; bands perform in front of velvet curtains. “There used to be two types of parties in Gothenburg: ones with underground music and warm beer, and the others with good service and mainstream music,” says Sebastian Kapocs, Yaki-Da’s owner. “We want to bring the best of both worlds together.” That means live music outside on the terrace as well as in, and cuttingedge house DJs, such Spanish spinner John Talabot, performing in the ‘living room’ while hip-hop and soul play in the café bar. And you can get a steak at 2am. It’s all in keeping with the club’s name: also the name of a former Gothenburg club, and the Welsh for cheers. Iechyd da!
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feel th e b er n
this is what you do there
Bern, switzerland Sp
Al t e n b e r g s t r a ss e ga
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4 A m t h a u s g a ss e
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GURTEN DOWNHILL TRAIL A downhill biking track close to the city, 2km long and with jumps up to 10m high. There’s a bike wash thrown in for free at the end. How nice. gurtenpark.ch
Top five city highlights
carol fernandez (3), club bonsoir, adriano‘s
Johannes Lang, albert Exergian, Sascha Bierl
Swiss congeniality: Carol Fernandez
“It’s where I get my tattoos” Bern A first-rate second-hand drinking den and the only place to eat pizza before sunrise in the most laid-back capital city As a child, Carol Fernandez took piano lessons at the Bern Conservatory and now, she says, “I pep up my sets with keyboard sections.” As a teenager, she DJd in her dad’s record shop: “I ruined all the record-player styluses. He would get so angry.” It was good practice for her first proper night on the decks, aged 22. “It was a small club. I was so nervous that I screwed up 10 of 15 songs. Today, she is sought-after DJ. “I perform 90 times a year, all over Switzerland and Europe, but I always like coming back to my hometown, Bern. It’s so easy-going. You don’t see harried faces on the street; you get a relaxed feeling. What other capital city can offer you that in this day and age?” Quite. Here Fernandez picks her city’s must-seek spots. djcarol-fernandez.com
the red bulletin
1 Club Bonsoir Aarbergergasse 33/35 “This used to be Dad’s record shop! Now it’s a club where underground stars and new talent play. It’s fitted out with second-hand furniture and the drinks aren’t expensive at all.”
basement venue isn’t exactly a secret, but you’ve got to see their giant wine cask – it holds 38,000 litres. And, if I’m not performing, the gallery bar is a cosy place for a cocktail.”
4 Adriano’s Bar & Café Theaterplatz 2 “This place has the best coffee in town; it’s roasted on site, but there’s nowhere to sit and it’s always jam-packed. A lot of Bernese come here, especially after dinner for a macchiato.”
3 Kornhauskeller Kornhausplatz 18 “OK, so this 18th-century
Plunge into streaming water where the River Aar flows through Bern. All abilities welcome, from beginners to would-be instructors. tauchsport-kaeser.ch
STOCKHORN BUNGEE JUMP
2 pronto Restaurant
Aarbergergasse 26 “Even during the daytime, Bern can be pretty quiet. By 2am, it’s completely dead. The one exception is Pronto. It serves great pizza, pita and kebabs.”
DIVING IN THE AAR RIVER
5 Blacksheep tattoo
Gerechtigkeitsgasse 5 “The people at this tattoo parlour are true body artists. They draw the design you want on a pad first and won’t stress you out. I got my latest tattoo here: a clef on piano keys.”
Deep breath, and then step off a rig 134m above a mountain lake. For many, the location of the world’s most breathtaking bungee jump. stockhorn.ch
Greatest running myths debunked
IS RUNNING ON TARMAC BAD? IS STRETCHING GOOD AFTER A SESSION? TO MARK THE WINGS FOR LIFE WORLD RUN, SPORTS SCIENTIST DR MARTIN APOLIN BANISHES RUNNING’S MOST PERSISTENT MYTHS
“Running on tarmac is bad for your joints” The truth
“Always run with a heart-rate monitor ” The truth
“Stretching eases aches and pains” The truth
No scientific study has ever confirmed this. Furthermore, people who run regularly build up thicker cartilage protection, regardless of the surface they train on. Tarmac also lowers the risk of twisting your ankle.
There is no argument against objectively gauging your performance, but your body isn’t a machine. Performance depends on your state of mind, how well you’ve slept and your form on the day. So, think before you react to a monitor’s readings.
Aches and pains after running are often tears in muscle tissue, which will only by made larger by stretching. What actually would help more is sitting in a sauna (drink plenty of water) or going for a gentle warm-down run.
“Endurance training makes you a slower runner” The truth
‘Quick’ muscle fibres only turn into ‘slow’ ones if you exclusively stick to long runs over a period of years. Occasional sprint training specifically for speed will prevent that happening.
“You won’t burn any fat if you run for less than 30 minutes” The truth
We burn fat, even during sleep. But we burn it more efficiently after 30 minutes, as then your body is likely to have run out of carbohydrates. That said, to lose weight, you should eat less calories than you burn.
“You should hardly run at all for the last week before a race” The truth
If you reduce your training too much just before a race, your endurance can take a hit. The best thing to do is reduce your training by 50 per cent and rest for the last two days before race day.
the red bulletin
craig Kolesky/Red Bull Content Pool, Christophe Launay/Red Bull Content Pool, Alessandro Dealberto/Red Bull Content Pool, Balasz Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool sascha bierl
YOU CAN RACE WORLD-CLASS SPORTS STARS IN THE WINGS FOR LIFE WORLD RUN. HERE’S A FRONT-RUNNING FIVE
an d get training
“Eating up those kilometres as long as I can” Surf legend Robby Naish has set himself a race target
“Training three times a week – and that includes cross-country skiing” Luc Alphand, former skiing star and racing driver, on his prep
“My target is to run 80 kilometres and win” The goal of ultramarathon runner Giorgio Calcaterra
Global gathering W ings For Life World Run A starter’s gun on six continents: The first worldwide running race in sporting history gets under way on may 4. Anyone who wants to race against the rest of the world can take part. Here are the details 1. THE WAY IT WORKS
4. THE RESULT
In 33 countries, 35 races will all begin at 10am UTC (Co-ordinated Universal Time; 10am GMT) on May 4, 2014. ‘Catcher Cars’ will start reeling in the participants 30 minutes later. The last person in the world to be caught wins.
The last man and last woman running will be crowned global champions and win a special roundthe-world trip. Each country will also record its national winners. All runners will be able to check online to see how they did. “Who in the world ran further than I did?”
2. THE CHASERS
“To send a signal, even though I’m not a runner” Running for those who can’t is important to David Coulthard, former F1 great
“It’s uplifting that thousands of people are running for us” Wheelchair triathlete Marc Herremans on the race boosting spinal injury research
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The ‘Catcher Cars’ will gradually increase their speed at predetermined intervals. Once a runner is caught, or passed by a car, he or she must drop out of the race and the distance run at that point is automatically recorded.
5. THE PARTICIPANTS
3. THE COURSES
6. THE MISSION
They fall into five categories around the world: coastal runs, river runs, city runs, nature runs and runs with a view. The event’s homepage (wingsforlife worldrun.com) gives you the latest weather reports, detailed course information, training plans and a distance-time calculator.
The Wings for Life World Run motto is: Running For Those Who Can’t. All of the money earned will go to the Wings For Life Foundation, which supports worldwide scientific research programmes looking for a cure for spinal cord injury. You can find more information at wingsforlife.com.
Beginners, hobby runners, top athletes and stars, such as former Formula One ace David Coulthard. The aim is to cover as much of the course as you can to help cure paraplegia.
Compete against the rest of the world in the Wings For Life World Run. You can register online until April 20 at wingsforlifeworldrun.com
COVER VERSIONS Mark Foster was 18 when he moved to Los Angeles to launch a music career. It was a long time coming. For years, he worked in bars and wrote commercial jingles. Then, in 2010, he and his band Foster the People put their song Pumped Up Kicks online. He says now that they weren’t expecting anything much, but that breezy indie pop tune broke through. Spotify’s most-streamed song of 2011, it reached No 3 in the US charts and has since sold over five million copies. Torches, their debut album of the same year, earned two Grammy nominations. The just-out follow-up, Supermodel, adds multilayered synths and space rock to the indie pop mix. Foster, now 29, let The Red Bulletin in on the songs that shaped him.
Playlist The Beatles took Mark Foster down the rabbit hole, but the Foster the People frontman is a creature of many influences
1 Beach Boys
2 The Beatles
3 Jeff Buckley
“The first time I heard this song, on the radio when I was a kid, it was unlike anything I’d ever heard. Especially the vocal harmonies. Looking back, it was a significant moment for me. When I was seven years old, the Beach Boys were my first concert. So to be on stage with my favourite band at the Grammys in 2012 was the greatest moment of my life.”
“It’s just one of the greatest songs ever, so simple but so profound. The experimental bridge in that song, when it takes that big orchestral left turn, is incredible. Hearing all these elements coming together, it takes you on a journey. Which is funny, as the song is actually about a trip. I love that, when the lyrics and the story match the music.”
“I remember the first time I heard this song. I was 19, I kept pressing the replay button, the lyrics started to pop out on me and I started to weep, because to me the song is about him predicting his own death. I sang along to it so often, I feel it really stretched my voice. I would even say Jeff Buckley taught me how to sing.”
5 The Beatles
“The video for this was on MTV when I was a kid and I’d never seen anything like it. I was so intrigued by this band; they just had a feeling to them no other band had. This song is like a classical piece split into three parts. It’s one of those songs that when I hear it, it makes me just want to quit. Radiohead touched the foot of God with this song.”
“I love to listen to this on headphones. It’s the only way to hear all the different textures and the bending, psychedelic effect on the bass guitar – an amazing sound I’ve been chasing around forever. Listening to I Am The Walrus really makes you feel like you’re a giant egg man on LSD bumbling down the street John Lennon was singing about.”
God Only Knows
A Day In The Life
I Am The Walrus
DJ-Kicks “I don’t like to be on my records, but this was a good idea. All the names of the artists in the mix are written on the wall and then I stood in front of it.”
Theme From ... “One of the first sleeves I did. I remember hearing Mark Moore [of S’Express] playing the promo in a club. I went up to him and said, ‘I love it, can I do the cover?’ The train represents a penis.”
lo u d vi b r ations LITTLE BIG BASS
THE WOOJER A mobile subwoofer that succeeds where others have failed, by converting sound waves into vibrations that oontz-oontz directly into your body. Connect the matchbox-sized device to your MP3 player and headphones, clip it onto your T-shirt and give your chest a bass massage.
UL-6 “Icarus made very interesting fractured electronic music. So we messed up every sleeve by hand, reassembled them, then printed the name on a plastic bag. Every single one was different.”
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‘I hear it and I want to quit’
People person: Mark Foster
Musician and designer Trevor Jackson of Playgroup picks three sleeves what he made
A world reimagined: Wolfenstein: The New Order
It’s wolf time W olfenstein the classic game gets a next-gen makeover In February 1949, the winners of World War II are blowing the faces off Mount Rushmore. In 1960, a tiny crack appears in the evil machine of Teutonic world government. In Wolfenstein: The New Order, you are the leader of a resistance movement, trying to force that crack wide open and remove the jackboot from the free world’s neck. For those who came of age when gaming came of age, there’s not a lot more exciting than that. The first-person shooter, one of the world’s favourite game genres, would not be where it is today without Wolfenstein 3D, a 1992 PC title which broke ground in terms of its
speedy action and intense gameplay. The following year, the company that made it raised the stakes with Doom, a landmark of technical and gameplay excellence. Without these two, there’d be no Half-Life, Halo, Battlefield or Call Of Duty. In Wolfenstein: The New Order you will find retro-steampunk war machines, a scarfaced, sadistic chief baddie called General Deathshead and the kind of highvelocity yet claustrophobic run-and-gun action pioneered by its predecessors of a generation ago. What’s not to love? Out in the third week of May for Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows, PS3 and PS4. wolfenstein.com
o u t n ow
Love U Too Can Bayonetta 2 save Wii?
It’s more like Nintendoh!: planning to sell nine million Wii U consoles this financial year, the games firm says it’ll be closer to three million. Nintendo-exclusive titles will help turn gameheads away from Xbox and PlayStation: out soon is Bayonetta 2, a stunning fantasy action game. It proves Nintendo means more than Mario, but would you buy a Wii U to play it? platinumgames.com
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Double the fun
Two screens better than one As your deep-space salvage team scours spaceships for bounty, fending off similar crews and alien creatures, a large screen shows what your men see and a small screen has overviews, ships’ blueprints, stats and info. This is Salvaged, an immersive real-time strategy game that needs a PC and an Android or Apple device. Watch for more dual-screen games. Out in November.
Ti e-I n Try Again Games of movies coming soon (and 35 years old)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 The open-world adventure based on the previous movie was good; the same team is making this one. Out April 29. theamazingspidermangame.com
Alien: Isolation Survival horror based on the original 1979 Alien movie – an influence you’ll find in most survival horror games. Available late 2014. alienisolation.com
Transformers: Rise Of The Dark Spark To go with this summer’s fourth big-robot film, starring Mark Wahlberg, a third-person shooter of man versus machine. transformersgame.com
buyer’s guide …Projector 1. Pico Genie P100 LED Projector Screen your latest short film, get laughs with a YouTube cat clip or rule a meeting with a killer spreadsheet. This palm-sized projector works with both Apple and Android handsets and any HDMI-compatible device, creating a ‘screen’ ranging from 10in to 60in on any blank surface. The images are bright and clear, the integrated speaker allows everyone to listen in and a built-in battery pack means it won’t drain your handset. £249/€303. personalprojector.co.uk …Microscope 2. KeepLoop Open up the micro world to a smartphone, tablet or laptop camera with this simple microscope attachment. It’s LED-lit and stays firmly attached using a magnet, so it’s easily movable and doesn’t require an app to produce images that are accurate to one hundredth of a millimetre. £99/€119. keeploop.com
Turn your phone into a... Add-ons and upgrades for the supercomputer in your pocket …Card machine 3. iZettle Whether you’re a fledgling entrepreneur or just someone with friends who are always short of cash, one of these allows you to always play as the banker. It might make you unpopular with your money-light pals, but you’ll never be owed again. It links up over Bluetooth, and the accompanying app also helps track sales, keep accounts and, if you’re the boss, log multiple users. iZettle takes a small percentage of each transaction, but the more you use it, the less you pay. From £59/€70. izettle.com
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…3D Scanner 4. The Structure Sensor The first device of its kind for iPad. It clips on, views the world in 3D and creates true models. Scan any object and send it to a 3D printer. Scan the rooms in your house before you go shopping and see how that chair will look in your bedroom without leaving the shop. Developers are excited about this tech. Would you play a driving game having designed the course for real in the back yard and then scanned it in? Of course you would! £210/€255. occipital.com …3D Cinema 5. vrAse Still in the prototype stage, this recreates the glasseson, big-screen experience anywhere, using a wide range of smartphones. Adjustable lenses feed separate info to each eye, leading to sharp images that immerse you in 3D films, gaming worlds or augmented reality apps. You can also use it to film your own POV footage. It’s lightweight, hands-free and its makers claim you can watch for hours without getting eye strain. £82/€99. vrase.com
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…Tracker 6. StickNFIND Tag your most precious belongings – or the ones you’re always losing – with these sticky homing beacons. About the size of a 10p, you can track them within a range of 150ft. The battery in each tag lasts up to a year, and one touch of a phone screen can activate it so it buzzes and flashes, making it easier to find in the dark. Track multiple objects at the same time, and set up a ‘virtual leash’ which warns you if an object goes out of range. If an object is lost, log it and other stickNFIND users can alert you if they find it. £40/€48 pair. sticknfind.com …SLR camera 7. Snappgrip This grippable gadget combines the convenience of a smartphone with the functionality and feel of a proper big camera. Zoom, focus (hold the button down halfway, as you would with an SLR), screw in a tripod. There’s also the benefit of phone protection with the metal attachment case. £50/€60. snappgrip.com
save the date
Saddle up Four-time BMX world champion Shanaze Reade is leaving her new California base, where she races in the ABA Series, to compete in Manchester at the first round of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup. It has been a year since she competed on home turf, and she’ll hope to better her 2013 performance here, when a knee injury forced her out of the competition. redbull.com/bike
Up to scratch
Until April 21
Upload Visit the Red Bull Studios website to enter a video of your band, or vote for others, as the chance to appear at Download Festival in June draws to a close. redbullstudios.com
Londoner Jonny Fox, aka Itch, began his second year as a solo artist in full flow, performing his politically infused mix of hip-hop, reggae and rock on a sold-out tour. His solo work is a departure from his former role as lead singer of The King Blues, a ‘ukelele punk rock’ outfit, but he can be found in good company. Catch him in Wolverhampton with Essex electro hip-hoppers Dan le Sac and Scroobius Pip. redbullrecords.com
Monster munch Those missing Breaking Bad so much they’re watching the entire series again should head to the cinema instead. Walt, er, we mean Bryan Cranston, is starring in a movie with even greater cult pedigree. Godzilla is the eagerly awaited reboot of the 1954 Japanese original, which was so impactful that its giant reptilian earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. godzillamovie.com
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getty images(2), Nick Pickles, Dan Wilton, Legendary Pictures Productions LLC & Warner Bros Entertainment Inc, action press, bob wolfenson, Jean-Christophe Dupasquier/Red Bull Content Pool, sony music
Riding high: at the 2013 UCI BMX Supercross in Manchester
Jazz, nice. The Bray Jazz Festival is small but perfectly formed, with over 40 recitals, concerts and shows each year by world-class artists over May bank holiday weekend. Highlights of 2013 included New York-based Brazilian pianist and singer Elaine Elias. Now in its 15th year, it promises to raise the bar again. brayjazz.com
Break it down Budding B-Boys get to face off against the country’s best, as the Red Bull BC One contest heads to Birmingham. After a morning’s battling, the leading eight will face eight invited B-Boys from around the UK: then it’s straight elimination to find a UK representative at the Western Europe Final in Finland in October. The overall winner makes it to the world final in Paris on November 29. redbullbcone.com
don’t miss shows that will put a smile on your face
ha! Even the venue of the Udderbelly Festival puts a smile on your face: a giant upside-down purple cow, on the Southbank in London until July 13. Gandini Juggling will perform their hit show, Smashed.
London calling For one day a year, it is socially acceptable to run through the capital dressed as a huge bird. At last year’s London Marathon, almost 35,000 runners endured over 26 miles of pain, with Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede winning in 2:06:04. Most runners just want to finish in their own good time. Can Mo Farah’s full race debut – he did half in 2013 – live up to the hype? virginmoneylondon marathon.com
2 April 18-21
Super biking As the days get longer, British motorsport revs back into view. This month, all eyes are on the Brands Hatch Indy track for a high-octane first round of British Superbikes. With last year’s champion Alex Lowes moving up to World Superbikes, there will be a new name at the top of the pile come season’s end. Last year’s second-place man Shane Byrne, perhaps? britishsuperbike.com
ha! Machynlleth Comedy Festival is new and unsung, but won’t be either for long. Being funny in Welsh fields this year are Robin Ince, Richard Herring, Josie Long and more. machcomedy fest.co.uk
Up the ’Pool The UK’s biggest metropolitan festival is back for the bank holiday with a line-up worthy of its now-huge reputation. Liverpool Sound City attracts over 350 artists, who this year will flood the city with noise from 30 venues – among them Bristol’s inimitable F-ck Buttons, new mysterious London two-piece Jungle, Dublin-based rockers Kodaline (above) and classical/dance fusion four-piece Clean Bandit. Also appearing are Melbourne chanteuse Courtney Barnett, The Hold Steady and Drenge. liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk
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ha! London loudmouth and Edinburgh Comedy Festival award winner Russell Kane is heading to Dublin’s Laughter Lounge with his Smallness tour, for one night only. russellkane.co.uk
Tallin, Estonia, February 22, 2014
“You’d think that only Superman could do this trick, but not if the world’s upside down” Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool
Simon Stricker’s dream of defying gravity became real thanks to the reflected glory of a team of backroom boys. “A camera crew worked for two days to create a mirrorinverted set in an old industrial building,” says the 22-year-old Swiss skater. “This is not just a photo, it’s a work of art.”
Simon Stricker, skateboarder
The next issue of the Red Bulletin is out on May 17 98
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