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Nasser Al-Attiyah / Stephen Bayley / The Brothers Grimm / Norah Jones / Lionel Messi / Annalise Murphy


JUNE 2012

Raising The Bar SAM OLDHAM How to medal at London 2012

GOLD STANDARD TREY HARDEE In 10 events that will change his life

D ow

n lo a Tab FR E d your le t Ap E pn ow


iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Android is a trademark of Google Inc.


June 22

INSIDE THE MIND OF MESSI He comes from a humble background, has suffered from impaired growth and is yet to conquer his shyness, but Lionel Messi has the world at his feet


NORAH JONES The jazz pop star on new collaborator Danger Mouse, healthy food and busty movies


ME AND MY BODY Mexican Red Bull BC One champ Roxrite talks busted muscles and back injuries


Welcome Japan has always been a place apart, a clutch of islands at arm’s length from Western culture. The differences are vast and baffling for a newbie. And even where things might appear familiar, they are inevitably different. Take Japan’s track-bike racing scene, Keirin. Looks familiar enough – thick-thighed chaps on two thin wheels pounding velodromes at speeds that defy belief. But unlike its Euro almost-equivalent, Keirin is a big-money professional scene with stars as rich as footballers. Our reportage takes you close enough to feel the Lycra stretch. Elsewhere you’ll find a fanciful story from 'Überworld' about what might happen next to stratonaut Felix Baumgartner, an exploration of the fear-filled challenge of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series and a yarn on the physical exploits of decathlete Trey Hardee, aka the world’s toughest man.


At 22 years old, Annalise Murphy is the youngest member of the world’s top 10 in the Laser Radial sailing class. She’s also one of Ireland’s best hopes for medal success at London 2012


Fifteen of the world’s best and bravest high divers head to Australia to battle it out for a coveted place in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, where divers hit the water at speeds in excess of 90kph


June 94

IRON MAN TREY HARDEE The man who wants the title of World’s Greatest Athlete explains how he isn’t going to stop training hard until he is on top of the Olympic decathlon podium

WORLD IN ACTION From Lana del Rey at Barcelona’s Sónar festival to an enduro in the mountains of Romania, we bring you the month’s best event listings world-wide


TITANIC ACHIEVEMENT ‘Actor’s director’ Ridley Scott has four decades of success and is showing no signs of slowing down


The first tale from the Grimm brothers was published 200 years ago. We present their prolific careers in figures


Kit evolution: The preferred footwear of world-class marathon runners has come a long way in the past six decades


RED BULL STRATOS The mission’s Medical Director Jonathan Clark answers all the big scientific questions before Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the edge of space

08 Gallery: Photos of the Month 14 Here is the news: The latest from the world of Red Bull



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Baseball’s great throwing skill is disguise: making two different pitches look like the same. How they do that? Here’s how…

GOLDEN BOY Sam Oldham has toiled for more than a decade to get to the top level in gymnastics. Now he’s in with a chance of Olympic glory

I’ve been training six hours a day, six days a week since I was a kid


Dakar Rally winner and World Rally Championship contender Nasser Al-Attiyah is ready for his fifth Olympics, representing Qatar at skeet shooting


Body & Mind 84 GET THE GEAR 96

Ink these in your diary









Tips from fencer Olga Kharlan


You may not have heard of it, but Keirin racing occupies a unique place in Japanese culture. Part sporting phenomenon, part gambling haven, part hero-worship, it’s cycle racing like nowhere else on Earth


The finer points of the KTM 350 Freeride

Dublin rock trio The Minutes



Our cartoonist

The thoughts of columnist Stephen Bayley

A glamorous club, an exotic cocktail, a midnight snack, the best in music and much more – we’ve got everything you need to get you through the night



Sam Oldham



This looks like a sled race churning up snow, but it’s the world’s toughest sailing regatta, the Volvo Ocean Race. This photo was taken on board the French Groupama team’s boat, shortly after it set sail on the fifth race stage (of nine) from Auckland in New Zealand to Itajaí in Brazil; 12,418km non-stop across the Pacific, round Cape Horn and then on up almost as far as Rio. Of the six 21.5m boats that started the stage, only Puma Ocean Racing survived without suffering massive damage. Two of its American-German crew were injured, but skipper Ken Read pressed on and brought his boat into harbour as stage-winner after 20 days of 24-hour competition at the absolute limit. Follow the contest: Photograph: Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race




In the top right-hand corner of this image is an iceberg. Water’s cold. Canadian kayaker Valerie Lubrick is attempting an Eskimo Roll. The people after which this manoeuvre is named are from the opposite polar region; Neko Harbour is on the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, the closest point on the southern frozen continent to South America. Photograph: Krystle Wright




“We had smiles on our lips, clouds in our faces and the sound of varios ringing in our ears,” says Tom De Dorlodot, of Belgium, of his paragliding flight with Horacio Llorens (Spain) and Hernan Pitocco (Argentina) among the Karakoram mountains of northern Pakistan. The trio flew 225km for eight hours non-stop, at heights of up to 6,443m. De Dorlodot is shown here above the Rakaposhi glacier. ‘Varios’ are variometers, instruments that inform paragliders as to their altitude, and how far they’ve risen or descended, via a series of beeps. Photograph: Krystle Wright


Bullevard Sport and culture on the quick

More gruelling Marathons? For wimps! These endurance tests are at the top of the ultrasportsman’s wish list

RACE ACROSS AMERICA The 4,800km cycling trek starts this month. As the bumper sticker says: winners do it in 8-9 days.

SHINE ON IDITAROD RACE In March, Dallas Seavey won the 1,800km Alaskan dog-sled slog in 9 days, 4 hours, 29 minutes.

BELTQUERUNG Instead of the ferry, swim the Fehmarn Belt between Germany and Denmark: 25km in 7-ish hours.

The man who paints with light and shadow

Azerbaijani artist Rashad Alakbarov is known as the ‘Master of Shadows’ for the detailed worlds he creates using what look like plastic paper aeroplanes and a strategically placed light. His seemingly arbitrarily hung objects are transformed with the flick of a switch, as an intricate cityscape, human face

or landscape is suddenly cast large on a nearby wall. After exhibitions in the UK and across Europe, the 32-yearold has created a 12m shadow painting of Greek goddess Themis for the 012 Baku Public Art Festival, visible nightly until September 1 in the centre of Rashad Alakbarov the Azerbaijan capital.



CROCODILE TROPHY A 10-day, 1,200km mountain bike race in the heat of the Outback in North Queensland, Australia.


Taken a picture with a Red Bull flavour? Email it to us: Every month we print a selection, and our favourite pic is awarded a limited-edition Sigg bottle. Tough, functional and well-suited to sports, it features The Red Bulletin logo.

Saint-Malo The bell tolls to end Red Bull Kite Quest: not your usual French coastal entertainment. Jeremy Bernard

Appy days New games and more for your phone

RED BULL X-FIGHTERS 2012 The game of the freestyle motocross world tour; take on Dany Torres et al, and create your own tricks.


Dai’s tune to help get him in the zone is 126bpm

On your marks, get set, press Play Athletes in recording studios is usually a recipe for disaster, but UK producer Redlight and Welsh world champion hurdler Dai Greene are breaking new ground. Redlight and Costas Karageorghis, a sports psychologist specialising in music, met Olympic hopeful Greene at the Red Bull Studios, London, to work on a different sort of track: one designed to maximise his race performance. “Music plays a big part in both my training and competition,” Greene says. “It’s a very exciting idea to have something tailormade. Costas went through my iPod of pre-race music and talked to me about how I feel before a race, what makes me tick.” Redlight then put the music theory into practice. “Costas spoke to me about what kind of feeling Dai needed in a track to stay motivated,” he says. “Then I worked on some sounds with Dai. The final track is 126bpm, so it’s not too fast: more like a hip-hop track. He was really into it.” Now Greene is preparing to test it out in competition. “It will be interesting to see how I respond,” he says. “The fact it’s for me will make a big difference.” Hear the song, from July:

RED BULL RACING SPY Insider Formula One news and info, exclusive images and access to the Red Bull Racing team diary.

GIVE UP? NEVER! His band LCD Soundsystem may be history, but James Murphy still rocks on On April 2, 2011, Murphy’s much-loved dance-punk group played a last, rousing gig at NYC’s Madison Square Garden. This summer, the film of that final fling, Shut Up And Play The Hits, is out in cinemas and on disc. Why end the band at the pinnacle of its success? There would have been a lot of very good reasons to carry on. But when it came down to it, it was never about being a pop star for me. I feel we’ve done the best we can with LCD – and I don’t feel there’s quite as much to prove. I want to find another challenge for myself. And that would be? The year has been mostly consumed with making

the films: The Hits movie, which is a less-than-twohour movie, and then the four-hour concert movie. We had about 100 tracks of audio and 11 cameras for four hours. It all had to be edited. Now I’m looking forward to something new. I make a lot of coffee; maybe I’ll bring out my own brand. What advice would you give to young musicians? Make the music you’d want to listen to yourselves. And don’t overdo it. Get a bass and just make a record with a bass. Strip it down, get to know your tools before you start layering everything up. It’s like learning to fly a jet: fly a kite for a minute! Murphy on the Red Bull Music Academy couch: Wannabe coffee mogul James Murphy

RED BULL KART FIGHTER WORLD TOUR Courses include Buckingham Palace and the White House; win credits to upgrade your kart. Download now:


Sao Jose do Rio Preto B-Boys in rural Brazil for Red Bull Under My Wing. Marcelo Maragni

Cape Town Surfer Jordy Smith (left) learns to fly with paragliding champ Thomas de Dorlodot. Craig Kolesky

Atlanta Robby Kirkland on his way to second place at street skate contest Red Bull Mind the Gap. Ryan Flinn 15


Mobile beats from Kobi Onyame

Musicians flit between recording in studios and performing on stage, but from this month, they can do both at once. The Red Bull Studios in London is converting a shipping container into a mobile studio and setting up at this summer’s biggest festivals. “I’ve worked at Red Bull Studios for a while now on various projects,” says Glaswegian rapper Kobi Onyame, “but I love festival season, and bringing the studio set-up out to the live stage takes things to the next level.” Red Bull Studios Live will be at Rockness Festival in Scotland from June 8-10 and at Wireless in London from July 6-8. Listen to the tracks at

From the pits to your stomach It’s not every day F1 fans get to break bread with a racing legend at trackside, but as Silverstone gears up for the British Grand Prix on July 8, David Coulthard (right) is offering just that. On the Friday evening of race weekend he will entertain four guests for dinner at the Red Bull Energy Station, and give an exclusive behind-the-scenes garage tour as the Red Bull Racing team, with Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, prepare for the race. Fans can bid for the experience, with money raised from the highest pledge going to spinal research charity Wings For Life. Bid for dinner with DC:

Bjerringbro Danish BMXer Chris Christensen’s 16th birthday gift: a new track. Lars Daniel Terkelsen 16

Sam Beeton includes Nina Simone and Nas in his list of influences


Faced with becoming a professional footballer or a model, Nottingham’s Sam Beeton, 23, chose a third way and kept a firm grip on his guitar The Pusher. “I was seven years old when I started playing guitar, then at 15 I started playing Nina Simone covers in a blues bar in Nottingham and got discovered by a producer.” WAG off. “I played for the Notts County youth team until I was 16, but gave it up for music. I enjoyed football but I don’t regret it. I don’t really dream of having an orange girlfriend.” Out of fashion. “Burberry’s creative director Christopher Bailey asked me to play some acoustic sessions for them, and some modelling too. But I stick to music now – the fashion world isn’t me.” Folk fusion. “I’m headlining The London Folk Fest but I also have a passion for hip-hop, so I’m going to perform some unexpected covers. I love Nas and I’ve got everything De La Soul ever released.” The London Folk Fest, July 19-22:

Paris Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge the French way, at Red Bull Balle Aux Prisonniers. Vincent Curutchet

Nagoya At the Japanese round of freestyle soccer’s Red Bull Street Syle, flex appeal won out. Jason Halayko


On the record

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Me And My Body

ROXRITE Living up to his name, the Mexican Red Bull BC One champ, 29, rocks right despite busted muscles and a break-sore back

6 Battle ready

I do around 10 miles each day on my bike and sometimes hit the gym. After that I do dance training for two solid hours. When I head into battle I always know what I have in my armoury.

1 Get Back

A childhood injury gave me lower back problems throughout my career. When I break, it’s hard on that area. But I started doing specific training in the gym to strengthen it, which helps.

5 Quick step

You don’t want to be bulky as a dancer. Before Red Bull BC One I changed my diet, having juices instead of full-on meals, and I stopped eating meat. I really feel the difference, I’m much quicker and lighter.

2 Mental

words: ruth morgan. photography: Zach cordner

B-Boying is extremely mental, as opponents try to psych each other out. I get nervous before a battle, but that makes me do better. I like pressure.

3 do no arM

In 2006 I tore the muscle that connects the back of my right arm to my tricep. I was in Japan preparing for a big competition, and I felt something rip. My whole arm swelled up and turned purple. I still entered the competition the next day and won it, doing all the moves on my left hand.

4 inner strenGth

Freezes are my speciality. You have to suddenly stop and hold a gravity-defying position, which takes a lot of strength from your core. I started when I was 12 and gradually learned how to control my body.


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The ‘actor’s director’ with four decades of success is showing no signs of slowing down


Name Ridley Scott Born 20.11.1937, South Shields, UK Best known for: Alien (1979) Blade Runner (1982) Thelma & Louise (1991) Gladiator (2000) Black Hawk Down (2001) Hannibal (2001) American Gangster (2007) Prometheus (2012) What is in a name? Scott’s latest film Prometheus is named after the titan from Greek mythology who stole fire from the gods and gifted it to the human race, kickstarting our evolution.

“What I’ve done with this film I couldsi never have done 30 years ago”

dead alien discovered by Sigourney Weaver and her team at the start of the film? But it evolved into a film that poses far bigger questions, only retaining what Scott calls ‘DNA links’ to Alien. “It brings up questions about evolution, are we biology or are we creations of some entity?” he says. “I believe, for us to be sitting here, having evolved from carbon, an atom… It had to have had help. I definitely believe that.”

This is Scott’s first foray into 3D, a medium he’s long wanted to try, having watched fellow directors such as James Cameron, (who he refers to simply as ‘Jim’), use it to great effect. “I was a little put-out 3D still required spectacles,” he says, “but I had no problems at all.” Digital technology meant creating Prometheus was a very different undertaking to the Alien set, which was handcrafted down to the last alien tooth.


Spring sunlight floods the first-floor suite at London’s Soho Hotel where Ridley Scott is holding court at a large round table. It’s a scene befitting a director whose proverbial ‘day’ in the sun has already lasted three decades, with no sign of imminent cloud cover. And such seamless, prolonged success guarantees a listener’s attention when he gives out tips. “The secret to doing a film set in the future,” he says of working on sci-fi classics Alien and Blade Runner, “is not to make it look too futuristic. Fashion, architecture, it all goes in revolutions.” If his recent career is anything to go by, film can be added to that list. He’s just signed up to make a second Blade Runner film, which was first released in 1982, and is in town to promote latest project Prometheus, a return to the tense, gory world of Alien which launched his commercial career back in 1979 and has become a classic for every generation since. At 74, it would seem the Oscarnominated Englishman is at the top of his game. Prometheus has become the most highly anticipated film of the year thanks in part to a star-studded cast including Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace, and clever online hype in the form of teaser-trailers and extras videos apparently released by fictional company Weyland Corp. But the expectation doesn’t faze Scott in the least. “You can never worry about it,” he says in a deep voice that betrays only a hint of his Teeside upbringing, “or you’d be studying your navel. If you write what you think the audience wants you’ll end up with an airport book. You should be the judge of what you’ve done and stand or fall on that.” Box office successes from Thelma & Louise to Gladiator have proven Scott’s instincts can be trusted, and Prometheus marks a return to the big productions he does best. The film started life as a prequel, an answer to a question posed in Alien that had nagged at Scott: who was the

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Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel, Prometheus, features a star-studded cast that includes Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender (above), who plays an android called David

But Scott has lost none of his love for the physical, enlarging the soundstage at pinewood Studios, Europe’s largest, by 25 per cent to fashion this new universe. “What I’ve done with this film I could never have done 30 years ago,” he says. “There’s a digital sequence in this film which is pretty monstrous, it’s quite amazing. Then there’s a great sequence

with Noomi where we use no tricks at all.” But in terms of on-set temperament, it would seem the years have changed Scott. “The amazing thing about working with Ridley is, I never felt alone,” says Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, who plays scientist Elizabeth Shaw in Prometheus. “We were doing some quite disturbed things some days, it

was tough… But it always felt like we were doing something together.” Having been dubbed ‘guvnor’ on the set of Blade Runner apparently because of his demanding nature, Scott is these days known as an actor’s director. “That evolution gradually occurs,” he says, slowly moving his finger across the table for emphasis. “I think every director has his own method, and mine is all in the casting, the actors usually trust me. I like to have a team and I make it, honestly, as much fun as possible.” Scott is jovial and relaxed, a man who is clearly enjoying his latest foray into the world of sci-fi. “I got beaten up for Blade Runner,” he says with a smile, referring to its poor performance at the box office. “But guess what, I’m in a meeting about remaking it next week. There’s not many people that can do that.” Prometheus is released on June 1

To celebrate the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Xcover we offered readers a chance to win the latest must-have device, that combines all the features of a smartphone with the durability of a ruggedised device.

The lucky winner is: Cora Doyle, Dublin. Powered by AndroidTM 2.3, with an IP67 rating, this smart and tough handset is resistant to dirt, dust and water damage. The Samsung Galaxy Xcover is the perfect choice for those who want the functionality of a smartphone with the toughness to stand up to a demanding lifestyle.



Run Out Of Time

The footwear of world-class marathon runners has come a long way in the past six decades


Tabis were first made with ankle-high elastic fasteners that were replaced by shoelaces threaded through eyelets for the Marathon Tabis


By separating the big toe, shoe designers insisted they were increasing pressure on it and thus improving efficiency


To provide at least minimum comfort over 26.2 miles, Marathon Tabis came with hemp insoles


In 1951, 19-year-old Shigeki Tanaka won the Boston Marathon in 2 hours 27 minutes and 45 seconds, with a stunning choice of footwear: traditional Japanese Tabis, socks made of cloth or leather as worn by builders and farmers. Two years later, the Marathon Tabi model went into mass production at the Onitsuka company. The unusual design was left behind along with the company name: Onitsuka became Asics.


For greater comfort and prevention of wear and tear while running, the Marathon Tabi was fitted with a rubber sole



The strides of our lives: running shoes through the ages


The lacing system encloses the whole of the middle of the foot, improving fit and energy transmission


Light, breathable upper mesh material fits the foot perfectly. Reflective ‘Tiger Stripes’ show up in the dark



Only 215g, thanks to midsole made of a synthetic material about 10 per cent lighter than the ethylene vinyl acetate used previously



In order to measure up to the increased rigours of marathon running (the world record as held by Kenya’s Patrick Makau stands at 2 hours, three minutes and 38 seconds), the current generation of long-distance running shoes focuses on reduced weight, optimal cushioning and correcting foot posture. Manufacturing methods have also moved with the times. The sole of the Tabi was sewn on; on the Gel-DS Racer 9 it’s glued.

The idea behind the indentations in the sole is to save on weight, creating a more direct feeling of contact with the ground


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where’s your head at?

Lionel Messi

He comes from a humble background, has suffered from impaired growth and is yet to conquer his shyness, but Argentina’s Lionel Messi, who turns 25 this month, has the world at his talented feet Not mu ch love lo

Bor n to gre atn ess


As much as the European football world loves the brilliant drib bler, in Argentina he is reproache d for his less than stellar performances for the national team. Although Messi was on the U20 World Cupwinning squad in 2005, he had a less auspicious debut for the senior team. The 18-year-old was brough t on against Hungary and a few minutes later was shown the red car d for elbowing (even though replays late r exonerated him).

Lionel Andrés Messi was born in the Argentinian city of Rosario on June 24, 1987, the third son of factory worker Jorge Horacio Messi and parttime cleaner Celia María Cuccittini. He was four when he was given a ball. Not long after, ‘Leo’ was playing on the street with his father and older brothers. “We were stunned when we saw all that he was capable of,” says his father.

Talent scout

Lionel’s grandmother Celia took him to a Grandoli FC game when he was five. Manager Ricardo Aparicio needed a player for his team but didn’t want to let a kid a year too young play. Celia didn’t give up until ‘Don Apa’ finally relented. “I’ll only play him near the sidelines. If he starts crying, you can take him off the pitch yourself.” But he dummied three players after his first touch, and Aparicio understood: “This kid’s never going to be subbed.”

Cov er mater ial

dy US magazine Sports Illustrated has alrea In ever. r playe best the honoured Messi as the February, he appeared on the cover of ns European, Asian and South Pacific editio of Time. Only in the USA did publishers think that the reserved Barcelona star wasn’t sufficiently well known, so they went for a different angle on the – cover story – “The Power of Shyness” te. opria appr how some which is also

Gr ow th ph as e

(the flea, as At the age of 11 ‘La Pulga’ 1.27m tall. just was wn) kno still is Messi na to get away celo Bar to The Messis moved entina and Arg in is cris ic nom eco from the month to pay a 0 €90 the to be able to afford impaired growth. s nel’ Lio of nt tme trea for the during a trial in He carried on playing and Barça youth the sed res imp ssi Me 2000, ch immediately coa the t coach so much tha on a napkin. t trac con ial init an led scribb

Goal mach ine

Once Messi had scored almost 500 goals for Newell’s Old Boys (still his favourite club, as he is at pains to point out) between 1995 and 2000, he scored five goals on his debut for the Barça youth team. He made his debut in the Primera División in 2004 against Espanyol. Pep Guardiola has been coaching Messi since 2008. “It was like watching Maradona playing again, only quicker, with better movement,” the former Barça manager said.


Private matte r

The new Maradona There are constant comparisons with fellow Argentinian Diego Maradona, and in many ways they are justified. Scientists claim that Maradona and Messi have similar physical traits. Even their football stories are alike; they’re both small, leftfooted, grew up at Newell’s Old Boys, came of age at FC Barcelona, were U20 World Champions and earned their first international cap against Hungary. But their personalities couldn’t be more different.

Messi is a master at keeping his private life – including his relationship with his girlfriend, Antonella Roccuzzo, a fellow Rosario native – out of the media spotlight. The UNICEF ambassador has remained the modest and shy young man who only lives for football. “I’d like people to see me as a normal person who does his work on the pitch and then tries to live a normal life.”

words: ulrich corazza. Illustration: lie-ins and tigers

Bor n to win

With an annual income of €33m, Messi is the highest-earning footballer and a much sought-after advertising star. But La Pulga can’t be bought at any price. Faced with uttering the following line in an ad for a pay-TV broadcaster, Mess i asked for the second part to be delet ed from the script: “Imagine your team coming up against me in the final… Imagine your team beating us.” He won’t even think abou t the possibility of losing, let alone speak of it.


VERSUS THE MARKET LEADING CIDER*. Enjoy KOPPARBERG Sensibly. Visit *Innovate Solutions November 2011, Kopparberg Naked Apple versus the market leading apple cider.




Dakar Rally winner and World Rally Championship contender Nasser Al-Attiyah is ready for his fifth Olympics, representing Qatar at skeet shooting

Right champion There’s not much Nasser Al-Attiyah hasn’t accomplished in his 41 years. Production Car World Rally Champion in 2006, the Qatari won the famous Dakar Rally in 2011 to great acclaim and is contesting this year’s World Rally Championship with the factory Citroën squad, under the Qatar World Rally Team banner. Game for it As well as appearing at the Olympics, Al-Attiyah has also represented his country at the Asian Games, winning two gold medals. As if he weren’t busy enough, he finds the time to be the first United Nations Global Sport Fund Ambassador as well.

Nasser Al-Attiyah’s approach is the same in the WRC and the Olympics: just shoot and drive


Nasser Al-Attiyah doesn’t get up before five in the morning to escape the searing heat of the Qatar day. It’s because he loves the smell of gunpowder in the morning. While the city sleeps, he sneaks out in one of his many cars – more about those later – and heads out to his open-air shooting range. He practises for five hours, getting through 500 cartridges, before heading home for an early lunch and a new day, at the time when most people are only just getting to their desks. It’s like living two heroic lives. During the day, we have the Dakar Rally winner and World Rally Championship star, then in the lonely hours of the morning, the sharp-shooting Olympic athlete. Nasser will contest his fifth Olympic Games this summer, representing Qatar at skeet shooting, which makes him part of a select club of long-serving Olympians. “Actually, I think it could be a record in Qatar,” he points out. “Most people get too old to do five Olympics!” Skeet shooting is similar to clay pigeon shooting, but competitors have to hit targets in order, within a certain time. It’s about reaction, co-ordination, and nerve. Conveniently, the August that he will spend in London doesn’t clash with any World Rally Championship events on his schedule. Despite the title-winning Citroën DS3 WRC being new to Nasser, he’s been on the pace, finishing inside the top six and setting a fastest stage time on only his second event in the car. According to the Red Bull driver, the skills needed to shoot straight and drive

quickly are the same: a theory famously subscribed to by Sir Jackie Stewart. “It’s the connection between your eyes, your brain and what you have in your hands,” he says. “But shooting doesn’t just help with your precision. It teaches you discipline and how to keep cool under pressure. If you’ve hit all your targets and you know you need just one more for the medal, you have to be so focused on what you are doing. On one occasion I missed the target. And that target has haunted my dreams ever since. It’s not going to happen again.” The same determination allowed him to adapt seamlessly to endurance rallies, when he joined Volkswagen’s Dakar squad alongside Carlos Sainz in 2010. Racing alongside such a legendary driver gives Nasser a grounded perspective on life, even though his car collection includes a Bentley Continental Supersports (his everyday car), a McLaren MP4-12C (a new toy, often used for the blast out to the shooting range) and a Mercedes SLS (handy for shopping). On Rally Argentina earlier this year, much was made of the new Matadero stage, which at 66km is the longest in the World Rally Championship. “Personally, I don’t think it’s too bad,” he says. “On the Dakar we had a stage that was 890km long and took us about 12 hours to complete. So what’s the problem?” That inner strength is going to be tested when he sets out to claim his first Olymic medal this summer.

“On one occasion I missed the target. And that target has haunted my dreams ever since. It’s not going to happen again”

Follow his progress at


Born December 21, 1990. Doha, Qatar

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winning formula

perfect pitch

Baseball’s great throwing skill is disguise: making two different pitches look like the same. How they do that?

From The Lab “The more unpredictably from a pitcher, the harder the batter finds it to hit the ball,” says professor Thomas schrefl of the st polten university of Applied sciences and the university of sheffield. “The variation in pitch trajectory is explained by the magnus effect. “The spin of the ball creates an extra force in the air around it, which then alters the ball’s movement. depending on how the ball is pitched, its speed will be 100-150kph and it will rotate at up to 2,000rpm. The pitcher holds the ball in his thumb, index finger and middle finger, and when he pitches, the thumb comes off the ball about 5.5 thousandths of a second before the index and middle fingers. in that short space of time, the index and middle fingers roll over the ball and cause it to spin. “Thereafter, a point on the surface of the ball is moving around the centre of the ball at a speed of 27kph. if frequency, f, is the number of rotations per second, then at 2,000rpm, f ≈ 33. The rotational speed is the product of the angular speed 2πf and the radius of the ball (r = 0.0364m), which here = 7.5m/s (27kph). “As the index and middle fingers roll over the ball before it is released, there are two forces working on the ball at that moment: the axial force, FA, makes the ball accelerate forward, while the frictional force, FF, produces torque. if the pitcher spins the ball at a 30° rotation angle and with a 90 newton frictional force, the ball may achieve the aforementioned 2,000rpm rotations (90n is slightly less than the weight of a mass of 1kg). if the ball has backspin, the turbulence behind the ball flows downwards. due to the conservation of momentum, an upward force is exerted on the ball. When this happens, the spin deflects the ball upwards. The ball can be deflected in a number of directions depending on the position of its rotational axis, with deviation reaching up to 45cm from the horizontal.”;


Words: AndreAs TzorTzis, ThomAs schrefl. phoTogrAphy: rob TringAli/geTTy imAges. illusTrATion: mAndy fischer

From The mound “When the batter walks up to the plate, it’s about mixing him up, keeping him off balance,” says san francisco giants pitcher Tim lincecum. “i try and stick to my strengths and avoid theirs: that’s the art of pitching in itself. i think the things that mask pitches the best are consistencies in the mechanics [of the throwing motion.] The more you do the same mechanics, the less chance they have of telling what your pitch is. everything comes out of the same arm slot, and it looks like the same pitch. i think the X factor is knowing that there are so many variations to get people out. it feels almost like a chess game. no matter what move you make, you can always kind of make the batter move around that.”

Freak power: Tim Lincecum, nicknamed ‘The Freak’ is the pitcher with the most unusual throwing style in the Major League baseball




The German duo’s first tale was published 200 years ago, now every child knows their stories. But what is less known is that the brothers were numerologists, bootleggers – and inseparable Snow White And The Seven Dwarves


There are five Walt Disney adaptations of Grimm fairy tales, but the first of them is the most important. Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, made in 1937, earned US $6.5m at the box office and was the most successful ‘talkie’ ever at the time. Would that be true if Disney had stuck more closely to the original version? One example that suggests not: in the film, the stepmother wants Snow White’s heart, but in the original the wicked witch orders the huntsman to bring her Snow White’s lungs and liver so she can cook and eat them.

The precious first edition

The brothers had chronicled all 210 fairy tales by 1850. It is no secret that they didn’t write them themselves. However, it wasn’t a German peasant woman who told the brothers Grimm these fairy tales, as is often claimed. Both were told a number of stories by young ladies from the bourgeoisie. Some of these young ladies were of French ancestry, which the brothers Grimm had no idea about. They told the brothers fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood and Puss In Boots, which had already appeared 100 years earlier in an anthology compiled by Frenchman Charles Perrault.


Little Red Riding Hood

The collection of fairy tales was originally aimed at The an academic audience, but as the nuclear family became more established in the 19th century, mothers began to need books for their children, and the brothers Grimm were asked to water down their tales over the course of the six editions. They removed all sexual innuendo and the mother in Hansel And Gretel was changed to a stepmother so as not to shatter the image of the matriarch of the time. The brothers were not happy that their publisher wanted to make such changes, but their work probably wouldn’t have been as successful without them.



Once upon a time there were two inseparable brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm Charlize Grimm. They wrote and researched Theron together and lived together their whole lives. During a short separation in 1803, Jacob wrote to his brother: “Dear Wilhelm, we will never be permanently apart. We are so accustomed to this companionship that even the shortest separation saddens me to death.” And the brothers stuck together. Wilhelm Grimm died in December 1859; Jacob died four years later. The brothers lived and worked side by side for 73 years and are buried together at a cemetery in Berlin.

7 Hometown homage in Hanau

From The Wolf And The Seven Young Kids to seven-league boots to Snow White’s seven diminutive companions, the number seven plays a key role in the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. This harks back to Judeo-Christian numerology. The number seven – as the sum of three and four – represents all that is human. In the Bible, the three stands for all that is spiritual and the soul. Four symbolises the material which, according to the ancients’ beliefs, arose from the interplay of the four elements. Now showing: Charlize Theron stars in Snow White And The Huntsman


Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first edition of Children’s And Household Tales in December 1812. To date it has been translated into 160 languages and is one of the best-selling German books ever. The authors’ first-edition copies of the Children’s And Household Tales are kept at the Brüder Grimm-Museum in Kassel and have formed part of UNESCO’s Memory Of The World Programme since 2005. They are insured for the fairy-tale sum of €15m.



You might not recognise the name in either Japanese or English, but Keirin racing occupies a unique place in Japanese culture. Part sporting phenomenon, part gambling haven, part hero-worship, it’s cycle racing like nowhere else on Earth Words: Guy Andrews Photography: Taz Darling



Keirin race rules are pretty simple: one nominated rider paces nine others over four laps at speeds up to 50kph. Then he pulls off before the final 600m and the mad dash for the line. Tactics add complication, as riders from the same prefecture will create mini-alliances to pace one another. But it’s usually every man for himself


Main: A keirin student’s day starts at 6.30am and finishes at 8pm, before bed at 10. Boredom seems to be the main issue for the students, although they have a full schedule, one that allows little free time. Dormitories are comfortable, exceptionally tidy and shared between four similarly aged riders. There’s TV and books, but no mobile phones and no email. They only get one payphone call home a week. Harsh, but it hardens them to being cut off from the outside world. When they start in competition they can’t be contacted at all during track meetings and they’re


kept in dormitories and rooms away from any outside influence. Integrity is the mantra of the professional keirin racer. Right, far right: A keirin pro is expected to train hard and look after himself. Riders race well into their 40s and some even later. Sir Chris Hoy notes: “For the guys who were really high-level in their 20s and 30s, but who are still racing well into their 50s, then it almost becomes a hobby that pays their wages.” Keirin school provides basic training and coaches help them keep in shape once they have left.



ir Chris Hoy is the defending Olympic champion at a sport very few people understand. It’s the one event in the Olympic programme that has even cycling aficionados scratching their heads. In the Olympic version, a small motorbike splutters its way around the track for racers, who look like jockeys, to follow, at a consistent pace for a few laps. Once they’re up to speed, the pacer pulls off and leaves them to it. It looks curious to the uninitiated, but it is demonstrating the real advantage in cycling: taking a slipstream from a fellow competitor (or motorbike) can save you up to 20 per cent of the energy needed to maintain a speed. At high speeds this makes a very big difference. Take the wheel of the rider in front of you, time your sprint well, and you can pop out of the slipstream and power to the line as the rider in front fades. So if you can conserve more energy than your rivals, the sprint to the line will be easier. Here lies the big secret to keirin racing – timing. Japan is the true home of keirin. But it’s no ancient art; no Sumo or Judo. There’s no salt throwing or Shinto rituals. It’s bike racing and gambling, but it’s not like the bike racing and gambling we know in Europe. It’s cycling, yes, but made for gambling, so it differs from the sponsored, and often fixed, world of European road bike racing. Keirin in Japan is big business, with 60 million ticket sales each year worth around 800 billion Yen (€7.5 billion). And it’s a relatively modern sport, established in 1948 to raise cash to help repair broken post-war local communities. It was also intended to promote the Japanese cycling industry – Nihon Jitensha Shinkōkai (NJS) is roughly translated as the Japan Bicycle Promotion Association. Many Japanese cycling companies have built their businesses with keirin as their sole foundation, eventually finding worldwide markets and establishing Japan as one of the biggest suppliers of high-quality bicycle components. Few of its racers, however, try to ‘make it’ beyond Japan. Some say that’s because they aren’t accustomed to the tactics or don’t have what it takes. Closer to the truth is they can’t justify time off from the domestic race scene to travel all over the world. For a Japanese keirin rider, the world scene can’t compare to the home tour, so better to ‘stay local’, earn big and maintain a ranking position. Many keirin riders are huge earners, with luxury cars and homes. Why travel to race for nothing? But there’s more to this than cash. There’s professionalism. Riders want to be fit and ready for the big races in Japan, so to spend time away from home, risking injury on a foreign field would let down fans and the paying public. So despite Olympic inclusion, keirin remains a cycling world of its own. A world that’s sustained by its traditions, not just the gambling, as Sir Chris noticed when he travelled to Japan in 2005: “It struck me how the guys were saying things hadn’t changed in the last 10 years. Even guys who had been there 20 years before, in their very early days, were saying it was the same dorms, the same décor, the same routines. It’s the same as it was on day one, and you get that feel of tradition. Maybe it’s just a reflection of Japanese culture.” 33



The keirin school has more than 1,000 applicants every year, such is the regard in which it’s held in Japan. Of the 75 riders who enter the school each April and September, 15 are non-cyclists from varied sporting backgrounds. They’re in, so long as they can break 1 minute 10 seconds for a kilometre and get under 12.8 seconds for a flying 200m. The age limit is open, so if you’re fit enough, in theory you can go through the school and get registered. The oldest recent graduate was 34. Army-style discipline is evident at the school, but it also promotes a relaxed and pleasant environment.


Above: Keirin racers have a huge respect for the crowd and their bicycles. Before each heat or round they bow to both before starting the race. The referees stand in towers so they can see that the racing is fair and that any contact is within the rules. Below: The body armour and huge helmets aren’t just a health and safety issue, crashes are fairly regular and contact is accepted as part of the game. The crowd love a bit of knocking about, although they always show a respectful appreciation for crash victims‌


Above: A graduate rolling out of the keirin school is set for 30 years or more of professional sprinting, possibly the longest career of any professional sportsman – certainly that of any cyclist. They need to maintain an average to remain in the pro ranks, but racers in their 50s are not uncommon, and a bumper pay day like the keirin final makes for a pretty comfortable living. Left: Racing tyre carcasses are made from silk, which makes them very expensive. They’re strong, but vulnerable and if they’re worn or split they have to be changed before the next round. Keirin is run in the rain, too, and the spoked wheels are not as strong and resilient as carbon disc wheels that are allowed at the Olympics. Wheel and tyre repairs are the only jobs done by a mechanic and when the conditions are tough, they’re very busy.


Top: Keirin riders must only use a very simple track bike, with a steel frame and a fairly basic specification. This is certainly not the €20,000 high-tech carbon machine that Olympic riders use. Everything on the Japanese keirin bike is subject to regulation and the technology is set in rules laid down in 1957, so the bikes look defiantly ‘old skool’. Any component used must be quality approved – and stamped – with the letters NJS. Brands that achieve this Royal Warrant-style status are much sought-after by the fixed-gear cognoscenti outside Japan. Bottom: Bikes are closely inspected before every round. Standard track equipment levels the playing field, so the riders can’t gain any benefit through better kit. Better legs are the only advantage allowed. Riders must also do all their own repairs. It’s anomalous that


a modern sports pro should have to do his own spanner-work. They’re also unsponsored, so all their equipment is bought at a shop in the velodrome. Tyres are particularly expensive and a track meet can often mean several pairs of tyres being used. New chains are also needed regularly.

Right: The Keirin governing body decided it needed a professional class of rider and a school where they could learn the trade of a keirin racer, so they established this facility near Shuzenji, on the Izu peninsula in the Shizuoka prefecture around 110km south of Tokyo. They have since built five tracks here of various sizes. While most indoor wooden velodromes are around 250m, Keirin concrete velodromes are usually 400 or sometimes 500m long, with an all-weather surface.


Top left: The racer’s gate adds a gladiatorial twist to proceedings. Opening just before the riders are scheduled to start their round, it’s often known as the fighting gate and is positioned on the back straight under the grandstand, or in a corner of the stadium. The idea of ‘keirin rider as hero’ seems to appeal to the keirin fan. Left: Although the intention is for racers to ride for themselves, they often make allegiances and this can be baffling for a spectator, as there’s no possibility of communicating tactics before bets are placed. The only shared information is that riders have to let the public know what gear ratio they will use beforehand. Arcane, perhaps, but it can tell the seasoned punter a lot; how fit the rider is, what tactics they may try and how fast or slow the track surface is on a given day. Bottom left: Top-level keirin racers win big. For example, Keita Ebine (pictured here) earned nearly ¥225 million in prize money (€2 million) in 2009. This includes the ¥100 million (€915,000) prize for winning the Grand Prix Final – which is just four laps of the track. For a bike race that’s extraordinary. A pro road racer would have to win the Tour de France – twice! – to match that. No wonder the Olympics aren’t a priority for Japanese track racers.


irOn man

How do you become the world’s greatest athlete? You train and then train some more, and then don’t stop until your elbow pops or until you’re on top of that Olympic decathlon podium Words: Ann Donahue Photography: Dustin Snipes



distance is between his home and the stadium, Hardee shrugs. “track guy,” he responds, pointing to himself. Naturally. For track guys, it’s always about numbers. But right now, there are only two that really matter to Hardee. it’s two months until the Olympics start in London. And there is only one gold medal up for grabs.


he man who wants the title of World’s Greatest Athlete drops his workout bag – it’s black, except for subtle trim in the colours of the five Olympic rings – on the empty grandstands at Mike A Myers Stadium at the University of texas, in Austin. trey Hardee removes a white threering binder to refresh himself on his warm-up for the day: a 400m jog, followed by two sets of six sprint drills at 40m each. then it’s 14 flexibility exercises repeated 10 times. And then, finally, it’s down to the real business for the day: hurdles. “it’s a good day,” he says. “We’re taking things pretty light.” So what is a bad day like? “You start in the weight room at 7am and you don’t leave until after 11,” he says. “You grab a bite to eat, take an hour, and then you’re back on the track.” Six days a week, Hardee, 28, exhausts himself to be the best in the world at the decathlon, the event that’s the centrepiece of the track and field portion of the Olympics. its 10 events are held over two days: a fatiguing combination of sprint and distance running, as well as the discus, shot put, pole vault, high jump, long jump, and javelin. it is an entire track meet done by one man. Hardee is inundated by numbers, figures, measurements and digits – he’s the first to admit he’s anal-retentive about monitoring his training. His vitals can be summed up numerically: he is the two-time defending world champion in the decathlon, he consumes around 7,000 calories a day – that’s the equivalent of the normal daily intake for three men – and he lives 4.47km away from where he trains. When asked how he knows exactly how far the 44

iving the Olympic decathlon champion the honorary title of ‘World’s Greatest Athlete’ is a tradition that started at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, when King Gustav V of Sweden told winner Jim thorpe, “You, sir, are the world’s greatest athlete.” (to his credit, thorpe responded: “thanks, King!”) On the 100th anniversary of that first Olympic decathlon, Hardee seeks to become the 12th American to bring home the gold, an honour roll that includes stalwarts like thorpe, two-time winner Bob Mathias, a pre-Kardashians Bruce Jenner, dan O’Brien, and 2008 Olympic champion Bryan Clay. Besides being an athletic endeavour of truly gruelling proportions, the decathlon is a nightmare of multivariable calculus, strategy, and a touch of the butterfly wings of chaos theory – an ever-changing dynamic of measuring your accomplishments in distance, strength, speed and height and receiving a score that is added up against that of your competitors. take this as a hypothetical: being able to do a 4.87m pole vault is great, but you better do 4.93m to earn enough points to compensate for that guy from the Ukraine who is so fast he pipped you in the 100m. Unless, of course, Mr AllUkrainian stumbles out of the starting blocks – in which case your 4.87m pole vault is perfectly acceptable and you can save your energy for the dastardly 1,500m run at the very end. When the US Olympic team trials in track and field start in June in eugene, Oregon, the decathlon field will feature the murderer’s row line-up of Hardee, Clay and Ashton eaton, the current world record holder in the heptathlon who finished second to Hardee in the decathlon in the 2011 World Championships. All three men are expected to qualify for the Olympics – and there is buzz of an American medal sweep in London. Hardee recognises that he’s part of an elite fraternity. it takes years of physical work to achieve the stamina to compete in the decathlon at a world-class



There are two ways to measure what is required of decathletes, says Dr Joseph Horrigan at the DISC Sports and Spine Centre: explosiveness and endurance DAY ONE 100M Required: speed If you’re fast, the decathlon becomes all the easier. LONG JUMP Required: speed and technique After the adrenalin burst of the 100m, the long jump requires calm: hit your mark and stay in the competition. SHOT PUT Required: explosiveness Though it weighs 25kg Olympians can palm it like a basketball and chuck it over 15m in competition. HIGH JUMP Required: explosiveness None of the 10 best heights have been set after 2000, so there’s plenty of opportunity to rack up points. 400M Required: speed “The 400 is the toughest event of all,” Horrigan says. “There comes a point where you just say: ‘This is really miserable.’” BETWEEN DAY ONE AND DAY TWO Rest and recovery involves alternating hot and cold water, hydrating, and massages DAY TWO 110M HURDLES Required: speed and technique “This is about being able to sustain your power and speed,” says Horrigan. DISCUS THROW Required: explosiveness This is about the time when exhaustion becomes apparent, says Hardee: “You start to wish you got more sleep.” POLE VAULT Required: mental strength Insider tip from Bruce Jenner: go for a low height and make sure you hit it. JAVELIN THROW Required: explosiveness Another throwing event where explosive endurance is put to the final test. Competition experience is a plus. 1,500M Required: endurance Four long laps and they know just how fast they have to run. “They’re dead at that point,” says Horrigan.




level, on top of figuring out the voodoo combination of developing slow-twitch and quick-twitch muscle required to hurl a 7.25kg shot 15.25m, but still run a 400m in under 50 seconds. “You tend to have people who are, one, very co-ordinated, and two, they have to lean towards explosiveness and power,” says dr Joseph Horrigan, director of the Soft tissue Centre at diSC Sports and Spine Centre in Marina del rey, California, an official medical service provider for the United States Olympic Committee. the key is figuring out how to get your body trained to perform, but not overtrained and exhausted before a key competition.“We call it unloading as we monitor our volume and monitor our intensity,” says Hardee. “We do a lot of testing so we really know when we’re timing up and our bodies are ready to go. We just kind of get up to that moment and back off.” Hardee’s first Olympic trials came in 2004, while he was a sophomore at Mississippi State University. “i got to compete with the reigning world champion, tom Pappas, and that’s what i took away from it,” says Hardee. “i raced him in the 100. that was awesome.” When Mississippi State cut its indoor track programme, Hardee transferred to texas, where he flourished. At the 2006 texas relays – one of top college meets of the track season – he set the NCAA record for most points scored in a decathlon, a mark that still stands. “From then on, it’s been – all right, let’s see how far the decathlon can go, and i’ll fall back on pole vaulting if it doesn’t work out,” he says. the pole vault is Hardee’s favourite event in the decathlon – “it’s the most complex, across the board: mentally, physically” – but it’s also given him the biggest frustrations of his career. in what should have been his crowning achievement as a collegiate athlete, he failed to clear a height in the pole vault at the NCAA track and field championships, a miss that plummeted him to ninth place. And then he did the exact same thing at the 2008 Olympics. Hardee was fourth heading into the second day of the decathlon in Beijing, when he again failed to clear a height in the pole vault, effectively disqualifying him from the event that his countryman Clay went on to win. “i think Beijing taught me this: it’s just a decathlon,” Hardee says. “One hundred metres is always 100m no matter where you run, no matter when it’s run. they’re going 46

tHe pOle vault is His favOurite event. it Has alsO given Him tHe Biggest frustratiOns to measure the long jump from the board every time. the shot put weighs the same. in the back of my mind, it’s always the same. it’s a decathlon. i can only control myself.” And in the past four years, Hardee has asserted his control by training like a mad man and winning two consecutive world championships.


t 1.95m and 97.5kg, Hardee could be pictured on the page of Gray’s Anatomy where it illustrates “physically imposing.” Yes, he’s a big guy – big enough that when he walks into a bar the sports-obsessed patrons of Austin exchange looks as though trying to puzzle out what, exactly, he plays. too big to be one of Lance Armstrong’s local bike devotees, definitely. Football player at Ut? Maybe? But while his demeanour is nothing but competitive steel on the field, once Hardee clocks out from training he morphs into a goofball with a penchant for quoting Wes Anderson films and an addiction to reality tV – yes, even The Bachelor. “two weeks ago, did you guys see my tweet about ‘Here’s Courtney’s reaction’?” Hardee asks. “From day one, i’ve said Courtney looks like russell Brand… so i tweeted this picture, saying ‘Here’s Courtney’s face after getting the rose tonight,’ and it was a picture of russell Brand at the Oscars. i thought it was just hysterical. But i got nothing in response. it was crickets. Crickets!” Hardee is having dinner with his girlfriend, Chelsea Johnson – who placed second in the pole vault at the 2009 World Championships – at Garrido’s in downtown Austin. Johnson, a statuesque blonde who is quick with a quip, gently responds: “Maybe none of your followers watch The Bachelor?” “it hit the wrong demographic,” Hardee sighs. Hardee says Johnson is the only person on the planet who can tolerate the time commitment required by his training and travel schedule. She grew up with

two pole vault pits in the backyard; her father, Jan Johnson, won a bronze in the event at the 1972 Olympics and now does pole vault camps and clinics for students around the country. “that’s actually how trey first hit on me,” Chelsea says. “He referred to my dad.” “He’s a cool man and he knows a heck of a lot about the pole vault,” Hardee says. “He has really cool videos at those camps and clinics of old pole vault competitions.” “High school boys love him,” Johnson says. “i was a high school boy,” Hardee counters. At Garrido’s, Hardee and Johnson continue their talmudic analysis of The Bachelor well past Hardee’s usual 9pm bedtime. “they set up this self-fulfilling prophecy that every date you go on is this magical, romantic thing,” Hardee says. “the women are like, ‘He set up the best date! We went kayaking down the Nile and then we took a trip to Venice!’” “Sometimes i’m sitting there with trey, and i’m like, ‘Why aren’t you doing these things?’” Johnson says. “i’m brainwashed.” “i took you to Freebirds last night!” Hardee responds. “We got a burrito!”


t’s raining on the track at Ut – well, not precisely raining, corrects Hardee’s training partner, Miller Moss. “it doesn’t rain in Austin,” he says. “it just… fogs.” it’s currently fogging hard enough that Hardee and Moss are huddled inside the stadium’s storage room, a warehouse space that looks like the final scene of Raiders Of The Lost Ark in an alternate track and field-obsessed universe.



While at the University of Texas, Hardee set the NCAA record for most points scored in a decathlon, which still stands. When it comes to global competition, Hardee has yet to hit record-setting form. But his 8,790 total points at the 2009 World Athletic Championships in Berlin aren’t far off the world record 9,026 points set by the Czech legend Roman Šebrle in 2001. Opposite, how Hardee fares against the best.




DAY ONE 10.22 seconds Chris Huffins, 1996 (USA) 8.22 Erki Nool, 1996 (Estonia) 19.17m Edy Hubacher, 1969 (Switzerland) 2.27m Rolf Beilschmidt, 1977 (GDR) & Christian Schenk, 1988 (GDR) 45.68 seconds Bill Toomey, 1968 (USA)


10.40 seconds (2008) 7.88m (2011) 15.63m (2011) 2.05m (2008) 47.51 seconds (2006) 13.71 seconds (2008) 52.68m (2008) 5.25m (2008) 68.99m (2011) 4:42.23 minutes (2006)

DAY TWO 13.47 seconds Frank Busemann, 1996 (Germany) 55.87m Bryan Clay, 2005 (USA) 5.75m Tim Lobinger, 1999 (Germany) 79.80m Peter Blank, 1992 (Germany) 3:58.70 minutes Robert Baker, 1980 (USA)



Hurdles are stacked in one corner; a mountain of metre markers is lumped in another. Javelins are lined up by the door, like a handy selection of pointy medieval torture implements. tomorrow Hardee, Moss and Ut senior Kenny Greaves are heading to the USAtF indoor Combined events Championship in Bloomington, indiana, and the three are pondering the logistics of transporting Hardee’s pole vault bag, a 6m long cylindrical beast that sticks out 1.2m on either side when strapped to the roof of his Ford explorer. “Southwest Airlines is amazing,” says Moss. “they’ll check it for 50 bucks, no problem.”


tHe Olympic rings are tattOOed On His sHOulder. lOndOn is never far frOm His mind 48


ardee is obviously antsy to get back on the track. He changes into his custom spikes, created for him by Nike after his world championship win last autumn, and heads back out into what has now subsided into an aggressive mist. “it’s gotten the dust off the track,” he says. the secret to decathlon training is this: make your workouts so miserable that by the time the event rolls around, it seems like a relaxing walk in the park. Under the guidance of Mario Sategna, assistant coach for the Ut men’s track and field team, Hardee spends hours on the track doing drills and is a regular in the Longhorns’ weight room. “the big thing in the weight room is Olympic lifting,” says Sategna. “those are total body movements and when you’re sprinting, jumping or throwing, your nervous system and your muscle groups are firing at the same time.” Hardee occasionally posts videos of his workouts online; one of him doing three box squat reps at 220kg makes you pray for Hardee, the box, the bar and the spotter. “You’re incredibly tired and fatigued,” Hardee says. “You grab a bite and eat, then take an hour and you’re back on the track doing technical stuff. You’re just




The decathlon has been made up of the same 10 disciplines since 1912, when it debuted at the Stockholm Olympics. Since then, it has featured some of the most colourful characters in Olympic history. The first champion, crowned by Swedish King Gustav, was Native American Jim Thorpe who, at the time, was the country’s best American football player (and, later, a champion ballroom dancer). He qualified in four events, winning gold in the pentathlon and the decathlon. He was controversially stripped of his medals a year later, when it was discovered that he played semi-pro baseball and therefore wasn’t a true amateur athlete (in 1982, the IOC restored his name to the Olympic books, 29 years after his death).


A better fate awaited the champion at the 1936 Games in Berlin, Glenn Morris, who enjoyed a turn in the title role of Tarzan’s Revenge. In 1948, though the decathlon was traditionally a sport in which veteran athletes excelled, the 17-year-old American Bob Mathias won gold (he won again four years later). The wunderkind wasn’t the best of all time, though. That honour goes to the Czech Republic’s Roman Šebrle, the overall record-holder in the event and one of the sport’s toughest. During training in 2007 in South Africa, he was hit in the shoulder by a javelin thrown by another competitor. He ripped it out immediately and went to the hospital. The 11.5cm-deep wound needed 11 stitches. A few weeks later, he won the heptathlon at the European indoor championships.

taxing your body over and over again and all you want to do is sleep, and sleep doesn’t seem to help. And then by the end of the week, you’re just done.” But the intensity has paid off. in 2011 Hardee set personal bests in three of the decathlon’s disciplines, reaching 7.86m in the long jump; 15.6m in the shot put and 68.98m in the javelin at the World Championships in daegu, South Korea, in August 2011. “i was ready a month and a half outside of daegu,” Hardee says. “Me and my coaches really thought we were going to break the American record. We were feeling better than we ever really felt.” (the American record for the decathlon – 8,891 points – was set by dan O’Brien in 1992. the world record, set by the Czech republic’s roman Šebrle in 2001, is 9,026. Hardee’s personal record is 8,790, set during his first world championship win in Berlin in 2009.) And then, proving that you can never train against the mundane: Hardee got food poisoning, which knocked him out of practice for two weeks. He lost 4.5kg. “it was just having the rug yanked out from beneath you,” he says. “then we went into daegu saying ‘Let’s get through day one and just try to be in the top five. And if we’re in the top five, maybe we’ll have a chance to medal the next day.’” Hardee gutted it out for a win – but during the javelin segment he heard a pop in his right elbow. He taped it up, ran the 1,500m to close the event, accepted his gold medal, flew home, got a Mri – and was immediately told he needed to have reconsructive surgery to repair a ligament. the 10cm scar is an angry purple, but Hardee says healing and recovery has been ahead of pace. Given that it was an operation developed for a pitcher, as part of his rehab Hardee is stretching out his new ligament by throwing upwards of 400 baseballs a week. “i have the rookie of the year elbow, where it’s all tightened up,” he says of his brand spanking new ligament. “Now we just have to loosen it.” right now he is able to throw in all his events: discus, shot put and javelin, at 100 per cent. “i had to be ready and completely healed with rehab six months before the trials,” he says. “everything is good to go.” Hardee has the Olympic rings tattooed on his right shoulder. For his birthday, his family gave him guitar picks with the rings emblazoned on them. it is safe to say that London 2012 is never far from his mind.

He’s built his training for the year to peak around the trials and then again at the Olympics weeks later; he’s already scheduled rest days around the disruption that will be caused by flying to europe and the resulting jet lag. (dear flight attendants on trans-Atlantic flights around this time: you can mock Hardee for getting up and working out in the business class galley in the middle of the night all you want. He’s still going to bust out elastic bands and ankle weights from his carry-on bag and do some leg lifts and stretching.)


or two weeks before London, Hardee will train in Marburg, Germany, a decathlon-mad town where the mayor and local athletic federation sponsor US vs Germany decathlon duels; Hardee spent a week there before his record-setting world championship win in Berlin in 2009. Five days before the big event, he’ll head to London. Once there, Hardee intends to stay in the Olympic Village with the other athletes, but wants to repeat what he did in daegu: turn his quarters into “a black den of comfort”. “in Korea, i went down to the local target – it’s called the Lotte Mart – and i bought some new bedding,” he says. “i bought tons of pillows, new blankets, everything, so i could crank the air-conditioning up and just burrow.” in the short, endorphin-bathed night between day One and day two of the decathlon, the cocoon helps Hardee get vital rest. “You’re just laying in bed, saying ‘Sleep. Just sleep. Go to sleep. You have to wake up in five hours, please just go to sleep,’” he says. “You know one minute of sleep is one more minute you’re going to feel good the next day.” “When you’re in an Olympic setting, from early early morning until late late that night, it’s an all-day affair for two days,” Sategna says. “At that point, it’s survival of the fittest.” Since getting rest is crucial, Hardee plans to skip the opening ceremonies. it’s understandable: no partying on a school night. But does he intend to attend the closing ceremonies? “Maybe?” Hardee shrugs. “if you get a gold medal, they’re going to make you go back at the end,” says Johnson. “Yeah,” Hardee laughs, and then pauses. “i’ll let my performance dictate my schedule.” Go behind the scenes of our photo shoot on The Red Bulletin iPad app, and More on Hardee at



The Emerald Isle’s record in competitive sailing is patchy at best. Yet in the powerful form of Annalise Murphy, Ireland has one of its best hopes for medal success at London 2012 Words: Declan Quigley Photography: David Clerihew

I 50

AM nnalise


W Action

Name Annalise Murphy Age 22

From Rathfarnham, Dublin Club National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire Class Laser Radial Achievements World Under 21 Champion 2008

World Championship 2011: sixth out of 102 entries; four race wins World Cup 2011: seventh overall Sail for Gold World Cup Regatta, Weymouth 2011: third Sailing Coach Rory Fitzpatrick Fitness Coach Mark McCabe

hen Annalise Murphy’s mother strode confidently into the male-only dining room of one of Ireland’s crustier yacht clubs to meet a lunch date some time in 1977, little did she realise that she was setting in train a series of events that could well, come August, lead to Ireland’s first sailing medal at the Olympics for 32 years. Such a notion was unimaginable when Cathy McAleavey, an art student in Dun Laoghaire at the time, caused one club member to go purple with rage at the mere presence of a woman, a response that McAleavey, in her horrified innocence, took to be the onset of a heart attack. As Cathy, in her confusion, called for help for the afflicted man, she was ushered quietly to the exit. Letting the door to the hallowed halls of patriarchal Ireland close behind her, she set about blazing a trail of her own in a sailing career that would carry her to Seoul in 1988 as one half of Ireland’s entry into the Olympics’ first-ever women’s sailing event and ultimately, to respected senior membership of one of the neighbouring yacht clubs in Dun Laoghaire. Thirty-five years later she watches with a mother’s pride and an Olympic sailor’s insight as her daughter Annalise deftly flicks her Laser Radial across the wake of the support rib piloted by Cathy

“I’m probably one of the best in the world when it’s windy, which is a great thing – I tend to win races. Then in the light 52

on a sweep of Dublin Bay. Annalise Murphy is the youngest member of the world’s top 10 and a genuine medal prospect in London 2012. “She’s the fastest in the world,” shouts Cathy above the din of the rib’s motor churning the inky surf. “No, really! She won one race in Perth by four-and-a-half minutes.” It’s an assertion endorsed by Annalise, borne out by the facts and there is certainly little to contradict it as the 22-year-old, just three years into full-time sailing, scuds up one side before jibing across the front at a breathtaking angle and eye-watering proximity. Flitting from one side to the other like a playful dolphin, Annalise is clearly lapping up the attention from the photographer and enjoying a rare blowout from the endless repetitive drills and tedious gym work focused on only one goal: July 30 to August 6, 2012 and the Olympic programme. Even the following week’s world championships in Germany, normally a key focus, seem oddly secondary and merely a lily pad to London, the all-consuming beast that is the 2012 Olympics. With a soupçon of luck, mixed with a dollop of concentration, Annalise can find the delicious alchemy known as ‘consistency’ that can vault the 22-year-old Dubliner from sixth in last year’s World Championships at Perth into the medal positions in London and finally end the medal drought for an island nation that really ought to have won more by now. Back in 1980 Jamie Wilkinson and David Wilkins paired up to produce

Young gun: At just 22 years old, Annalise Murphy is the youngest member of the world’s top 10 in the Laser Radial sailing class

Laser sharp: Annalise has a carefully honed physique, which contributes to her speed

a surprise silver medal in the Flying Dutchman class in Talinn, Estonia, during a summer Olympiad boycotted by 63 countries following the USSR invasion of Afghanistan. But sailing quickly returned to its backwater status in the sporting compendium, with only occasional breakthrough stories filtering into the mainstream such as Cathy McAleavey’s accession to the Olympic family in South Korea alongside Aisling Byrne and with management from Cathy’s husband (and Annalise’s father) Con Murphy. “They were different days,” says Cathy. “She [Annalise] is better than me but then it’s different, she’s a lot younger than I was and I had a lot of baggage. I was married and I had a baby when

I started campaigning and also we were the last of the amateur sports. “We were still working and training and now they’re full-time athletes. Sailing is their job and they’re not trying to do everything else and be away. “Even our training. I remember the first time we did aerobics was at the Olympics because the New Zealand team had a girl and I remember we did it to Steely Dan… Now there’s all strength and conditioning.” Annalise’s competitive advantage comes in large part from her carefully honed physique, a powerhouse frame and long legs contributing to her undoubted speed when her Laser Radial sail is filled to capacity. The wilder the wind gets, the more she comes into her own, stretching

out over the hull and opening up the sail for sustained drag racing that other, less physically gifted, or committed, competitors can only dream about. Flat out, with a full sail straining salt-lashed limbs; that’s the fun bit of sailing and Annalise certainly excels at that, but despite her callow years, she’s also accumulated much of the finesse and subtle artifice required to funnel calm winds into hurricane speed. “I’m probably one of the best in the world when it’s windy which is a great thing,” says Annalise sitting on the picnic tables at the National Yacht Club looking out through Dun Laoghaire harbour to the slate grey sky over Dublin Bay. “When it’s windy I tend to win races 53

and then in the light stuff I still do well, but I find it harder to win races. The girls who win races in light weather they generally do really badly when it’s windy, so it kind of works out quite well for me.” Winning races is proving habitforming for a sailor whose inspiration was her mother, but who has her sister Claudine to thank for helping to hone her competitive instinct. “I guess when I was younger I’d just go around saying my mum went to the Olympics because I just thought it was the coolest thing. “My older sister used to compete as well and we were really competitive against each other. We used to kill each other out sailing! I guess it was hard for her because she wanted to go to the Olympics and she was saying it but I wasn’t really saying it yet. “It was frustrating for her because whatever she’d do, whatever level she’d get to I’d always be right behind her, but three years younger. “We used to get annoyed with each other because it started to get to the stage where I’d be beating her in a few races or events and we’d kind of kill each other over that, but then suddenly it just changed.” While Claudine has since switched attention to the burgeoning, and perhaps soon to be Olympic, sport of kite surfing, Annalise has blossomed as an international competitor since making her big breakthrough at the 2009 World Championships in Japan.


inishing eighth overall and scooping the Under-21 world title into the bargain elevated her to a new level, and with it, new expectation. Her science degree at UCD was deferred after just one year as sailing became an all-consuming focus, thanks in large part to full funding from the

Family footsteps: Annalise’s mother, Cathy McAleavey, was one half of Ireland’s first-ever women’s Olympic sailing entry in Seoul in 1988

In pursuit of glory: Annalise has devoted herself to sailing and university has taken a back seat


Irish Sports Council’s Elite Athlete Carding Scheme. An indifferent 2010 gave way to a stellar 2011 when sixth in the World Championships in Australia produced the all-important qualification for the Olympics. Four race wins at those World Championships in Perth was a better



win record than any other competitor in her class and it was only a couple of careless results in the 30-plus bracket that prevented her from wearing bling at the airport homecoming. Tidying up those occasional ‘marked absent’ races is the target because the basic speed is certainly there in abundance.

Familiar waters: Annalise’s training base for the Olympics is Weymouth, the Games venue, which is similar to Dublin Bay, where she honed her skills

Add in the fact that the Olympic venue in Weymouth, where she has based herself ahead of the games, is a carbon copy of the windswept Dublin Bay that first sculpted her talent, and there is no lack of motivational spur. She’s young, younger than the norm in this mind-bender-back-breaker of a sport, where a cool head beats a hot streak more often than not, but the numbers suggest that a breakthrough Olympic medal has moved from childhood daydream to attainable goal. Where her mother was a trailblazer just by challenging male stereotypes, Annalise recognises that her performances can create a world of possibilities for emerging Irish sailors of either gender. “I get supported really well by the Irish Sports Council so it makes a huge difference, but I think a lot of the younger guys have seen what I’ve done and because up until me, nobody had been breaking into the top 10 in the world in the Laser or the Laser Radial. “There’s a lot of talented sailors in Ireland, especially when they’re younger, but I think they maybe think they aren’t going to make it at Olympic level and they stop when they’re about 20. Because

“My older sister used to compete. We were really competitive and we used to kill each other out sailing”

I’ve been doing so well it’s making a lot of the younger sailors think that well ‘if Annalise can do it, maybe we can do it as well’,” she says. Living as a full-time athlete is still a new feeling, albeit one she is getting to like. “I never really realised just how much I’d have to do. At first I didn’t like it, having to go to the gym and go cycling and go running, but then you start getting into it and you meet other athletes from different sports and they ask you to training and you start to get into it. “My problem is that I can be consistent, but I generally have one or two bad races in my regattas. You do 11 races and you get to discard your worst race and unfortunately everyone else only has one really bad race and I sometimes have two. “At Sail for Gold [in Weymouth] and the World Championships I had really 55

“Up until a few weeks ago I was dreading how I’d react if things didn’t go well in the Olympics, but I’m only 22, I can go a long way in sailing”



Wind in her sails: Annalise is so far enjoying her Olympic experience and is determined to make the most of the event

good races except for two and because I had to carry about a 30th in both events that was the difference between winning the event and coming third and sixth, so that’s my goal for the year.” Managing expectation is a clear worry for the Irish Sailing Association, which isn’t that keen to over-expose Annalise to media glare upwind of August, but it’s hard to escape the all-pervading obsession that is the Olympics. Annalise admits that it’s a bit unfair to judge a career on a quadrennial roll of the dice. “It kind of is [unfair]. It’s the pinnacle. Everyone, at the end of the day, they only really care about who does well at the Olympics. There’s a Finnish girl who was World Champion in 2009 and 2010 and then she didn’t have the best of years last year and everyone’s kind of forgotten about her. “She’s really talented and she’s good enough to win two World Championships in a row but because she hasn’t won an Olympic gold medal people kind of forget about her.


ith a perspective belying her years, Annalise can see a world beyond Weymouth, however much the Olympics overshadow her life to date. “Up until a few weeks ago I was dreading how I would react if things didn’t go the way I want them to in August and then I realised, sure I’m only 22 and I’ve still got 2016 and 2020. I’ve

got a long way to go in sailing but I can still go back to college and get my degree. A lot of my friends are going to end up doing second degrees or masters so as they’re finishing their first degrees, I’ll be going in to start my first degree. I’m not too far behind and what I’ve got to do over the last three years I think it’s been tough but it’s also been brilliant.” She’s lapped up the experiences so far and seems determined to make the most of her chance, but Cathy sounds a rare note of caution when she recalls her own trip to the chaos of the Olympics. “It’s a really tough thing the Olympics,” she admits. “It’s a completely different kind of game to other events and I’m just hoping she enjoys it because I didn’t particularly enjoy my Olympics. “When you start your ambition is ‘I only want to qualify,’ and Annalise has been through the same thing. She only wanted to qualify and suddenly you’re actually doing quite well and you want to do well at the Olympics and you have to step up another gear. “And then you have the whole Olympic scenario. I don’t think anything can really prepare you for it...” Read more about Annalise Murphy at:

SAILING FOR SUCCESS Annalise Murphy isn’t the only sailor who’s representing Ireland at the London Olympics: a total of three boats have qualified to take part in the summer jamboree. Backing up Murphy’s sixth place in the 2011 World Championships in Perth, Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern from Northern Ireland finished 10th in the 49er class to qualify a skiff for the Olympics for the first time since Athens 2004. The 49er is high performance, and is the fastest, lightest class in Olympic sailing. “It’s like a big windsurfer with two guys hanging out of it,” says Seaton. At the same Perth event, Peter O’Leary and David Burrows finished 12th to guarantee their participation in the Star class for the Weymouth and Portland regatta. The Irish Olympic Sailing programme has hit or exceeded every target on the way to the games and hopes are high of ending the 32-year medal drought come August. Since 1980, no Irish crew has managed a top eight finish at the Olympics but Seaton believes that the time has come to right that wrong. “We’ve all had top fives in world cups and it’s the first time that we’ve had such a group of people who all have the potential to stand on the podium together, so there really is something special,” adds Seaton.




Queen of (broken) hearts She’s conquered jazz pop and now she’s reinventing herself. She lets loose on expectations, new collaborator Danger Mouse, healthy food and busty movies Words: Florian Obkircher

Norah Jones Little Broken Hearts (Blue Note/EMI) is out now


hip-hop beat provides the foundation of Happy Pills, the album’s first single. It would be easy and breezy if it weren’t for the sharp-tongued lyrics in which Jones reflects on a past relationship. Broken Hearts, on the other hand, is all bone-dry and squealing blues guitar licks, as if it were recorded in a desert trailer park. Little Broken Hearts is diverse, brave and sassy. Yet it’s still undoubtedly a Norah Jones record. “I didn’t want anybody to have expectations about us, and neither did Brian,” Jones says. “It was more like, ‘Let’s see what happens.’ It’s like starting a new relationship. Without wanting to have any expectations or get hurt. And, well, I still feel really good about it!”

“You’re not going to please people by thinking too hard about pleasing them”

  : Why did you pick Danger Mouse to work with?  : Actually it was the other way around. He called me and said he wanted to play me some music. The next day he visited my apartment in New York. I remember I’d just moved in and I didn’t have a stereo set-up. So all I had was iPod speakers. And I think he thought, “She doesn’t even have a stereo, I don’t know if I want her to do this anymore.” Because obviously, MP3s on iPod speakers are not as exciting when you’re playing somebody something you’ve worked very hard on. But he was very charming. How was the first recording session? I was a little bit miserable because I was sick the whole time. I had horrible allergies. Brian must have thought I was a real drag. But it was great eventually. It made me see that we work really well together.


Brown eyes, big brown eyes like a deer. She has a stunning smile, timid and polite. “Hi, I’m Norah,” she welcomes us with a graceful nod and a voice soft as silk. A voice that has embellished first dates and shimmered in the background of elegant candlelit dinners all around the world. In 2002, Norah Jones’ debut album, Come Away With Me, came as a soft bombshell. It sold over 20 million copies and won five Grammy Awards. Gentle songs blending jazz and country made her adult pop’s new sensation. She could easily have gone further down that path, but she didn’t. “I want to try something different with each album,” the 33-year-old New Yorker says. “I don’t want to make the same album over and over.” Her new partner in crime goes by the name of Danger Mouse. The enigmatic studio wizard also known as Brian Burton built up a reputation with his Grey Album, a mash-up record where he blended Jay-Z’s raps with Beatles songs. After that he joined Gorillaz and conquered the music world as Gnarls Barkley alongside Cee Lo Green. You can tell by the first song that Jones backed the right horse. Little Broken Hearts opens with washed-out jingle-jangle. “Good morning,” she sighs, and heavenly strings form an alliance that makes all clouds disappear. An uplifting

Writing songs is something very intimate. How did you break the ice? We just started playing. Some mornings he would play some music when I came in and we’d eat our breakfast. There’s a lot of food in this record. What kind of food? I cooked him dinner a few times or breakfast before the studio. For me it was such a struggle, because it was Brian and his two engineers, and they just wanted to eat cheeseburgers every day. I love burgers, but you know… So every night I cooked a healthy meal in anticipation of the next day’s lunch. They were open to it. Well, Brian was, the engineers not so much. With the new album you’re breaking out in a new direction. Were you afraid of scaring fans away? Not at all, you’re either going to please people or you’re not. And you’re not gonna please them by thinking too hard about pleasing them. Do you feel pushed in a corner by critics who accuse you of making elevator jazz? I sold so many records, I don’t know. Is it liberating or confining? Maybe it’s both. I don’t worry about it too much. The album cover is almost sleazy… Brian is a really big film connoisseur so he has interesting posters up in his studio. The Mudhoney poster was right over the couch where I sat every day. And so I was always looking at it and thinking, that’s so cool! I liked it because it’s sexy, a bit scary, a bit sweet, a bit mysterious. So then, we were just kind of talking about it, and I said, “What do you think if I try to recreate the poster for the cover?” Mudhoney? The 1960s movie by sexploitation director Russ Meyer? Have you seen it? Not yet. I know the kind of movies he makes, but I think they’re fun. I’ve seen bits and parts of his movies, bits and parts [laughs]. You don’t like to talk about your dad [sitar legend Ravi Shankar], but have you sent him the new songs to listen to yet? My dad doesn’t use email, so no [laughs]. I play him music when I’m with him, but I don’t send him stuff.

New direction: Her latest album is like “starting a new relationship�, says Jones

High hopes: After a series of impressive dives during both qualifying days, Jorge Ferzuli of Mexico took the fourth available Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series slot and proved that he has what it takes to compete with the best


Fear Factor Fifteen of the world’s best and bravest high divers visit Australia to battle it out for a place in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series

PHOTOGRAPHY: deAn sewell, deAn TReml/Red bull cOnTenT POOl

words: Robert Tighe




From left: Hassan Mouti (France), Anatoliy Shabotenko (Ukraine) and Gennadiy Kutsenko (Ukraine) with diving legend and Red Bull Cliff Diving consultant Joey Zuber

to compete in the Olympics and the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. Colturi only took up the sport last year after an impressive collegiate diving career in the US. The 23-year-old won national titles but was just below Olympic standard. “I could have trained really hard for a long time and I might have got to the Olympics, but this was a better option for me,” says Colturi, an all-American type who is studying to be a doctor. “You’re representing yourself, there are no coaches and everyone is here to have fun. It’s like a brotherhood.”

“You’re representing yourself and there are no coaches. It’s like a brotherhood”


ome of the divers listen to music while they wait their turn; others sit in quiet contemplation. Some warm up; others try to calm down. Some kiss their lucky charm; others bless themselves. All of them, when they stand on the edge of the platform are alone and afraid. “everyone is scared,” says Blake Aldridge. “Ask anyone here and if they tell you they’re not scared, they’re trying to be a bigger man than they are.” Aldridge is one of 15 divers from nine countries who have gathered near Sydney, Australia, for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series qualifier. The top four will get a place in the 2012 season, joining the top seven divers from last year. The series get under way on June 22 in France, followed by stops in norway, Portugal, Ireland, the USA and Wales before the finale in Oman in September. Qualifying for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is by no means easy. If the divers have an off day in one of the events during the series, they can shake it off and look forward to the next one. In the Australia qualifier the divers are judged on eight dives over two days of competition. One bad dive could end their chances of qualifying. The standard is that high. Five divers who finished outside the top seven last year are in Australia hoping to reclaim their place among the world’s elite. Of the 10 other divers, two in particular, Aldridge and David Colturi are tipped as ones to watch. Aldridge is a 29-year-old former British Olympian and the first diver

Climbing the ladder to the 8m warm-up diving platform

That sense of brotherhood is evident on the first day of competition. It’s a wet, miserable, Thursday afternoon – not the beach and barbecue weather you might expect in Australia – and the steep forest trail up to the cliff is getting muddier by the minute. The divers are completing their last-minute preparations inside a tent beside the specially constructed 27.5m-high platform jutting out over the Hawkesbury River. Just before the competition commences, all 15 divers come together and exchange high fives, hugs and words of encouragement: 63


“Have a good day, man.” “Good luck.” “Take Care.” “Be safe.” The foul weather makes it more difficult and dangerous than usual. Wet hands and feet make it difficult to hold on to a tuck. Cold muscles tense up leading to more impact injuries. Igor Semashko ruptures his groin on the first dive and Andrey Rublev injures his knee after hitting the platform. Both Russians are forced to withdraw from the competition. Aldridge leads after the first day, followed by Colturi, Steven LoBue (USA) and Todor Spasov (Bulgaria). “It means nothing,” says Aldridge. “There are four more dives to go. We’ve had some casualties today and there’s nothing to say there won’t be more but it’s for me to lose now.” Friday is a rest day and the rain is relentless. Plans for a sightseeing trip to the Blue Mountains are abandoned.

These guys are hitting the water at more than 90kph Instead the divers mooch around the clubhouse of the Riverside Oaks Golf Resort, the event headquarters, watching music videos and diving clips on YouTube. The twists, somersaults and free falls look spectacular on a laptop; it looks terrifying when you’re just a few metres away from the platform. The maximum height in Olympic diving is 10m; the standard height here is 27m. These guys are launching themselves off the equivalent of a nine-storey building with a three-second free fall before hitting the water at more than 90 kph. “When you hit the water, it’s like BAM!” says US diver Kent De Mond. “Your feet are sore; your back hurts; you get whiplash in your neck. It’s just a general soreness.” “It never gets easier,” says Aldridge. “When you walk on to the platform, you’re nervous because you’ve got 27.5m between you and the water and you know what the impact is like. Your mind goes over every scenario. What if I come out of the dive and see the sky and not the water? What if I come out of a twist and cartwheel and get lost?” That’s what happened to Hassan Mouti in Greece last year. He was 64

Above: Anatoliy Shabotenko This picture: A safety diver watches over Kyle Mitrione Below (from left): Blake Aldridge, David Colturi, Steven LoBue and Joey Zuber

PHOTOGRAPHY: deAn sewell (2), deAn TReml/Red bull cOnTenT POOl (2)

It’s a long way down in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series – the qualifying event saw competitors dive from a 27.5m-high platform into the Hawkesbury River

practising a new dive, a front quint somersault with half twist-tuck, when he suddenly became totally disoriented. “I had a blackout,” says the 31-yearold Frenchman. “I didn’t know where I was, I didn’t know how many metres I was from the water. I didn’t know how many somersaults I had done. You know you are going to hit the water hard but you don’t know when.” Mouti did almost six somersaults before he hit the water, Top: Kris Kolanus (Poland) and Jonathan Paredes (Mexico) had to pull out of qualifying due to injuries Middle (from left): David Colturi, Steven LoBue, Australian Olympic diving champion and event commentator, Matthew Mitcham, and Blake Aldridge Bottom: the divers toast the winner David Colturi


landing on his side. Was he unconscious? “no but it would have been better if I was,” he says. “I was in a lot of pain. I couldn’t even breathe properly.” Mouti escaped with severe bruising to his lungs, but mentally he was a wreck. He didn’t dive for two months after the accident and when he climbed the steps to the diving platform at his local pool, it was only 3m high. even from that height he struggled, landing

on his back or his stomach. It was like learning to dive from scratch. The qualifier is his first competition back and although he’s in ninth place after the first day and out of contention for one of the four qualifying spots, he’s just relieved to be jumping again. “When I did my first practice dive here I was thinking again about the accident,” says Mouti, “but as soon as I took off it was like I never stopped. It was like, ‘Why was I afraid?’” All the divers have their own horror stories. Aldridge’s worst crash came after diving off a 10m platform at a training camp in 2003. He landed face first in the water. He tore his retinas and was blind for five minutes. Last year in Italy, in his second Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series event as a wildcard, he did an almost perfect back double somersault with full twist. Almost perfect. “My torso was leaning to the right,” explains Aldridge, “and I took a shot to the ribs and was left coughing up blood for almost an hour.” In comparison, the worst injury David Colturi has suffered is a little bruising to his feet. “I know. It’s pathetic,” he laughs. The reason why he’s been left relatively unscathed could be down to the fact he’s only competed in one Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series event as a wildcard, or it could be because his technique is so good. Those in the know rave about his confident body language on the platform, his perfect form in the air and his humble ‘aw shucks’ attitude. “I’ve only chucked a handful of dives off the high platform so I still don’t know if it’s beginner’s luck or not,” he says. Colturi’s first jump from 27.5m was in August last year in Boston. He emailed the organisers asking if he could do some practice dives off the platform. Previous to that he had done a few dives off from 20m at the Indiana Beach Amusement Resort. Colturi impressed so much in Boston he was offered a plane ticket to Australia for the qualifier. “I was hooked from the first dive,” says Colturi. “Your heart is racing when you’re on the platform but as soon as you dive you let everything else go.” “When you jump you get this calm feeling as you fly through the air,” says Aldridge. “Suddenly you spot the water and all your fears come back to you as you brace yourself for impact. When you hit the water it sends shockwaves through your body. Your feet sting but you know you’re all right. You pop up at the surface and there’s a voice in your head that says, ‘Let’s do that again.’” After a week of rain the sun is shining for the second and final day of competition



Jorge Ferzuli keeps warm during a practice session while Kris Kolanus goes through his usual pre-dive preparations

“When you jump you get this calm feeling as you fly through the air. Then your feet sting, but you know you’re all right”

on Saturday afternoon. The river, however, looks like something out of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and is littered with grass and weeds and bits of trees. “Watch out for the debris,” is the advice for the divers in the precompetition briefing at the top of the cliff. On the water hundreds of spectators in houseboats, cabin-cruisers, kayaks, inflatable dinghies and Jet Skis cheer every time one of the divers steps up to the edge of the platform. While Jorge Ferzuli is preparing for his first dive, someone on a boat shouts, “Do a belly flop.” The Mexican isn’t rattled. He starts the day in seventh but after the first three dives he’s in contention for the fourth qualifying spot. A quad somersault with half-twist earns him nine out of 10 from four of the five judges and a place in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. “I’m super happy,” says Ferzuli, a barrel-chested 31-year-old with a big smile. “I tried to have a cold mind and be sure about my technique. I tried to make everything perfect.” Both Aldridge and Colturi get perfect 10s from the judges for their third dives

but Colturi seals the win on his last dive, beating a disappointed Aldridge. “I’m gutted that I’ve come second,” says Aldridge. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely ecstatic to make the tour. That’s what I came here to do and the way me and David and the others dived here, the other divers should watch out.’” Colturi’s win is made extra special by the fact that one of his diving buddies from Purdue University in Indiana, Steven LoBue, secures the third qualifying spot. Aldridge is also looking forward to catching up with an old mate when the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series starts on June 22. He went to school with the two-time champ, Gary Hunt. It promises to be a bittersweet reunion, however. Hunt and Aldridge lost one of their closest friends, Gavin Brown in a hit and run accident in 2007. “As special as it will be to be on the tour with Gary, Gavin will always be missing,” says Aldridge. “But if me and Gary can rule the world on our own, we know Gavin will be watching, and that’s a beautiful thing.” First stop Corsica.;






Words: Ruth Morgan Photography: Paul Calver 69



s Sam Oldham contemplates the high bar more than 2m above his head, the clock in the sports centre near London clicks to show exactly 2.15pm. He knows this because he’s just stolen a glance at it, as he has before performing on each of the six pieces of apparatus he’s competing on today. It’s the last element of his pre-performance ritual; he’s already visualised his routine, eyes closed, engaging his body in a strange dance of microcosmic moves. And he’s put on his bar grips, as always, right hand first and then left. Now he’s chalked and ready, waiting for the green light. But despite his superstitions, what Oldham does next will have nothing to do with luck and everything to do with his being one of the most talented young male gymnasts the UK has produced. A teenager, from Nottingham, he’s still only at the start of his senior career, yet he’s in the running for a place on the 2012 Olympic team against stiff competition. And after a 2011 season ended by injury, he wants this high bar performance to reflect the hours of hard graft he’s put in to get back here. They don’t come much more dedicated than Oldham. He’s been a perfectionist since he was a child, when even a victorious game of Scrabble against his family would prompt a full post-match analysis. These days, the stakes are significantly higher. He’s devoted himself to his sport, toiling for six, seven hours in the gym almost every day, proving himself a rare talent. At 19, he has numerous European and British junior titles under his belt. At the English National Championships in 2009 he took every gold medal on offer, and followed up with two medals at the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympics, including a gold for his high bar performance. Now he’s competing with the likes of Beijing medallist Louis Smith, having stepped up to become the youngest member of the British senior team last year. Today he’s at The London Open in Crayford, only a few miles from the O2 Arena where the Olympic gymnastics events will be held. He’s up against the best in the country, being watched by the officials who, in the coming months, will pick the final team of five. “I’ve been training six hours a day, six days a week since I was a kid to make it to the London Olympics,” 70

he said emphatically before competition began. “My life revolves around gymnastics, it determines every single thing I do – what I eat, when I go to bed, how I sleep. Competing at this Olympics means everything to me. It’s what my life so far has been about.” No exaggeration here. Oldham hasn’t looked back since he was marched to a gym lesson as a hyperactive seven-year-old, his weary teacher determined to channel his excess energy. The indefatigable Oldham also took up football, often enduring 14-hour days divided between school, pitch and gym. By 2005, the year London won the Olympic bid, it was clear the 12-year-old had serious talent in both sports, but needed to focus on one. As a footballer Oldham would have followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who played for Nottingham Forest and Notts County respectively. He had contracts on the table from both clubs, and Derby County, too. But there was no contest. “Everyone always asks me if I ever regret giving up football,” he says, “but I never think about it. Gymnastics was always my thing.” Oldham has sacrificed a social life for training. He trains for up to 40 hours a week at Loughborough University’s gymnastics research centre, a state-ofthe-art facility a short drive from his home in the village of Keyworth, where he lives with his parents, Bob and Dawn, two sisters and a brother. But his single-mindedness hasn’t blinded him to the ‘normal’ teenage life he’s given up. “I do sometimes get jealous of my school friends’ lives,” he says. “Sometimes they seem so much easier. Some days I wake up and think ‘I can’t do this today.’ But I get up and I go, because ultimately this sport is my passion, I want this more than anything. Sometimes that makes me put too much pressure on myself, and I’ve been known to completely kill myself in training sessions. But I’m a perfectionist, that’s just my make-up, my mentality.” Oldham’s ever-supportive parents are here today, along with his coach Sergei Sizhanov, a diminutive Russian who still speaks with a thick accent, and who also coaches the national team. His eyes have been locked on Oldham’s performances, as Sam has increased the difficulty of his routines for the first time since he suffered a collarbone fracture last year. The pair

Growing talent: Oldham (below left) has worked hard with his coach Sergei Sizhanov (centre) to get to the top level in gymnastics. In the process he has developed muscles (right) that other people don’t even know exist




Preparing for victory: Oldham works through the same pre-competition routine at every event. He uses Golden Syrup on his hands for grip on the parallel bars. “You can get syrup in a bottle or a tin and I prefer the tin as it keeps it colder, which makes it thicker and stickier,” he says. He competes on all six apparatus, making him an allround gymnast

communicate across the room using only the smallest nod or flick of the wrist. They’re all that’s needed as Sizhanov has coached Sam since he was a boy, spending more time with him than has Sam’s own father. “The reason Sam is so successful is because he’s talented, of course, but also he’s clever,” says Sizhanov. “He takes on feedback, both good and bad. And he works very hard. You can have the talent, but without these other qualities it’s not enough. I’ve been working with gymnasts for over 25 years and I’ve never seen a stronger character than Sam. He’s someone with no time for second or third position, and that will make him a champion.” Oldham is an all-round gymnast, competing on all six apparatus: floor, pommel, rings, vault, parallel bars and, the blue riband event, high bar, which has become his speciality. After a short wait, he’s given the green light from the judges and, with a lift from Sizhanov, Oldham takes his own weight with ease, swinging from the thin chalked bar to build the momentum he’ll need to complete his high-tariff routine. There’s no doubting Oldham’s built for the task. His boyish face and blue eyes belie a physique so muscular it almost doesn’t look real. “I was ripped by the time I was nine,” he says, “so no one messed with me at school. Anyone who says it’s a girly sport should come to the gym with me. I know how hard footballers train and it’s a walk in the park compared to this. Overall, it’s the hardest sport in the world. The best gymnast will be able to give almost any other athlete a run for their money, but none of them would be able to do what we do.” Watching gymnastics live is heart-in-mouth stuff. The elegant agility that’s made gymnastics one of the most watched Olympic sports takes on a new reality when you can hear each footfall of the vault sprint, the smack of hands on the pommel, and see the effort of holding a pose on the rings writ large in bulging veins. As Oldham propels himself nearly 2m into the air above the high bar, flipping with minute precision to

return to the thin strip of metal, it’s impossible to forget that split-second timing is the only thing between him and a premature reintroduction with the mat 3m below. Oldham makes it look easy, his hands grasping and releasing the bar confidently as he rotates, throwing himself into graceful mid-air spins. But no gymnast is unaware of the risks they take. The real skill of these top-level gymnasts is to bring grace to a physically brutal sport. During his career Oldham has broken bones in both feet, a leg against the high bar, and in 2008 his wrist, coming out of a tumble during his floor routine at the European Championships in Switzerland. (He somehow managed to complete it one-handed to help win the British youth team win gold.) Then in September of last year he developed a bone spur on his collarbone due to the constant contact between it and his sternum during his high-impact routines, which went on to become a full fracture. Steroid injections to reduce inflammation, combined with three months of rest, have healed what in extreme cases can be a career-ending injury, and Oldham is almost back to full fitness. “Injury is a hazard of the sport,” says Eddie Van Hoof, men’s technical director from British Gymnastics and one of the panel who will decide the make-up of the Olympic team. “Gymnasts have to be fitter and stronger than almost any other athletes, as they need functional strength through a whole range of different movements. They really are pushing physical limits all the time. A few degrees here or there is the difference between success and failure. Sam has had the added challenge of making the transition from junior to senior level. But he has the mental strength to cope with it all. That’s one of his real attributes, his focus. Some people would say he’s almost obsessive. He’s got himself back on track and he’s in with a shout for the 2012 team. But he’s young, I think he’ll really come into his own in the lead up to the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. We absolutely tip him for big things in the future, he’s a potential Olympic medallist for sure.” With a final double twist Oldham executes a nearperfect landing and, with none of his usual reserve, throws his hands in the air, a wide grin spreading across his face. His score is the second-best of the day, placing him higher than most of his Olympic rivals, and he’s in fourth position overall, an impressive result given his current fitness level and the new routines he’s just performed. “I’m pleased with that,” he says. “This has put me back in the mix. I’m very close to being in that team. The feeling after nailing a routine is why I do this. It’s impossible to describe. I think it’s the relief that you’ve done yourself justice. It makes every bit of effort I put in worth it.” Whether or not Oldham competes for Great Britain at the Olympics this summer, more than a decade of sweat and toil has earned him a long gymnastic future. But as he prepares to leave London, he is determined that when he returns to the capital it will be to represent his country at the O2 Arena, in front of a 25,000-strong home crowd. No one will have worked harder to get there.



5 Body & Mind


What happens to the body when it goes supersonic? What should someone jumping from the edge of the stratosphere eat before his mission begins? And what are the scientific lessons to be learned when Felix Baumgartner and Red Bull Stratos take off? We ask medical Director Jonathan clark. PLuS: Sci-fi writer Leo Lukas takes us on a trip to Ăœberworld


This is Red Bull Stratos Red Bull Stratos is a mission to the edge of space in which Felix Baumgartner will ascend to 36,576m in a helium balloon and come down to Earth in free fall, collecting useful scientific data and setting four world records as he does:

1. Break the speed of sound unaided 2. Free fall from the highest altitude 3. Longest free fall time 4. Highest manned balloon flight The Red Bulletin is following the mission closely, each issue focusing on a specific topic. All back issues can be downloaded for the iPad.

In February we interviewed

Felix Baumgartner (1.1) and Joe Kittinger (1.2).

in march we took a look at

Credit: photography: Garth Milan/Red Bull Stratos

Baumgartner’s capsule (2.1), his cockpit (2.2) and the cameras on board (2.3).

In april we looked at how the helium balloon carrying the capsule and its occupant got airborne (3.1) and how Baumgartner went about getting his licence for it (3.2).

In May we discussed Baumgartner’s spacesuit (4.1) and explored the colourful history of spacesuits (4.2). This month we speak with Jonathan Clark, Medical Director of Red Bull Stratos, about the dangers to Baumgartner’s body (5.1) and take a sci-fi journey to Überworld (5.2).


I Flat spin At great height, with almost no air to work with, Baumgartner’s body might start spinning uncontrollably

5.1 “We’re aware that Felix is in danger” Jonathan Clark is the medical director of the Red Bull Stratos mission. An interview on the expected and unexpected risks in the stratosphere, how to tackle them and how all of mankind profits from this project interview: Werner Jessner


HE RED BULLETIN: Which stages of the red Bull Stratos mission are the most dangerous, from a medical point of view? JONATHAN CLARK: the start is quite precarious. Below 300m, the parachute doesn’t have the chance to open and slow the free fall. if the balloon envelope were to tear at the start, the odds would be stacked heavily against Baumgartner. He needs 13 seconds to get out of the capsule – at such a low altitude that’s too long. For this reason he’s buckled into a modified race truck seat with safety harnesses to make things as safe as possible. during the launch we have all rescue teams on standby at the start. i would even go so


The lower the rotational axis lies, the more dangerous for the brain. If there is too much blood in the feet, Baumgartner will pass out

A G-force sensor will automatically deploy a drogue chute if Baumgartner is exposed to over 3.5G for more than six seconds

far as to say that the phase from zero to 300m is the most dangerous. From which height could Baumgartner exit without experiencing problems? From 1,220m we’re on the safe side. From that point on he would have enough time to get out of the capsule, even if the balloon envelope ripped. But then other problems await him further up... Above the Armstrong Line at 19,200m the pressure is so low that water in the blood ‘boils’ away, as it were. that’s exactly what happened to Joe Kittinger’s hand when he jumped [due to a fault in the pressure suit], it happened to a person during a spacesuit test, and to another in a vacuum chamber. it also sealed the fate of the crew on the Soviet spaceship Soyuz 11 in 1971: the cosmonauts weren’t wearing pressure suits, the capsule lost pressure and in five minutes they were dead. What is it exactly that makes it lethal? Seventy per cent of the human body

is made up of water. there are two different methods to bring water to the boil: either you apply heat or reduce pressure. evaporating water upwards of Armstrong’s Line is not thermally hot, it’s the gas that causes the damage: inflammation, bubbles in the blood. the worst damage occurs in the lungs, directly to the alveoli where the gas exchange with the blood occurs. We call this ebullism. is there still a chance to survive? We’re aware that Baumgartner is in danger and it’s our obligation to do everything to ensure he has good survival chances in the case of an ebullism. We have two respirators here with which we can safely execute the gas exchange with the blood even in a destroyed lung. how does that work? Humans need a certain amount of oxygen. Basically it doesn’t matter whether it’s given in big amplitudes or tiny amplitudes. With these inhalators here you ‘breathe’ 12 times per second. this



II Shockwave What happens when Baumgartner breaks the sound barrier?


When Baumgartner goes supersonic, he will create a sonic boom (he won’t be able to hear it himself, though)


iLLUStrAtiON: ALBert eXerGiAN

The big unknown: what happens if a shockwave collides with itself? This might damage Baumgartner’s pressure suit and expose him to the hostile atmosphere at high altitude

avoids a massive pulmonary pressure wave in the lung, instead it almost oscillates and, as if by magic, is supplied with oxygen. how does it feel? Weird. the brain and body fight not breathing, but in fact it’s not necessary. Crazy. this inhalator is actually one of the greatest scientific advances associated with red Bull Stratos. earlier, this machine was used in premature baby wards because the lungs of extreme preterm babies stick together. it can also be used in severe burn cases where the patients’ lungs have collapsed. Now we’ve extended the field of application to include vacuum injuries. how long would it take to get Baumgartner back to his old self? A couple of weeks, as long as the lung isn’t filled with blood. As soon as the body receives oxygen it can begin to mend. during the initial tests Baumgartner complained about the extreme cold...

these are problems that must be fixed with better heating of the hands and feet. What dangers lurk during the jump? From a medical standpoint, two: one is a flat spin, a fast, uncontrollable rotation around one’s own axis, the second is the shockwave that happens when breaking the sound barrier. We call it shock-shock interaction. let’s start with the flat spin.... Luckily we know quite a lot thanks to dummies that the Air Force tossed out of balloons in the 1950s and 1960s: from an altitude of 9,145m, the rotational speed is between 20 and 120 revolutions per minute. Jettisoning from higher altitudes increased the speed of rotation. Later, the Air Force put animals and people into centrifuges to see how the body reacts. Aside from the duration and speed of the rotation, the axis around which the body spins is very decisive. if you spin around the waist, half of the blood rushes to the head and the other

Body monitoring

Baumgartner’s physiological data will be recorded during the mission. The screenshot below is actually taken from his first jump earlier this year. Jonathan clark: “Race car drivers have all the instrumentation on their cars so they know what their machines are doing. An athlete’s body is a fine piece of machinery, too. It has become very important for serious athletes – and Red Bull is pushing the envelope with this kind of technology. This system was very rapidly tested and now we have jumped into the stratosphere. Isn’t that cool? We work with the university of Texas medical Branch and Baylor college of medicine to have better ways to analyse it.” A number of space-tested sensors watch the mission pilot’s body position (all three axes) measure body temperature, heart and breath rate, display two EcGs and the respiratory rate. After the mission is successfully completed, all data will be made available to science.

half to the feet. Blood in the feet means that the heart is deprived and you become unconscious. if the spin can be arrested soon enough then you can survive it. Much more unpleasant is too much blood in the head, which ruptures and squashes the brain and eyes. And this is not at all good. For this reason we want Baumgartner’s rotational axis to be as high as possible. at what point does it become critical? Luke Aikins [skydiving consultant] found in self-tests that he becomes unconscious when he’s exposed to more than 3.5G for more than six seconds. So he developed a sensor that ignites a drogue chute once this reading is exceeded. this miniparachute is shaped like a donut and slows the spin – but also the speed of the free fall and that’s not the intention of this project. What happens when he breaks the sound barrier? that is one of the areas we don’t completely understand yet: what happens when a shockwave collides with itself? So that’s why we have established the same medical protocol as for ebullism. is there not the danger that Baumgartner might throw up in his helmet during the flat spin? A very real danger. Should the vomit get into his lungs that could cause massive damage. the worst-case scenario however 77


is that the vomit gets in his eyes and he has to free fall blind until he reaches a respirable atmosphere. So Baumgartner must try to hold the vomit in his mouth for as long as possible and then release it to one side. in this way at least one eye remains unaffected. Being sick in the spacesuit is a more serious hazard than you imagine. NASA had such a case during a space walk. the stuff would get into the material that absorbs the carbon dioxide and cause a very bad reaction. is radiation a threat? No, for several reasons: we’re only up there for a short time, we’re not high enough up, and roswell [the area where Baumgartner plans to land] is situated near the equator, very far away from the major magnetic fields at the poles. A massive solar storm could delay the project – not for medical reasons but because it could seriously interfere with the GPS. during test jumps, Baumgartner apparently used hair gel, although it’s not permitted because it contains alcohol... Sure. Oxygen and alcohol combined could cause a nice little fire. On the other hand, a tiny bit of alcohol in a little hair gel evaporates in no time. the helmet is a very snug fit, so not a lot of oxygen reaches there... the media got hold of the hair gel issue at some point and it took off. if he ate beans, would it explode in the stratosphere or is that a load of hot air as well? When the outside pressure is low, gases expand inside the body: in the ear, the gut, the sinuses. this is serious. in the intestinal tract especially the problem usually solves itself: you, if you’ll pardon the language, burp or fart it out. After every pressure chamber test it smells like a sewage treatment plant! if you didn’t do this you run the risk of an intestinal barotrauma, a bowel explosion. So the solution is not to eat 78

anything that is quickly digested prior to jumping. Astronauts like to eat steak and eggs the day before a flight. Why does Baumgartner start to breathe pure oxygen two hours before the mission begins? His body is saturated with nitrogen that, with decreasing pressure, behaves like carbonated water in a bottle: when you open the bottle it bubbles out. the nitrogen in the blood behaves similarly and bubbles form: we call this decompression sickness. By breathing in pure oxygen we’re washing the nitrogen out of the blood. We manage a good 80 per cent with our procedure, and with this we’re on the safe side. What can science learn from red Bull Stratos? We need spacesuits that allow you to survive up in the stratosphere. Outer space tourism is just beginning, so it needs reliable statements and certainties, not least for insurance purposes. there is always someone who’s prepared to sue someone else. red Bull Stratos will be the reference for this. But even more importantly, how can you climb out of a spaceship and stay alive? Astronauts and cosmonauts would still be alive today if they’d had access to the information we have now. How do you treat victims of falling pressure, like in a space station or a spaceship? red Bull Stratos has developed the medical protocol for this. We generate massive amounts of data of a kind that’s never been collated before. Baumgartner is wired up during the entire mission. We make this data available for research. the scientific value of red Bull Stratos is huge. Would you swap places with Baumgartner? if i had a tailor-made suit that fitted i wouldn’t hesitate for one second. Jonathan clark is a six-time Space Shuttle surgeon and Red Bull Stratos’ medical Director


Being sick in the spacesuit is a more serious hazard than you can imagine

5.2 “There is a place where you can go... Where Marilyn still dances with DiMaggio... And the name of the place is...” Kinky Friedman, marilyn and Joe

Überworld Words: leo lukas *

photography: SVen hoFFMann/red Bull StratoS Credit: illuStration: thoMaS KiKert/aniMagiC


elix jumped. it didn’t take the slightest effort. He simply did it. Stood up as soon as the door swung to the side. Climbed calmly out of the capsule onto the narrow sill with movements he’d practised hundreds of times before. radioed his A-OK to mission control. Leaned forward. And leapt into the depths. Now. Now he fell. Plunged towards earth, in free fall, from higher than anyone before. He pushed that thought away. Keep a cool head; free of doubt, nervousness, euphoria or any other ballast. total concentration, just as he’d practised... He bumped into an obstacle. impossible. it couldn’t be. Surely he was wrong. Up here, near the edge of space, was nothing, could be nothing, to curb his fall, barely 10 seconds after jumping. the acceleration phase had only just begun. it was supposed to take around a minute. Until Felix, on the other side of the sound barrier, had reached top speed. instead, he sensed that he was being slowed down – by something soft, elastic, invisible – and he came to a stop. As if the air had turned to a thick jelly around him, he hung hovering, not able to move. then he heard voices. “Well, what do you say to that? did i get him or not?” “You’re crazy, Julie. Let the man go at once. if someone finds out about this!” “i got him and i’ve won the bet. You owe me three ounces of ambrosia.” “Good grief, i thought you were joking.” “the fun’s just starting. What do you reckon, shall we remove the man’s unbecoming outfit?”


“i think that might be a pressure suit.” “Well, obviously. But i’m dying to see whether such stone-age people really blow up to double their size when their body fluids evaporate.” “Julie! We shouldn’t even be here.” right. Nobody should be up here apart from me, thought Felix. He shivered. Was he hallucinating? Was he suffering from break-off phenomenon? Up to now, everything had gone perfectly to plan. He hadn’t noticed the slightest warning signal, not even for hypoxia. His oxygen supply was working as it should. Or was it? don’t panic. He tried calling the control centre to ask if everything was OK, and discovered that the connection was malfunctioning. don’t panic! He told himself firmly: there’s a perfectly logical explanation. Perhaps reflections from sound waves or radio signals in the upper layers of the atmosphere, a type of acoustic Fata Morgana; and my brain, deprived of the usual sensations and overwrought by the exceptional situation, picked up these scattered words. Me. Or so. Somehow. damn, he was really bewildered. What was going on? Why did he have the feeling that ghostly fingers were tugging at the fasteners of his suit? “Stop it, Julie. that’s not funny anymore. And i bet it’s forbidden.” “i’m not doing anything. i just want to play a little. don’t crap yourself, romy-boy.” Felix screamed as the sheath of his suit opened and compressed air leaked out. His scream sounded thin, wafting, and then died away, drowned out by the intensifying noise in his ears. He couldn’t breathe. the cold paralysed him. He saw nothing but blackness, pulsating ever more furiously.


e awoke to music. Someone sang: “Muss i denn, muss i denn zum Städtele...” Felix opened his eyes. Blinded, he immediately closed them again. He blinked until he’d become accustomed to the intense light. “Hi,” said elvis. “Welcome to Überworld. it wasn’t actually part of the plan to bring you onboard. But we couldn’t very well leave you to your fate, after what those brats did to you.” He leaned his guitar, a simple Martin d-28, carefully against the fluorescent wall and moved closer to the hospital bed. the man wore a washed out t-shirt and baggy tracksuit pants, he seemed somewhat unkempt, his breath was sour and he was unshaven, yet unmistakably...

Damn, he was really bewildered. What was going on? “Stop it, Julie. That’s not funny anymore. And I bet it’s forbidden” “elvis?” “Yep. that’s the good news. We’re alive, you and i. But then things get more complicated.” He glanced to one side to read the glowing, violet holographic screen. ‘You’re recovering remarkably quickly. You must have trained well for your mad escapade, hmm?” “For years,” rasped Felix. “But obviously not enough. Otherwise i wouldn’t be dreaming about you.” elvis sighed, bent over Felix, and pinched his cheek. “does that hurt?” “Ouch! Still, that’s no proof. You can imagine pain just like all other sensations.” “i don’t care if you trust your senses or not. Anyway, while you get used to the idea of accepting this reality, let me show you around.” Felix thought for a moment. Something had gone terribly wrong. He was having a vision, probably the last in his life. Why not simply enjoy it for a bit? especially while he was having difficulty pushing away this absurd illusion, not to mention how to determine in what condition he was. “OK. Where are we again?” “in Überworld,” said elvis cheerfully, helping Felix to his feet. “Where the good powers come together. Perfectly hidden, because according to the current doctrine of earth-dwellers, nothing can exist for long up here.” raising his hand in defence, he said: “Please don’t ask me about the technology. i only know it works. Something to do with antigravitation and all the consequences that go with it.”

“How did you get to...? i mean, by which means? it can’t have been with a balloon. And, above all, when?” “time is relative here. i received an offer i couldn’t refuse.” elvis winked. “You could say, i left that building way before.” the habitat was very spacious and tastefully decorated in an impressive, well-nigh vibrating balance between Bauhaus and Art deco: elegant lines interspersed with distinctive brass and red-gold ornaments. Classy was the word that sprung to Felix’s mind. He felt out of place, like a stowaway, or more like a castaway that had been fished out of the ocean, disoriented from exhaustion. An unearthly beautiful couple danced in a dimly lit bar. “Monroe,” murmured Felix. “And her partner is...?” “Giuseppe Paolo diMaggio, the best baseball player of all time, to now and for eternity: 361 home runs in 13 seasons. He’s honestly deserved this dance. down below he and Marilyn didn’t get along quite so well. they divorced after just seven months. But in the meantime they’ve decided to enjoy the moment of their greatest happiness. Forever and ever.” “they dance? that’s all?” “For as long as this universe exists. You’re a German native speaker, right? Goethe’s Faust should mean something to you. i quote: ‘Ah, linger on, thou art so fair...’ ” “that happens here? You freeze people at a pinnacle of their life?” “Like i said, it’s all much more


complicated,” said elvis, reassuringly. “No one gets old if they don’t want to; not even an adolescent rascal like romeo and that obnoxious Julie.” Click. the penny finally dropped. His record attempt had, for whatever reason, failed. Fatally. Felix had a near-death experience: white light at the end of the tunnel, etc. But instead, he had fantasised about paradise on the other side, a bizarre Olympus in the stratosphere inhabited by partly historic, partly fictional characters. He laughed. “then Jesus hangs out here, too.” “Sorry. the search for him proved fruitless. i could introduce you to Ché Guevara, if you’re into martyrs. Or Queen Nefertiti. She could tell you a couple of great anecdotes. But if you want to know about long-term plans, you’d better talk to Leonardo.” “di Caprio? But he’s ...” “da Vinci, you clown.”

“Leonardo has seen it again and again. He comes from the future in which you are famous”



he laboratory was as spacious as a jumbo-jet hangar, yet it was bursting at the seams, filled to the rafters with masses of art work and equipment. Leonardo was very obviously a passionate collector as well as a compulsive hoarder. And albino. And gay. “Who have we here,” he trilled, effeminately wiping his hands on his apron. “Give me a hug, Herr Baumgartner! i simply adore daredevil flight pioneers.” A heavy cloud of mint and menthol perfume wafted over him. Felix gulped for air after enduring the excruciatingly affectionate greeting.

“How do you know my name?” “Oh, we’ve been watching you for years. We don’t miss much of importance. Believe me, we keep a good eye on you all down there and we look after your wellbeing most attentively.” Felix frowned. it seemed pointless to enter into a discussion with such a weird, almost transparently thin-skinned, angellike, androgynous, mystical figure – but if there was one thing he couldn’t stand it was over-exaggerated enthusiasm. “Well, the global situation doesn’t look particularly rosy at the moment.” “that depends on your perspective, my friend. Looking at things from up here, at a certain distance, mankind is progressing well.” Leonardo ran his fingers through his snowy-white mane of curls. “i could transfer you into considerably worse eras, if you should so desire.” “You have a time machine.” Yeah right, just what’s needed. And a perpetual motion machine. Wagging his index finger, Leonardo threatened elvis playfully. “Naughty King! Haven’t you explained anything to him?” “You’re the one responsible for great revelations.” “Starvation, war, natural disasters,” Felix listed angrily. “AidS, species extinction, global warming. etcetera. You call that looking out for us?” “We do our best to limit the collateral damage. But don’t mistake us for gods. We are in no way almighty. if that were the case, we wouldn’t be dependent on planetary resources.” “Hang on a minute.” Once Felix got hold of something he wouldn’t let go. “the rapidly increasing global energy consumption. the financial resources that periodically seem to vanish into thin air... that all goes to Überworld?” the albino cleared his throat. “indirectly. Obviously several selected members of the ruling elite contribute theirs. As a sort of investment, you understand. in the end, they want to be onboard when we head to the stars some day.” “So that’s it? You plunder the earth for a pipe dream? For an ark so that a couple of pop stars and some super-rich can rule the cosmos?” “Forty thousand,” elvis chipped in, “that’s how many will be at the start. So that wherever and whenever we find a suitable colonial world, we’ll have the highest possible genetic diversity there.” He pointed to the logo on Felix’s singlet. “in fact, your sponsor, the energy drink baron, has pretty good chances.” “i don’t get it. the remaining six billion pay through the nose for this

madness! Who was behind such a scheme? A lunatic dictator?” Leonardo patted Felix on the shoulder. “Pull yourself together, boy. Be honest – if you, of all people, had the choice, wouldn’t you want to fly with us?”


ut he didn’t have the choice. regardless of his contributions to guerrilla aeronautics, they told Felix he had to be sent back to his balloon. the expertise gained from this heroic mission would set a chain of events in motion, which was of utmost importance for this zone at the apex of time. Ultimately, the success of the entire project hung on how much his world-record fired the imagination of future research. “Suppose i wanted to sabotage you,” said Felix, as they buckled him into the time machine. “For example, by not pulling the rip cord of my parachute at the right time. Would that make a difference?” elvis shook his head. “Leonardo has seen it again and again. He comes from the future in which you are famous. And completely clueless – the sonic boom will totally erase any memory you have of our meeting.” “And what if i behave like an idiot from now on?” “even then. Whether you want to or not, you will land on earth safe and sound.” Felix jumped. it didn’t take the slightest effort.

* Leo Lukas is one of 11 writers for the

sci-fi series Perry Rhodan, established in 1961. Having sold over one billion books worldwide, it is the most successful science-fiction book series ever written.


Next month: How to jump What goes up must come down: we look into the difficulties of jumping from the stratosphere and staying in control.


Contents 84 GET THE GEAR The finer points of the KTM 350 Freeride 86 TRAINING Tips from fencer Olga Kharlan


88 BAND WATCH Dublin three-piece The Minutes 90 NIGHTLIFE A top club, an exotic cocktail, the best in music and much more – everything you need to get you through the night 94 WORLD IN ACTION 96 SAVE THE DATE 97 KAINRATH 98 MIND’S EYE

Red Bull Hare Scramble takes place in June of each year on Mt Erzberg in Styria, Austria. Turn to page 84 to find out how this bike makes the ride a lot less rough



8 5



If you’re competing in Red Bull Hare Scramble on Mt Erzberg, Styria, this bike will make it easier than ever before. But that means rider skill is more important than ever

more body & mind

Get the Gear EssEntial Pro Kit

Mountain go-to

KTM 350 Freeride A new kind of motorbike that makes the impassable passable and combines elements of trial and enduro? Enduro legend and KTM product manager Joachim Sauer thinks he’s on to something


1 Trial tyres The 350 Freeride combines elements of a hard enduro bike and a trial motorbike. A lower centre of gravity, a more angular shape and maximum-grip tyres take it to places other motorbikes can’t reach. 2 Narrower handlebars At under 70cm, they’re only just as wide as the bars on a downhill mountain bike, which is a blessing in the forest and in tight spots.

wordS: wErnEr JESSnEr. phoTogrAphy: philipp ForSTnEr


3 Make yourself comfortable The clutch disengages hydraulically, which saves your hands and is easy to control. Then there’s the magic red knob on the right-hand side of the handlebars that starts the engine electrically if you’ve stalled because of your tired clutch hand. 4 Slim figure Free movement and easy manoeuvrability are paramount qualities in locations such as Mt Erzberg. Smaller riders have no trouble controlling the Freeride with its seat height of just 895mm and larger riders can remount more easily even in extreme situations.

5 Protected air filter The air filter is under the lift-up seat and can easily be removed, cleaned and proofed, just like a filter cartridge. The 5.5-litre fuel tank is right in front of it. 6 Vavoom from below we have optimised the 350cc 4-stroke engine to give the best ride and plenty of torque at low revs. This is a carry-over from trial biking. The Freeride isn’t about maximum speed and that’s one reason it has only 23bhp. we’ll launch an electricengined version later this year. 7 Steel and aluminium A rider feels every last kilo in extreme conditions, so we built the chassis from chromium molybdenum steel and the tail from lighter aluminium. The Freeride 350 weighs just 99kg. 8 Dulcet tones The protected exhaust system that starts in the lower chassis results in a particularly quiet double exhaust with catalytic converters.




Fighting fit


OLGA KHARLAN At just 17, the Ukranian fencer returned from the Beijing Olympics with gold. The aim’s the same for London 2012

Kharlan lives less than an hour from the Black Sea and with mountains nearby, she’s well placed for pre-season prep FIRST, BASE “This is normally before the start of the long fencing season. It can be in the mountains or by the sea, just as long as the body revitalises and gets plenty of fresh air. This training is for base fitness and muscle toning.” 7.40 Get up 8.00 Street run 8.30 Breakfast 10.00-13.30 Gym training, working on different muscle groups. Focus on back, abs and legs. I work in 30-second sets, completing as many reps as possible. 14.00 Light lunch 16.30-18.30 Training – running or a game of football to develop core fitness 19.00 Dinner (I avoid flour, sugar and fat) 23.00 Bed

ON THE FENCING This is the programme for between seven and 10 days before a competition. It’s a completely different type of training, and focuses much more specifically on the sport. 7.40 Get up 8.00 General exercises 8.30 Breakfast 10.00-13.30 Fencing training alone. This is when I hone my grip, work on my weaknesses 14.00 Lunch 16.30-18.30 Training session – sparring with other fencers from our team, watching video footage from previous competitions with the coach and trying to correct mistakes. 19.00 Dinner – I eat whatever I fancy during competition. I need plenty of energy. 23.00 Bed

Visit and search for Olga Kharlan


“Fencing isn’t for the faint-hearted,” says Kharlan. “You need a lot of strength and stamina. We move with our legs half bent, so there’s constant pressure on the thighs and back. Plus the kit makes it tough – the mask alone weighs 2kg.” With the Olympics just over a month away, she’s on top form. “It’s my priority,” she says. “I’ve been preparing for four years – how I perform Fencer Olga Kharlan will affect my future. It’s my dream to win again.” Though she spends her days working on her body, Kharlan says the real key to success is in her mind: “Tactics are very important in fencing, so we don’t have an easy time of things psychologically. We fence to 15 points and have a minute’s break once the score’s reached eight. Anything can happen in that minute: you might change tactics. And you could still lose, even if you’re winning 8:0. If you’re leading by a small margin, like 14:12, it’s psychologically very difficult to strike the final blow, as you know you can’t miss. So fencers often work with sports psychologists. Mine really helps me. And personally, I find keeping a diary is very beneficial. I found it hard at first, so my coach forced me and now I do it all the time. I record how I felt and what I was thinking while performing, to help me understand how my mindset affects my results.”

Battle plans





The Volvo Ocean Race Grand Finale will take place in Galway from June 30 to July 8. The nine-day festival will include an amazing array of FREE entertainment and activities and a celebration of marine, sport, culture, arts, entertainment and food. The Volvo Ocean Race fleet will arrive into Galway for the finishing leg of this mammoth sailing event to culminate in the biggest festival in Ireland for 2012. The festival will embrace all cultures from each of the race stopovers for a truly multicultural celebration. Galway City will host a fantastic line up of FREE music events as well as plenty of fun activities for the family, with an ice rink, 3D Cinema, fun fair and a full programme of youth activities both on and off the water. Complementing the celebrations there will also be Global Village, a business exhibition showcasing the best Ireland has to offer. For more information log on to 2



Global sportswear brand, Helly Hansen has announced that it will be the title partner of Ireland’s must-do adventure race. The Helly Hansen Killarney Adventure Race will take place on Saturday October 6, 2012. Designed to appeal to all exercise enthusiasts in search of adventure and adrenalin, the race is a multi-sport event, comprising running, hiking, cycling and kayaking. There are three different route options to suit all levels, and people can enter in teams or alone. The race takes place against the spectacular backdrop of Ireland’s highest mountain range the MacGillcuddy Reeks, and the route encompasses some of the most dramatic, breathtaking and remote scenery in the world.


For all the race information and online registration see For information on Helly Hansen see 3


Never Spill a Drop! Contigo mean what they say, as all their products have their patented Autoseal Technology which makes them 100 per cent Spillproof and leakproof. Just push the Autoseal button to drink and release the seal. It automatically seals between sips. This double-wall, vacuum-insulated, stainless-steel travel mug will keep drinks hot for four hours or cold drinks cold for 12 hours. Lots of innovation going on here and they look pretty hot too!! You will never forget your Contigo Travel Mug when you leave the house, it’s that good. Retailers include: Elverys – Dundrum, Avoca & Great Outdoors – Dublin & Galway.

4 for a whole range of Contigo products. Reader Offer – Use Coupon Code REDBULL on for Free Shipping. 4



For time-trialists and triathletes, the Exocet 2 is the quickest bike Planet X has ever made. If you can't go fast on this you might as well take up flower-arranging. The Exocet 2, with its carbon-monocoque frame and top-performing SRAM Force groupset are guaranteed to knock minutes off your PB. Planet X Ireland are the exclusive retailers of all Planet X products within Ireland. Based centrally, they have a brand new showroom containing every bike in the Planet X range. From road bikes to commuters, Triathlon bikes to Off Road mountain bikes, they have everything you need at incredible prices. Call them on +353 (0) 9064 86947 or visit them at

The Minutes (from left) bassist Tom Cosgrave, guitarist/singer Mark Austin and drummer Shane Kinsella

The Time Is Now


THE MINUTES Spreading an unrefined rock ’n’ roll message from Dublin to the masses, and they won’t take no for an answer

The Minutes’ first album was recorded in upstate New York


Somewhere on an autobahn in southwest Germany, a group of ambitious Dubliners are on a mission. Speeding towards their next destination, garage rockers The Minutes are self-fufilling a prophecy favoured by their musical heroes: grab your gear, jump in a van and hit the road. When The Red Bulletin tracks down the black-clad and bequiffed trio of Mark Austin, Shane Kinsella and Tom Cosgrave, they’re in the middle of a three-week jaunt around Europe, another entry in a relentless schedule. Over the past few years they’ve built a loyal following, attracting a crowd ranging from old-school rockers

to hipsters, enthralling them with their take on classic blues rock. A year has passed since their debut album Marcata garnered impressive reviews. The record distilled the raw power and energy of their live shows, but also surprised with its melodic, pop-rock anthems. Marcata proved that The Minutes had the songs and the attitude to go with the ambition and belief that keeps the band on the road. Bassist Tom Cosgrave also points to the influential exploits of a certain duo from Akron, Ohio. “The Black Keys are inspirational. They’ve recorded loads of albums and spent years touring America

with no road crew – just a couple of guys with big ideas,” he says. “Touring with [Celtic funk band] Flogging Molly was an eye-opener for us. They kept plugging away for years. It’s the no-marketing, constant touring approach. “Growing up in Dublin, we heard stories about how Thin Lizzy played everywhere and won people over. I respect these hard-working bands that left their day jobs and went for it. When we played the Eurosonic Festival in January, we made some contacts and within weeks had a German tour. We’ll play until our fingers fall off.” With the music industry in a state of flux, live exposure has



“People assume that because you’ve a quiff you must be a rockabilly act” never been more important. Revenue from record sales has contracted, with labels unwilling to spend big to promote acts. It’s back to the good old days of gigs, gigs and more gigs. More shows means more exposure, increased word-of-mouth, radio airplay and eventually some money. Drummer Shane Kinsella is committed to the cause, but he’s no martyr. “We always knew we were a good band,” he says. “We’ve been knocked back a few times, but you keep going. This isn’t a hobby, and you’re only fooling yourself if you think it’ll just happen. I wouldn’t be driving through Germany cramped into a van in the lashing rain if this wasn’t all leading somewhere. We all crave success. The shows are kicking ass over here; we’re moving merchandise and hopefully the next time we visit the word will have spread a little more. We believe in building a following through gigging as much as possible. Until the album landed, we all held down jobs to pay the bills. Then we had to make a big choice to go on the road.” The Minutes have evolved in recent years. In 2008, the band’s first singles owed more to indierock trends than primeval rock ’n’ roll. They swiftly abandoned that path to play a brand of music closer to their hearts. “Our direction was influenced by the indie scene,” says Cosgrave, “but those kinds of bands are 10-a-penny in Dublin. We were working on a cover of a Bob Dylan song when we started playing in a more direct style. It was like, ‘What music has made a lasting impression on me?’ Our core influences are bands like Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin, Queens Of The Stone Age. We want to grab people by the scruff of the neck.” With a residency in Dublin’s famed Whelan’s venue, the band perfected their sound before

heading to America to capture it in the studio. Kinsella knows this was the right call. “The idea to record in upstate New York was more to do with the cost of recording the album in Ireland,” he says. “Staying at home would have set us back thousands of euros, and we didn’t have that kind of money. The album was recorded in 21 hours over three days. No messing, just heads down until we cracked it. “I think we’ll adopt a similar approach for the follow-up. Hopefully, we’ll take some time to write around July, gig the songs incessantly and gauge the crowd’s reaction to them. We want people to be transported back to one of our gigs when they hear us.” The Minutes have shared a stage with some of the best and worst in the business. Cosgrave feels that bands with real integrity have the best chance of survival. “There’s so much crap out there. We’ve toured with some rubbish acts, but also some interesting ones. Of the bands we’ve played with I’ve a lot of respect for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, but the reality is, when you’re on tour it’s real head-down stuff. You don’t get much time to hang out. “I think we’ve an inner drive to really make something of this. Our music has intensity, an energy that we hope is hard to ignore. We love it when a crowd is wrapped up in the show. That’s a great feeling, connecting with people through loud, rocking music.” Aside from their sound, The Minutes are also recognised by their bad-boy rocker look. Think Stray Cats crossed with Gene Vincent. And Kinsella stresses the importance of looking the part. “People assume that because you’ve a quiff that you must be a rockabilly act. We just like the look, and it’s also important to feel good. If you walk on stage in trackie bottoms you can hardly expect the crowd to take you very seriously. We want to project an energy, a bunch of guys in a gang. There’s no posing, just a look. The last thing we want is to turn out like the Kings Of Leon. From southern rockers to pretty boys in a couple of years? No thanks.”

Family affair: Shane Kinsella is the cousin of singer Mark Austin

Need to know THE LINE-UP Mark Austin – lead vocals, rhythm guitar Tom Cosgrave – bass, backing vocals Shane Kinsella – drums, backing vocals DISCOGRAPHY Marcata (2011)

The story so far The band began life in Dublin in 2006, with a sound that was distinctly different from their current, no-nonsense rock ’n’ roll. “Early on we were trying to be a little too clever and weren’t really feeling it,” says Tom Cosgrave. “Bands like Interpol and The Strokes were in fashion and everyone was starting to sound the same. So we decided to strip it back a little, play the kind of music we really connected with and go for the jugular. We don’t even play the early material live, it’s like a different band.” Cousins Shane Kinsella and Mark Austin were always fascinated by rock ’n’ roll. Bassist Cosgrave became friends with Austin during their college years, and soon they were playing together. Multiple bands, and Kinsella, later, The Minutes were formed. The trio weren’t interested in waiting to be discovered. Instead they gigged incessantly, anywhere and everywhere – even in

people’s homes. “We wanted to try something different, bring the full-force of the band into someone’s living room,” says Kinsella of the band’s Gigs In Your Gaff project. “We ended up playing in housing estates in the day time, but this wasn’t some acoustic set, it was the full-on, blow-your-ears-off sound. Windows would be vibrating, people jumping on furniture, it was fun. We wanted to create a stir, get people talking about us.” After so many live shows, next came the debut album and The Minutes haven’t looked back. They have supported everyone from The Cult to Noel Gallagher and played all over the bill at numerous festivals. A busy summer beckons, including opening duties for both Foo Fighters and The Stone Roses. These hard-working rockers are certainly moving in the right direction.



Nightlife Whatever gets you through the night


Night Surfing HAVE A GO If you go out to the beach off the coast of Hawaii, the USA, Australia or South Africa, you can meet surfers catching the breaks in glowing neoprene wetsuits or on boards lit with LEDs. MARVEL At the bioluminescent algae in the Californian water which, when disturbed, turns the waters a beautiful hue of blue. WATCH South African star Jordy Smith (below) as he invites seven other surfers to compete under floodlights at Durban's North Beach. Red Bull Night Shift, June 23, Durban, South Africa


Career Suicide? Fashion heroine Beth Ditto’s disco-punk outfit Gossip are back with the feel-good pop of A Joyful Noise From the catwalks of Paris to the aisles of your local supermarket, Portland three-piece Gossip’s powerful tunes have been inescapable ever since their breakthrough hit Standing In The Way of Control. Beth Ditto, the plus-size diva who became Karl Lagerfeld’s muse, may be one of the most recognisable figures in rock’n’roll, but, she reveals, she’s happiest when she’s at home on her sofa watching TV. Your new album cover – a depiction of a ghoulish Beth – is quite freaky. Did you set out to shock? BETH DITTO: We had these beautiful photos done but was like, 'What if we gave me lizard eyes?' We quarrelled with the label about that. We were going to call the album Career Suicide and that made them lose their minds. You’re much admired in fashion circles. But I don’t really go to a lot of fashion


parties unless they want me to play. You’d be surprised how little I party. When I’m at home I’m like, 'This is the best, why leave?' I can order pizza and watch TV. To me that’s a party. The Olympics are starting soon – what are your favourite sports? I love swimming and gymnastics – who doesn’t? But I don’t want any baloney. I’m not gonna watch the curling or anything like that. But I would watch it if they were curling hair – that would be amazing! “I want the hottest perm – 15 seconds!” The Olympics is the only time I feel patriotic.

Gossip: A Joyful Noise is out now on Columbia Records. Listen to samples at


“One’s company, two’s a crowd and three’s a party” Andy Warhol


Coppa di fiori Josh Harris, an award-winning barkeeper from San Francisco, California, knows what his customers want. “You have to understand how different flavours interact to be able to blend them into something harmonious,” he says. This month, he gives us the recipe for a Coppa di Fiori, a cocktail which uses Cynar, a liqueur made of artichokes and other herbs. Tequila is usually the mainstay of the drink, but rye, bourbon or rum also work just as well. “The cocktail tastes good whatever you use,” Harris says. “Men and women love it.”


Cavalli DUBAI



“Flo Rida had the guests up dancing on the stage with him” Fashion icon Roberto Cavalli whisks us into his world of cocktails and champagne, glitz and glamour. Or, in other words, to a club that even James Bond would love CAVALLI CLUB Fairmont Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

We love running a club in Dubai because… It’s full of glitz and glamour. When you enter the club… The first thing you will see is a luxurious, dark tunnel entrance adorned with soft fur, which takes you straight into the world of Cavalli. The interior is reminiscent of... The James Bond film, Casino Royale. People go wild when... The DJ plays Levels by Avicii. We mostly play commercial house music. Our regulars are… The city’s chic, sophisticated and fashionable socialites. The perfect drink to start the night is… The Catwalk Cocktail. It consists of apricot, Amaretto and champagne. Our craziest night was when… We celebrated the 40th birthday of twin brothers. Each ordered 40 bottles of Cristal champagne. We had to gather all the staff to be able to put on a sparkler show for the guests. Other crazy nights include Flo Rida, who had all the guests dancing on stage with him. The place gets wild when... Sparklers are flying through the club. David Lescarret, General Manager

INGREDIENTS Ocho Reposado tequila (or another quality Highland Reposado), Cynar, lemons, mint, bitter lemon AMOUNTS 30ml fresh lemon juice (set aside peel) 30ml Ocho Reposado tequila 30ml of Cynar 15ml golden syrup mix (2 parts sugar, 1 part water) 90ml Fever Tree bitter lemon 8-10 mint leaves

METHOD Make spirals of lemon peel using a tomato-peeler, then place in a collins glass and fill with ice cubes. Combine the mint and lemon juice in a cocktail-shaker. Blend the remaining ingredients (apart from the bitter lemon) and mix with ice. Then pour over the lemon spirals and ice through a tea-strainer. Fill with bitter lemon and decorate with a sprig of mint.



MENTA – SOUNDS OF DA FUTURE (2002) It was still garage but this was the turning point. Tracks got really dark from there. It’s a classic – and I was there when it was made! I was working at Big Apple records and remember hearing the riff from upstairs. I couldn’t wait to get a vinyl copy. The sound of the future, that's what it was.


“The sound of the future, that’s what it was!”

GHOST – BUCK & BURY (2002) I remember it from going to the early FWD>> parties (first dubstep events). Everything about it was just great. It had garage elements, but it was darker and stripped down. It's the building foundation for dupstep, taking everything out and focusing on a lower frequency.

Skream The dance pioneer gives us a history lesson:

three early dubstep classics that every young Skrillex fan and subbass aficionado should definitely check out He’s been there since it all began. Ten years ago, 15-year-old Oliver Jones – alias Skream – was working at Big Apple Records, a record shop in south London, the very place where dubstep – a bleak electronic sound with reduced, quick beats and fat, wobbly bass – was born. In 2005, Skream produced the new genre’s first mega-hit. Midnight Request Line is dubstep’s Smoke On The Water – a classic that serves as a reference for young producers like Porter Robinson and Skrillex. Last


year the genre finally emerged from its underground pigeonhole; dubstep is the current club sound in the US. Pop stars like Lady Gaga and Britney Spears are jumping on the bandwagon. Skrillex was nominated for five Grammy Awards last year, winning two. Skream is still at the forefront of the scene, enjoying success with his latest project: Magnetic Man, featuring his long-time collaborator Benga. Here Skream goes back to his roots and recommends three early dubstep classics.

DARQWAN – CONFUSED? (2001) This means so much to me because it was the song that made me start creating my own basslines. I just remember it being amazing. At the time it was so dark but had crazy energy. Bam bam bam bam! For us, it was all we wanted to hear at the time. Completely spot on.


Berlin: Curry wurst Burgers and kebabs can try as they might. In the German capital, currywurst is king Berlinners consume around 70 million currywurst each year. They are usually served with beer, though revellers are increasingly washing it down with champagne. HERTA BERLIN There wasn’t much going on at Herta Heuwer’s sausage stand in Berlin on September 4 1959, so she whiled away her time by mixing ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, curry powder and other flavours. And the currywurst was born. Herta has a plaque dedicated to her on the corner of Kant and Kaiser Friedrich Street where she first made the dish. IT’S THE SAUCE, STUPID The sauce (and the curry powder sprinkled on top of it) is what makes currywurst currywurst; the sausage itself is just a regular boiled pork sausage. WHAT’S IT SERVED WITH? Chips or a bread roll.


WHAT DOES IT COST? Usually between €2 and €3. You can get a cheap one for €1 or the high-end version at the Adlon or Ritz Carlton from €16. Currently all the rage: organic currywurst. SAUSAGE CURATED The currywurst has been honoured with its own museum since 2009. Entry costs €11, including sausage.

SAUSAGE POLITICS Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder was a currywurst aficionado. He said: “I know almost all the currywurst stands in Berlin.”

SAUSAGE ETIQUETTE Currywurst is sliced and served on paper plates with a plastic fork – so far, so sacrosanct, right? Wrong. There are porcelain sausage plates and wooden or stainless steel forks. Even the cut can vary. The Krasselt currywurst stall in the Berlin suburb of Steglitz simply cuts the sausage in two; it’s a hot topic in the city as to whether this is orthodox or not.

WHERE DO I GET IT? Berlin’s most popular Currywurst stands in no particular order: KONNOPKE’S IMBISS In Prenzlauer Berg, since 1930. CURRY 36 On Mehringdamm, a sanctuary for many famous revellers. WITTY’S In Schöneberg. Serves up organic sausage with double helpings of fried Belgian chips.



World in Action


June 2012






Sport 10.06.2012, MONTREAL, CANADA

Canadian Formula One Grand Prix Whatever happens on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this year, it’s unlikely this GP will be as chaotic as 2011’s rain-soaked proceedings. After a two-hour interruption and the safety car being deployed for 30 laps, the race – which went on for more than four hours at an average speed of 74.9kph – ended up being the longest and slowest in F1 history. McLaren’s Jenson Button came in first ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, despite pitting six times.




Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour The third stop in the freestyle motocross series takes the acrobatic bikers to Turkey for the first time. Yedikule Fortress – or ‘Fortress of Seven Towers’ – is right on the Theodosian Walls and forms part of Constantinople’s 20km-long fortifications. It was once used as a treasure chamber and dungeon, but will now witness Levi Sherwood and his rivals hurling themselves through the night sky.



The world’s oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament has been held at Wimbledon since 1877. Roger Federer will have been putting in the hours of training, especially as this year there’s another chance to for glory on the hallowed grass, as the tennis events for the London Olympics will also take place here in August. The main obstacles between Federer and a sixth victory on his favourite surface are likely to be Novak Djokovic (the title-holder), Rafael Nadal (the 2008 and 2010 Champion) and Andy Murray, who home fans still hope will bring home the first British victory since Fred Perry’s in 1936.


Summer X-Games 18 The extreme sport elite comes together in California to do battle in motocross, skateboarding, BMX and rally. Daniel Dhers will be defending his BMX Park title, while Sébastien Loeb will this year become the first rally-driving World Champion to take part, driving a specially developed car for the competition. And the 1999 freestyle motocross gold-medal-winner Travis Pastrana is hoping for pain-free X-Games after he broke his right foot and ankle during last year’s Moto X Best Trick competition. He proved to be a true extreme sports star, however, by returning three days later to compete in the rally cross competition in an adapted car.


13-17.06.2012, SIBIU, ROMANIA

Red Bull Romaniacs 2


Wimbledon Championships

28.06-01.07.2012, LOS ANGELES, USA

Notoriously tough terrain in Romania’s forests

Probably the world’s toughest enduro rally, this is held just a week after enduro classic, the Erzberg Rodeo. These off-road motorbike racers – including title-defender Graham Jarvis (GBR) and rival Chris Birch (NZL) – won’t get an easy ride in the wilds of the Carpathians. Steep, narrow, technical sections up to 200km long await the riders on the daily stages, but the precise route is kept strictly secret until the eve of the action.

25.06-08.07.2012, LONDON, UK

The hallowed grass at Wimbledon’s Centre Court


1 5




Mermaids at the world’s biggest jungle party 29.06-01.07.2012, PARINTINS, BRAZIL 14-16.06.12, BARCELONA, SPAIN


The cream of the electronic scene has been coming to the Catalan metropolis for Sónar every June for the past 18 years, with more than 80,000 fans in attendance. Headliners include Lana Del Rey and New Order, but there’s much more to this festival than big acts. At night in huge exhibition centres there’s techno and house, dubstep and synth pop, and by day at the Museum Of Contemporary Art there’s the Red Bull Music Academy’s open-air stage. This year’s line-up includes hip-hop mash-up hero Flying Lotus and disco day-dreamer DJ Harvey.


Daniel Dhers will be defending his BMX Park title



Boi Bumbá

Parintins is a provincial backwater on a small island in the Amazon, but for three days of the year, this small town gives the carnival in Rio a run for its money with a huge jungle party attended by 200,000 people. Right at the centre are two papiermâché bulls: one red, one blue. These colours can be seen all over the town during the festivities. People choose sides and dress up as Indian warriors, wild horses or dazzling peacocks to dance out an age-old story about the death and resurrection of an ox, trying to win over the public and jury with their performance.



24.06.2012, FLORENCE, ITALY

Calcio Storico

Calcio Storico is a mix of football, rugby, testosterone and tradition – it’s not a ball game for those of a nervous disposition. Four teams of 27 have been facing off in the hometown of Dante and Michelangelo since the 16th century. The aim is to score goals and to rile up members of the opposing team, in what is one of the world’s most historic and toughest ball games. As for rules, there aren’t any, bar one strict one – thankfully – of no blows to the head.




The rough and tumble of Calcio Storico in Italy

12-15.07.2012, SAN DIEGO, USA

Comic Con

08-16.06.2012, FES, MOROCCO

Fes Festival of Sacred Music Music brings people together. It’s a hackneyed phrase, but in the case of the Fes Festival it’s true. There are pop stars and performers such as Björk and Joan Baez sharing the stage with singers from Egypt, Indian sitar players, Iranian poets and Balkan ensembles. Groups from the world’s remotest corners unite in the Medina at Fes to make music and leave the world’s cultural conflicts behind.

Children in superhero costumes, Hollywood stars such as Harrison Ford and Nicholas Cage and grown men who’d give the shirt off their back for their favourite comic, you’ll see them all at the world’s largest comic convention. In 1970, it was just 300 nerds: last year, there were 140,000. Morgan Spurlock’s documentary about the convention – Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope – will soon be in cinemas and may serve as mental preparation for laymen by guiding them through this parallel universe of robots, Klingons and part-time action heroes.



Lana Del Rey is one of the headliners at Sónar



Save the Date

June & July 2012 JUNE 30–JULY 8

Insane sailing The world’s fastest racing yachts are powering across the seas to Galway for the climax of the Volvo Ocean Race. After an epic nine-month battle over four oceans and by five continents, the race’s Irish conclusion is the centrepiece of a nine-day, city-wide festival of sporting, musical and culinary events. Highlights include a three-day race around Ireland and two in-port races on July 7. JULY 6-8

Gearing up

Bundoran, Co Donegal home of Sea Sessions JUNE 29 – JULY 1

The Silverstone Grand Prix is the Glastonbury of the sporting calendar, three days of on-track action backed by live music and happy-but-damp campers. The Northamptonshire track is a favourite for the Red Bull Racing team, but British drivers Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Paul Di Resta will be hoping to celebrate success on home tarmac. JUNE 28–JULY 1

Beach beats Sea Sessions is a big ‘small’ festival, with two line-ups: one on stage and the other in the Atlantic Ocean. A celebration of music and surfing in Bundoran, a seaside town in County Donegal, Ireland, it boasts an eclectic musical reach, which this year includes a reformed Happy Mondays, Rev Run of RUN DMC, beatbox baron Beardyman and a New Orleans brass band. There’s also room for an international surfing contest, featuring some of Europe’s finest alongside local wave riders, as well as skate and BMX demos. This year, young musical talent also gets a shot, with a Red Bull Bedroom Jam battle of the bands.

The Goodwood Festival Of Speed is a utopia of supercars, world-famous drivers and everything automotive. And there’s also a chance to take part in Red Bull Gridsters, a competition to find the best armchair driver on three different racing video games. With racing royalty such as Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in attendance, fledgling talent is in with a chance of being spotted.

A petrolhead’s dream in leafy West Sussex


Coming home The second-to-longest day is set to be a big night for Glaswegian altrockers Twin Atlantic, when they take to the stage in support of Blink 182 at the Glasgow SECC. The Scottish band, who also tour America later this summer on the Vans Warped Tour, have been fans of the US pop-rockers since they were teen wannabes, and first performed with them in 2010. Now the two bands are back on the same bill, in Twin Atlantic’s hometown, where there will likely be extra-special love from a partisan home crowd.


Scotland ahoy: Twin Atlantic’s Sam McTrusty


Feel the need

illustration: dietmar kainrath

K a i n r at h



ave no small wrecks. If you are going to loop out and hit something, hit it hard. I recalled these fine words of Hunter S Thompson while recently out driving. Thompson, the showman-author of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, was writing about the challenges of handling a Ducati 900 Campione del Mundo Desmodue (which he called a crotchrocket torque-brute) in busy freeway traffic. I was rumbling down an Italian hillside in a small, low-powered car. Except it was not any Italian hillside. It was north-eastern Sicily, a dramatically mountainous area, drenched with ancient history and punctuated by startling vistas counterpoised with some memorable edges and precipices. Not all the roads are in optimum condition. Eagles fly around these fortressed peaks, valleys and gorges with their eyes shut. Sometimes they walk. I kept my eyes on the road. On the eastern coast hereabouts, Francis Ford Coppola chose the villages of Savoca and Forza d’Agro to film the country-life and wedding scenes for The Godfather. Even today, these are places so remote they still evoke the pagan primitivism of the Mafia with its vendettas and feuds. And, of course, its food and drink. In Savoca you can pretend to be Al Pacino in the rustic Bar Vitelli; in Forza d’Agro you can eat a pizza fit for Il Padrino. Locals say it is the very best you can get in all Italy. Around here, you do not argue with locals. Then within a few kilometres you go from tribal warfare to motor-racing, although they are perhaps not so very different. On Sicily’s northern coast, they used to run the Targa Florio. You think being handcuffed to a rush-seated chair with a lupara stuck up your nose is scary? You do not know about the Targa Florio. This was a ‘road’ race founded in 1906, several yeas before Sicily had even its present bad roads. Originally, it was a tour of the whole rugged island, but was

Mind’s Eye

Take it to the Limit Our man Stephen Bayley revels in the puny thrills of a 1950s Fiat Cinquecento latterly reduced to a circuit of the Madonie Mountains where, true to the spirit of la famiglia and village loyalties, the race was dominated for many years by a local headmaster called Nino Vaccarella. He was at his ease blasting pedal-tothe-metal a Ferrari 275 P2 through the narrow streets of a mountain village or confidently aiming for an apex which, if missed, would mean direct entry to tomorrow’s obituary pages. Vaccarella won in 1965 at an average speed of 102.5kph. I cannot quite do the maths, but if that was the average, it means he was going very much faster when circumstances allowed. Although, having been there, I cannot imagine exactly where these circumstances actually occurred: for me, second gear on a trailing throttle was the way to attack the descents. Even by Sicilian standards, the Targa Florio was dangerous; in 1977 it was stopped for “safety concerns”. My ride for the Sicilian mountains was a classic Fiat Cinquecento, a car with no brakes to speak of. Not the 1937 original, but the 1957 nuova re-edition. I think it is my favourite car ever. One reason is its

quirky charm. The original owners’ manual tells you, in the event of the bonnet getting stuck, use a can-opener to get access to the lock. Another reason is the styling: Fiat designer Dante Giacosa was so clever in his use of single-draw stampings that he was able to give a simple structure a gratifying sculptural presence. So much so that the current successful (and technologically distinct) re-edition of the Cinquecento apes the original. But the best reason of all is that the Cinquecento is such an engaging car to drive. It is not fast. It is not comfortable. Rather, it is amusing and satisfying: its capabilities are modest, but exploiting them is engrossing. That’s the equation of pleasure: effort and reward in balance. And, if the exploitation does not work out well and you loop out and hit something hard, the damage will be relatively modest since the tiny car is so light you carry very little kinetic energy into the accident. Starting a Cinquecento is an interesting conversation with old machinery. You have to yank a lever between the seats to give it some choke and then you yank a parallel lever to summon the starter motor. I can’t say the engine bursts into life because “staggers” would be a better term. The little twin-cylinder shudders a lot and seems always to threaten to expire, except it loves revs and has a unburstable feel once a viable engine speed is achieved. If there is synchromesh, I could not find it. So this was no crotch-rocket torquebrute, but a cheerful little car in its natural habitat. I thought more of gangsters and racing drivers as I stared straight ahead at barrier-less bends with blue sea and sky beyond. I was at the limit. A low limit, for sure, but my limit nonetheless. Loop out? Never. Scary roads in an old car taught me that knowing your limits makes you happy. Stephen Bayley is an award-winning writer and a former director of the Design Museum in London

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June 2012

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