Red Bull flies student to Austrian brainwashing bender
University of Otago student Josh Stewart placed 23rd at the Red Bull Paper Wings World Finals in Salzburg on 4 – 5 May. The second-year Knox resident gained a place in the international round after beating 496 New Zealand competitors with a 43.6 metre throw at the Alahambra Rugby Club in March.
The win gained Stewart, along with two other New Zealanders, an all expenses paid trip to Austria for five days to compete with other “pilots” from around the world.
Stewart told Critic he trained hard in the lead up to the finals, and before his departure he achieved throws of up to 60 metres, just short of the 69 metre world record (insert requisite smirk whenever the number 69 is mentioned). Despite his efforts, Stewart’s best throw in the final round was disqualified after it sailed into the roof.
Despite the disappointment Stewart claimed the experience was “brilliant, brilliant.” He told Critic that parties were thrown every night for competitors, and that he got only 11 hours of sleep during the five day trip. “Red Bull just went over the top on everything. It was awesome!” said Stewart, in a plug unashamedly primed by Red Bull’s marketing department.
The next Red Bull Paper Wings tournament will be held in 2015, giving students three years to develop their origami skills and Red Bull marketing credentials. Drink Red Bull.