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Red Bull Air Race London

2007, flying
Flying over the dome

Last weekend, I popped down to London to see the Red Bull Air Race. I'd not been organised enough to get tickets in advance, so I had to make do with standing around opposite the Millennium Dome (now the O2 Dome) in order to see what was going on. Aerobatics has always interested me, back from when I used to do it ages ago, but even now that I'm a pilot, I can appreciate the level of skill and technique that these guys have.

I'd say it would have been a much better idea to view the race from the banks, rather than from where I was. There's remarkably little up involved; even in some of their loops, the height didn't seem to be more than a couple of hundred feet high, and coming down to the 25 foot inflatable gates surrounding the course was hard and fast.

Red Bull Air Race London

Sam (briefly) enjoyed the trip down, though he fell asleep on my shoulder for most of it; I think he was more interested on the train down there than the planes in the sky.

This worked out much better than being held in Longleat, which had an awful record for travelling and parking in previous events, so hopefully the race will come back to London next year as well. One of the things that surprised me was how little the papers and media were reporting the event ahead of time; in fact, it only got a brief mention after the fact by Monday's newspapers. I find it surprising that an event of that magnitude and scale can happen in the middle of London and yet have so many people blissfully unaware of it happening, whilst the Bore de France and its drugged up hippies are plastered on the news nightly.

Here's looking forward to next year (and hoping that I get a ticket this time).