First-ever Red Bull Party Wave comes to Waikiki

A makeshift aircraft plummets into the Moskva River during the Red Bull Flugtag Moscow 2011 competition. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

You may have seen them before — daredevils launching their flying machines off a 30-foot ramp into waters below.

The Red Bull Flugtag event is watched by millions ever year, but this year, the energy drink company is hosting a special event with a Hawaiian twist a week from tomorrow on July 13.

The inaugural Red Bull Party Wave will be a surf competition featuring 12 teams made up of 6 people each. The teams will be building homemade vessels that they’ll use to catch a wave at world famous Queen’s Beach.

Tracey Kehler and Scooter Sagum of Team Sunbum are putting the final touches on their replica of a Pan Am China Clipper flying boat from the 1930s.

“We want to make it big, we want to make it bold and we want to make sure that people that come out for the event have a lot of fun and have something to cool to watch,” Kehler said.

Sagum will be the one to steer this massive vessel.

“It’s going to be really heavy, several hundred pounds,” he said. “That’s a lot of weight to be steering, in addition to the entire crew, six guys.”

Last year, a group of former college roommates in their double-hulled sailing canoe made a big splash in California when they became the first team from Hawaii to compete in the human-powered flying competition.

The inaugural event in Waikiki may be the start of something just as big.

Two-time ASP World Champion Carissa Moore, world-class waterman Kainoa McGee and surf photographer Zak Noyle will judge the crews on craft creativity, team showmanship and wave performance.

“It’s either glory of success or epic failure,” Kehler said, “and I think the crowd is (going to be) happy no matter which one you get.”

The winners of the Red Bull Party Wave will receive a hand-carved trophy and a trip for the entire team to the Red Bull Air Race in Las Vegas and a hand-carved trophy.

For more information on the Red Bull Party Wave in Waikiki, visit

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