What a beautiful day it was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida - the Venice of America - as 20 sea-fearing teams took to the New River between Huizenga Plaza and Esplanade Park for the first ever Red Bull Candola. From Vikings to aliens to pirates and more – today’s lineup was anything but boring as teams entertained thousands of Fort Lauderdale residents with their wacky costumes, hilarious skits, and, most importantly, their gondola-making skills.
Team Techno Vikings (pictured below) from the University of Central Florida took top honors and set the standard for future Red Bull Candola events.
“It was a great excuse to have a lot of fun,” says Techno Vikings captain Matt Melheim. “This being the first Red Bull Candola, I think we raised the bar up there. I hope it helps bring the event to a bigger level next year.”
Following close behind our winners was a team of enthusiastic aliens in Carpe D’Alien – who also took home the People’s Choice Award after amassing more than 1,000 mobile text votes from spectators and fans. In third was a group of students from the Art Institute whose Scandinavian-themed craft won over the crowd.
Whatever Floats Your Boat
It took a panel of qualified judges – Red Bull wakeboarders JD Webb and Adam Errington and Y100’s Ninalicia Osorio – to make the difficult decisions. “I didn’t really know what to expect today,” confessed JD, “but I was really surprised by the all of the creative crafts and the teams really put on a good show for everybody.”
Aside from their race time, teams were judged on the creativity of their vessels and the showmanship of their 30-second skits that captured the hearts of the crowd and judges.
Does Red Bull Candola remind you of anything? Its concept was inspired by its big brother, Red Bull Flugtag, which took place in four cities across the U.S. last year, including Miami’s Biscayne Bay. This year the spectacle will make a return trip in Tampa Bay on October 8th. Team applications are now being accepted and can be submitted on-line.
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- See more Red Bull Candola photos
- Check out more on Red Bull Flugtag
- And get ready for Red Bull Soapbox Race