Red Bull Aces, the world’s first-ever wingsuit slalom competition, features athletes racing four at a time through a mile-long aerial course. Held in Cloverdale, California, the best wingsuit athletes in the world from an international field of 40 men and women from 18 countries jump in heats of four from a civilian Bell Huey helicopter at an altitude of 8,000 feet above sea level, and must weave between five 112-foot gates positioned thousands of feet in the air. All the gates are equipped with GPS positioning, and the competitors each wear a GPS transmitter to determine whether they pass through the gates properly.
See how the head-to-head racing plays out when Red Bull Aces airs on FS1 Saturday night, May 14 at 11:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. PT.
Get an idea of what to expect in the video below:
Combining speed, precision and agility, Red Bull Aces was developed to determine the world’s best all-around wingsuit pilot in a competitive environment. The format has inspired new training methods for the athletes as well as visionary designs for the suits, which enable swift and agile flight thanks to their innovative construction.
The winner is based not only on how quickly the finish line is crossed, but also on how many gates the pilot passes through correctly. Top competitors include the USA’s Andy Farrington, Noah Bahnson, Matt Gerdes, Scott Palmer and Scotty Bob, challenged by Norway’s Espen Fadnes, Sweden’s Petter Mazzetta and Australia’s Rex Pemberton.
“Just like in other forms of racing — especially motorsports — the athletes fight for position, sometimes even resulting in mid-air contact,” said FS1 analyst Luke Aikins. “An added challenge is that the gates — suspended by helicopters — shift with the wind. So each run, while as similar as possible, has its own unique track, forcing the athletes to adjust on the fly.”
After Saturday’s FS1 broadcast, the event will be available on demand starting at 10:00 p.m. PT on Red Bull TV.