Red Bull Flugtag

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The V&A Waterfront is entering the Red Bull Flugtag on Sunday, 9 December 2012, and will be attempting to fly a seal. The Team was asked where the inspiration came from, and the Marina Team promptly replied that the seals are part of the V&A “marine family”, as the seals are happily living in all parts of the Waterfront and the V&A Marina. Over the years the bull seals have been named, and in recognition of the first bull seal to take residence at Quay 6, the flying seal in the Red Bull Flugtag will be called OSCAR.

The design started on the beach one evening at Strandfontein when the shape was drawn out on the wet sand. This was followed by dimensioned sketches, and a very puzzled designer at Empire Inflatables, when they were tasked with manufacturing the body. From a circular inflatable tube, the body was shaped into that of a proud bull seal. To add to the design considerations, it was decided that OSCAR should live on at the Waterfront as a turning marker buoy for future dragon boat races, SUP events, and the long distance swimming events. This meant that an underbelly flooding compartment had to be designed to take water ballast to keep the seal upright.

During the pilot load tests it was decided that Oscar would fly without the water ballast compartment. The secret of Oscar’s design is that he wants to fly with the wingspan similar to that of the famous Red Baron bi-plane. The bi-plane wing is being tested secretly in the Two Oceans Aquarium. This is being done at night when the fish are asleep, as Oscar the seal is very much like “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” and does all his testing when the other fish and birds are asleep and cannot see him.

Oscar is hard at work on his wing design, as the Table Bay Hotel, who have a golden model of the original Oscar on their podium, have promised a red garland that will adorn his neck when he flies.

When asked how far he wants to fly Oscar has replied that he wants to break the 20m mark, and then visit his friends in the Quay 4 basin, and brag about his super-duper blue and yellow wings. All are encouraged to follow Oscars secret wing design and flight on the V&A Waterfront’s social media platforms.

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