CAIRO: After a successful exhibition tour last year attended by 12,000 fans, Red Bull X-fighters is returning to Egypt on May 14 with a fully fledged competition bringing 12 of the finest fighters to the sphinx.
The location and the enthusiasm of Egyptian fans, organizers said, were the main reasons behind the decision to put Egypt on the world tour.
"Last year people thought the picture of the back flip with the pyramids at the background was photoshoped and we had to prove that we can do it again this year," Tes Sewell, Red Bull X-Fighters sports director, told Daily News Egypt.
"We have a tradition of taking an iconic location and produce a sporting event you would never imagine would take place there; pyramids and motorbikes don’t fit together and they will look unbelievable on TV and newspapers, and the Pharonic theme matches well too," he added.
The competition takes the knock-out format; after a preliminary qualifications round in which each biker makes two runs and is given a score out of 100 from each of the five judges present, the top six make it to the final.
On the day of the event, the bottom seven players at the qualifications round go head to head and the top two qualify to the finals, where eight finalists go head to head with one run each in a knockout system where the highest ranked biker at the qualification stage plays the lowest ranked one until they reach the final two and eventually the winner.
At this stage, bikers need to win over three judges out of five by having a higher score than the opponent from the judge regardless of how high the overall is.
"The guys were amazed by how crazy Egyptian people went for this sport. They cheered for every little thing they did and the setting is incredible; you are looking at the sphinx and the pyramids are behind you," Sewell said.
Preparations have been underway with a workshop in Salzburg in which bikers were informed about the track and were given a checklist. Last month, Sewell was in Cairo to prepare for the details like how the set up will be organized, the layout, the course, the way fans will be getting in and out, how riders will get on and off the track and safety and security protocols.
"Not only do we aim that the event emerge shiny and cool; but we want to make sure that everyone who will attend the show will enjoy a favorable experience," Sewell said.
"Maybe one of the fans becomes a Red Bull X-Fighter himself one day," he added.
Organizers had concerns that the area in front of the sphinx would be too small but after inspection they found it big enough to fit the track and "will look great."
"We also pay special care to the place we are going to; our calling card is that all places we have been to were left in a good condition, we were very respectable and very careful when dealing with them," Sewell said.
"We expect an incredibly noisy crowd," he added.
Tickets are on sale with prices ranging from LE 75 for standing to LE 150 for seated places.
More information about tickets can be found at http://www.redbullxfighters.com