Tens of thousands of people lined the San Diego bay to watch an action packed Red Bull Air Race, the second for the season. After windy conditions on Friday for the qualifying races, which resulted in several pylon hits, the weekend race rounds provided near perfect conditions with relatively light winds and clear blue skies. With temperatures in the 70s, people lined the beaches of the bay and many watched the action from yachts, sailboats, kayaks, and even paddleboards.
At the conclusion of the final round on Sunday, Japanese pilot Yoshi Muroya topped the podium for the second time since joining the Red Bull Air Race World Championships in 2009. His first win was last year in Chiba, Japan, the venue for the next race scheduled to take place June 3 and 4. “The next race in Japan is going to be a big one, and it’s a big step forward to win here as I head to my home country,” Muroya said.
The biggest upset for the weekend was the success of Serbian pilot Peter Podlunsek, who took second place. Podlunsek joined the RBAR master class just last year. “Of course I’m super happy to be on the podium,” Podlunsek said. “For me it was a success to reach the Round of 8, but I wouldn’t be standing here now without my team and my friends and I’m super proud of them all.”
Kirby Chambliss, who calls San Diego his second home, had a good finish and ended up just off the podium in fourth place. Fellow American Michael Goulian got a bit too excited during the final race after showing strong performances earlier in the weekend. “Today was a letdown,” Goulian said. “I went out there in the Round of 8 trying to fly really fast and tried to cut the angles a little too tight.” Goulian finished in eighth place.