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Less than one month left until the fourth edition of Swatch Rocket Air takes place (from April 12th to 13th) at the ice rink in Thun, Switzerland. Preparations are currently running at full speed - using a new track design the Flying Metal Crew is exploring the limits of possibility.

The official venue of the fourth edition of Swatch Rocket Air from April 12th to 13th is the ice rink Grabengut in Thun. However, this year's starting point for the wild ride through the 250 m long track is not located inside the ice rink, but on the deck of the neighboring parking garage Grabengut. An approximately 4 meter high scaffolding, which constitutes the start drop is built on top of the already 5 meter high parking garage deck, creating a 9 meter high ramp.

Check out the event teaser here:

The Slopestyle track taken to the limit

As an official Tour stop and Silver Level Event of the FMB World Tour, the "World Cup" of freeride mountainbikers, it is the task of the organizer to provide the riders with an attractive track, according to Jérôme Hunziker, member of the Flying Metal Crew, which organizes this year's Swatch Rocket Air. For this reason the course engineer - pro rider Ramon Hunziker - integrated a highlight in form of a so called Big Air into the track. The Big Air, which constitutes the start drop, catapults the riders into extreme heights close to the ceiling. For the first time in the history of the FMB World Tour series the required flying altitude, flight distance and speed have been calculated mathematically complementing empirical values, in order to ensure the safety of the riders. According to the evaluation riders will be catapulted to a height of more than 10 meters. In order to cope with the 9-meter distance between drop and landing, riders need to have a velocity of at least 38 km/ h. This results in a 1.9 g-force upon the rider, which equals the double of normal gravity force. "We are excited to see how the new track will be perceived by the athletes", says Hunziker. During the 250 meters long track the riders will have to overcome a total of eight obstacles. A jury evaluates the individual rides. Over 150 helpers will use more than 2000 European pallets and 150 tons of dirt during the ten-day set-up.

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International riders have confirmed

Once more, this year's Swatch Rocket Air is featuring the Creme de la Creme of the MTB Circus. World-class riders, such as last year's Swatch Rocket Air winner Martin Söderstöm from Sweden, second-place winner Sam Pilgrim from England and Belgian rider Thomas Genon have already confirmed their participation. Beside the top rider contingent from Europe, several riders from overseas will get the chance to demonstrate their skills as well. Namely, Matt Macduff and Tom van Steenbergen from Canada are participating among many others.

Evolution of the Swatch Rocket Air

The very first event of this kind took place from April 16th to 17th in 2010, under the name of Rocket Air Slopestyle, lacking a title sponsor at that time. More than 3500 spectators followed the event, 1500 more than expected. The successful debut of the event attracted the attention of the worldwide biker scene. As a result it was integrated into the FMB World tour - the most professional series of events of this kind - by the second event in 2011. The increasing attention as well as an even more attractive rider contingent attracted 5500 spectators in the second event. 7500 persons wanted to tune in to the third event from April 13th to 14th in 2012 when the best bikers around the world competed in Thun. This year the Flying Metal Crew expects a total of more than 10000 spectators over the two days.

For the first time, this year's event is sponsored by the leading watch brand Swatch and will be broadcast live on the Internet. Besides the international orientation, the organizers also count on local support. In addition to the competition itself, the event offers a varied fringe programme which ensures a festive mood for young and old, individual groups and families.

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About Swatch

Swatch, launched in 1983 by Nicolas G. Hayek, is a leading Swiss watch and jewelry maker and one of the world's most popular brands. The first Swatch watches surprised everyone with their revolutionary concept, creative design and provocative spirit. Today Swatch continues to innovate and surprise with new models, collections and special editions. The brand maintains a strong presence in the world of sports with its big-brand support for snowboarding, free skiing, FMX and surfing, along with Beach Volleyball.

Contact

http://www.facebook.com/rocketairslopestyle
http://www.facebook.com/FlyingMetalCrew

Event Management
Flying Metal Crew
Goldiwilstrasse 24
3600 Thun

Public relations
Andreas Halter
Tel. +41 76 302 24 70
andreas.halter@flyingmetal.ch

Web
www.rocketair.ch
www.flyingmetal.ch

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