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« Pinksteren 2007! | Home | Vliegen en muggen! »

Jungfrau-Stafette 2007 !

Red Bull Jungfrau-Stafette on 2 June 2007

Dat was 1939....

Reviving a Myth,

After a 68-year break, one of Switzerland's major sport events during the 1930s will be reinstituted this year. The relay race called the Red Bull Jungfrau-Stafette will start in Zurich, cross the Jungfraujoch, traverse Valais and proceed to Lausanne before returning to Zurich for the finish - all in one day. Distance will be covered by leading athletes, as well as vintage airplanes, racing cars and motorcycles, all with one aim in mind: to win the silver eagle and break the record set in 1939.

The Jungfrau-Stafette was a major Swiss sport event in the 1930s. In terms of mobility, a Tour de Suisse covering a distance of 530 km in one day was unheard of at that time. Moreover, crossing the Jungfraujoch in an airplane - at an altitude of more than 3.454 m - was indeed an adventurous feat in aviation. The runners, cyclists and skiers were all admired for the stamina and bravado demonstrated in crossing glaciers and traversing the up- and downhill terrain. In those days, car and motorcycle racers were heroes anyway. The Jungfrau-Stafette was organised by the "Sport" newspaper every two years between 1931 and 1939 and was discontinued thereafter due to the Second World War.

68-year-old record........... ;-)
On 2 June 2007, this polysports race will make its return from the realm of myth as the Red Bull Jungfrau-Stafette. Forty-three teams have registered for this adventure. Runners and cyclists will take their team's baton from the Swiss National Museum ("Landesmuseum") in Zurich to the Birrfeld airfield, where pilots in vintage airplanes will fly it to and drop it at the next relay station: the Jungfraujoch. From there it will pass through the hands of skiers, glacier and alpine runners, paragliders and downhill mountain bikers as it gradually makes its descent via the Eggishorn into Valais. From that point motorcyclists and racing car drivers will navigate their stretch of the race to Lausanne in vehicles dating back to the prewar era. Unlike the drivers in the 1930s, today's drivers must observe traffic rules. The baton will make its way by airplane and bike to the outskirts of Zurich, where anchormen running the final stretch will race to the finish line at the Swiss National Museum. In 1939, the Wengen Ski Club set the all-time record of 7 hours 17 minutes and 45 seconds - but with cross-country, uphill and downhill runners covering the distance between the ski slope on the Jungfraujoch and the motorcycle start in Fiesch.

A target time will be set for the distances covered by airplane, car and motorcycle, quasi counterpoising the race. However, speed will be made on all other segments of the relay. Competing throughout the entire race are achievement-oriented athletes, many of whom are leading Swiss sportsmen. According to Bernhard Brägger, event initiator: "The Jungfrau-Stafette is a race, with the goal being the first to cross the finish line." Strictly speaking, it is a vintage-vehicle happening combined with a polysports race. Just as in former times, the focus remains on sportsmanship and experience. Nevertheless, the winning trophy - a silver eagle - can only be won with top athletic performance.

Adolf Ogi and the world champions.
A diverse number of world champions will be in the starting line-up: ranging from cyclists Bruno Risi, Oskar Camenzind, Alex Zülle and Urs Freuler to skiers Franz Heinzer and Urs Lehmann and tug-of-war co-champion Ernst Rütter. Nestlé's CEO Peter Brabeck will compete as a motorcyclist for his team and Marco Cortesi, spokesman for Zurich's police force, as a downhill biker. Other Olympic and world champion medallists, together with prominent figures from sport and society, will make up one of the 42 teams. The patron of the Red Bull Jungfrau-Stafette is Adolf Ogi, former Federal Councillor and UN Special Advisor for Sport.

Attractive spectator spots.
The most exciting sites for spectators are naturally where the relay racers make the exchange. From the viewing terrace on the Jungfraujoch, spectators can watch as the planes approach and the baton is dropped on to the glacier, where skiers will be waiting to race it down to the next relay station. The greatest number of the relay exchanges will occur in the Fiesch-Eggishorn region: from the mountain station on Eggishorn, the glacier runner will pass it to the alpine runner, who will then race up to the mountain station and hand it over to the paraglider. After his descent to the middle station on Fiescheralp, the paraglider will transfer the baton to a downhill biker, who will race to Fiesch and pass it on to the motorcyclist. From there it travels to Lausanne, where airplanes will be back in action. Spectators on the Eggishorn can watch as the airplanes fly past at eye level over the Aletsch Glacier.

By late afternoon the teams will be reaching the finish line in Zurich. The closing festivities in the inner courtyard of the Swiss National Museum will include the award ceremony. Breaking the record of 1939 ought to be difficult, however, because the roads in that race were driven at full speed. In addition, the race in 2007 is 26 km longer than the original. The Red Bull Jungfrau-Stafette will reveal whether modern-day technical progress can compensate for the slower pace required today due to traffic and stricter laws. A new and interesting facet has thus been added to the most diversified tour traversing Switzerland not seen for 68 years.

Red Bull Jungfrau-Stafette

Date  Saturday, 2 June 2007
Route  Zurich - Jungfraujoch - Eggishorn - Sion - Lausanne - Zurich
Start/Finish  Swiss National Museum ("Landesmuseum"), Zurich
Distance  556 km
Disciplines:  running, cycling, aviation, car and motorcycle racing (with vintage airplanes and vehicles), skiing, glacier and alpine running, paragliding and downhill mountain biking
Teams  42 teams, each with 13 members + 1 team leader

Ook Graubuenden is erbij en wel met het team Surselva, dus het wordt duimen drukken. (h)

With love from Switzerland.

nine comments:

Dat is nogal wat! Doen jullie ook mee!?
tagrijn () (URL) - 30 05 07 - 22:15

@Tagrijn, nee hoor :-) :-p. Maar ik bekijk het op TV!!!
joanna () (URL) - 31 05 07 - 07:20

Wat een leuk evenement! Zonde dat ze dat 68 jaar in de kast hebben laten liggen. Veel kijkplezier zaterdag!
Actiefront! / Rokersdag (URL) - 31 05 07 - 22:25

poeh poeh joanna, mijn engels is oké maar veel lezen nee:-(

ik heb het overgeslagen en lees alleen de laatste zin
ik druk mijn duimen :-)
"altjd"druk ik mijn duimen

dienie (URL) - 31 05 07 - 23:03

dat was een pittig stukje! Heel veel plezier gewenst Joanna.
Pasula () (URL) - 01 06 07 - 01:17

Zo kan ik mn engels weer "ophalen"... ;-)
Veel kijkplezier zaterdag :-D
RideR () (URL) - 01 06 07 - 08:16

Inmiddels is de race dus gehouden. Hopelijk is het een goede race geweest en heb je genoten voor de tv.
Hanny () (URL) - 04 06 07 - 00:50

Hoe is het afgelopen met het team Surselva? Fijne dag verder, Pc.
PC-tje () (URL) - 04 06 07 - 15:22

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