Middle America: The backdrop for one of Red Bull's fun and wacky sporting events — Red Bull Rapids — which challenges teams to "race non-motorized water crafts down a white water course that consists of rapids and water obstacles."
For the event in Oklahoma City, groups of up to five people were tasked with creating a theme for their raft, performing a short skit, and racing their manmade boat down the rapids at Riversport OKC on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022.
The 38 teams were judged — by Mike Knopp (CEO of Riversport OKC), Jayda Coleman (two-time NCAA Champion and OU Softball Player), Darci Lynne Farmer (singer who appeared on Season 12 of America’s Got Talent), Dane Jackson (Red Bull Freestyle kayaker), and Tre Mann (NBA Point Guard for Oklahoma City Thunder) — on their creativity, skit, and the distance they made it down the rapids.
While some were able to make it all the way down the course, many teams' boats quickly sunk after hitting the first rapid.
Who won the Red Bull Rapids OKC event?
For the first time in Red Bull history, the rapids event went stateside and took place just three hours north of Dallas, Texas, in the great state of Oklahoma.
Hundreds of spectators arrived at the outdoor sports facility for a fun Saturday afternoon family-friendly event. Though most teams did not make it down the course (or even over the first rapid), spectators gleefully cheered for the outlandish skits and costumes on display.
Nevertheless, only three teams were crowned the official winners of the Red Bull Rapids OKC event, collecting bragging rights, as well as Red Bull experiences.
In third place: Flambuoyancy, a team that created a beautiful pink flamingo raft, complete with a ribbon twirling skit. They were one of few teams to make it down the rapids in their raft, so it's no wonder this bird flew to the podium.
The second-place team, Max Veraftin, drew inspiration from real-life Red Bull Formula One race car driver Max Verstappen. With barrels fashioned on the base of their craft to resemble tires, we're glad to have seen this team race to the finish line.
The first-place team — Rock 'em Rafting Robots — consisted of a group of brothers who fought their way through the rapids. Though they certainly got bashed around in their boxing ring–inspired raft, the winning team certainly knocked out the rest of the competition.