To paraphrase Buzz Lightyear, sometimes what looks like flying is really just falling with style.
That's the theory behind Red Bull's Flugtag event happening this weekend at AT&T Park's McCovey Cove. Teams of participants will compete to see whose homemade, human-powered flying machine can go the furthest before crashing into the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay.
If you're wondering just how far a homemade, entirely non-motorized flying machine can possibly travel, well, there's a reason the competition is held over a forgiving surface like water.
This weekend marks the Flugtag's tenth anniversary in the United States, although the event dates back to the early 1990s.
While zany aircraft designs are virtually guaranteed across the board, the vessel likely to attract the most attention will be piloted by sailors from the Oracle Team USA America's Cup program. After one of Oracle's 72-foot catamarans was badly damaged when it capsized, pieces of the boat's hull were converted into a Flugtag craft.
"We figured our San Francisco fans who missed the pitch-pole of Oracle Team USA 17 the first time around deserve a replay," said Oracle sailor Shannon Falcone, "as it's something we will definitely avoid repeating at all costs."
In case you were wondering about the origin of the name, Flug Tag name "flying day" in German, the lingua franca in Vienna, Austria, where the first ever Red Bull event took place.
Flights begin on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Check out these shots from a previous Flug Tag event in Milan, Italy: