Two of the world’s top pro paragliding pilots teamed up to take part in an exclusive one-off stunt to showcase the Palm Fountain at the Pointe, in front of destination resort, Atlantis, The Palm Jumeirah
Llorens and Goberna donned special paramotors to take to the sky; expertly gliding between the fountain’s jets of water that reach up to 105 metres
Dubai, UAE: What happens when two of the world’s top pro paragliding pilots are introduced to the world’s largest fountain?
A whole lot of fun (not to mention some spectacular content).
In the spirit of demonstrating that anything is possible – by even pushing their own adventurous boundaries – Red Bull athletes Horacio Llorens and Rafael Goberna teamed up to take part in an exclusive one-off stunt to showcase the beautiful Palm Fountain at the Pointe, Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.
And this performance – now showing in a new Red Bull TV short film, “The Breaking Pointe” – didn’t just involve your typical paraglide… With the world-renowned Atlantis, The Palm Jumeirah resort as a backdrop, Llorens and Goberna donned special paramotors to take to the sky; gliding between the Palm Fountain’s jets of water that were so close they could feel them.
In the film, the athletes – along with a large team of specialists – demonstrate just what it takes to plan a stunt of this kind. It’s definitely not just a case of turning up and flying – there’s pre-event training, there’s engineering, there are multiple safety precautions, as well as intensive training sessions and practicing choreography.
“As soon as we got the opportunity, we wanted to fly there!” explains pro paragliding pilot, Llorens. “The ultimate challenge is that we were flying in the night, which means low visibility. Therefore, we needed to know the area really well beforehand.
“Also – we needed to know how to ‘play’ with The Palm Fountain… this was new for us. And with such strong streams of water shooting up, 100 metres, is a lot so we had to be really prepared!”
Llorens, along with fellow athlete and friend Goberna had been discussing and practicing tricks and choreography for some time prior to arriving in Dubai. Once in the emirate, the duo – along with the entire project team – conducted trial runs in the Margham Desert in daylight for two days.
ADJUSTING TO THE CLIMATE
Paragliding with a paramotor is a complicated process and requires skill, patience and very, very precise planning.
What many extreme adventure and sporting fans might not know is that paramotors require to be adjusted according to the location they’re in.
“During training that’s when we were testing the paramotors, adjusting the gliders and the brakes,” continues Llorens. “Rafael [Goberna] did have a little problem with his motor.”
Goberna elaborates: “The motor wasn’t flying so good, because prior to arriving in Dubai, it was last used in Europe at high altitude. Therefore, I needed to adjust the carburettor in the air inside the motor.
“In the first practice flight over the water, I broke one propeller. I really couldn’t understand what was happening. And then another one broke. Eventually, a back-up motor was required.”
Refusing to give up, the entire team worked tirelessly to be “fountain-ready” and show day – and the results, as showcased in the video, are spectacular.
“It was super nice for us to have finished for us this way – the process was definitely challenging from the very beginning,” concludes Goberna. “After a long journey, the result was beautiful! The team worked incredibly hard to make it.
“The highlight for me was playing between the super shooters with Rafael, because it’s something we’ve never done before; it felt really new and really powerful – with the water coming to our sides extremely high.”
Goberna adds: “You feel the air coming up with the water – and the water splashes against your face because it’s so strong. It was such a nice experience.”
SAFETY & PRECISION
As “The Breaking Pointe” demonstrates, a lot of work went into the showcase – one of the most important aspects being learning how to navigate The Palm Fountain. With both sides having different choreography, Llorens and Goberna had to study the movement of the water with great precision in order not to get caught up in the jets of water.
“Obviously, safety is paramount, and there are a multitude of safety devices we use on paramotors,” explains Director of Safety, Alan Gates. “Each athlete used two parachute systems – the main which they fly normally. In the case of an emergency or when they have a technical issue, they would use a reserve parachute.
“When we’re flying over water, it’s also mandatory to wear a life jacket with automatic and manual inflation. We always have rescue boats, jet skis and divers… it’s important we have multiple teams for rescue and safety.”
ABOUT THE ATHLETES:
Hailing from Madrid, Horacio Llorens is an aerial legend – a five-time world champion and Infinity Tumbling Guinness World Record holder.
A pioneer of aerobatic paragliding, Llorens, 38, began his life with wings at 14, when watching his cousins fly at his uncle’s paragliding school in the Spanish industrial aviation hub of Albacete.
Find him on Instagram: @acroracio.
Meanwhile, after starting acrobatic paragliding flying at an early age with his father, Brazilian native Rafael Goberna established himself as the country’s youngest-ever pilot, as well as one of the youngest pilots in the world.
In fact, Goberna, now 26, entered the Guinness Book of World Records winner at only 12 years old.
Find him on Instagram: @rafaelgoberna
About Nakheel Malls:
Nakheel Malls owns and operates a diverse range of world-class retail experiences with a distinct portfolio of iconic lifestyle, shopping, dining and entertainment destinations across Dubai. Its strong heritage has been a driving force behind its well-established footprint, which spans 1.4 million square metres of gross leasable space. Nakheel Malls’ 14 developments and 5,000 retailers together shape the lifestyle of 90 million customers every year.
The Palm Jumeirah – Nakheel’s award-winning, world-famous landmark and a symbol of the UAE’s ambition and creativity – is home to The View at The Palm, Nakheel Mall, Golden Mile Galleria, The Pointe, the world’s largest fountain The Palm Fountain, Club Vista Mare, Palm West Beach and The Palm Monorail, a celebration of enhanced lifestyle experiences for residents and tourists alike. Its exclusive franchises include gourmet food hall concept Depachika and Food District.
Nakheel Malls’ expanding portfolio is a testament to its creative spirit that reflects people’s aspirations. It includes distinguished, large-scale shopping centres such as Ibn Battuta Mall, Dragon Mart (which launched its e-commerce platform in partnership with DP World in 2020), the Pavilion Community Centres located across six Nakheel residential communities and waterfront trading hub Souk Al Marfa, in partnership with DP World. Upcoming projects include Souk Warsan and Circle Mall.
Nakheel Malls is the retail arm of world-leading master developer Nakheel.
About The Pointe:
The Pointe is an iconic waterfront dining and entertainment destination managed by Nakheel Malls.
Located on the trunk of Palm Jumeirah, it is home to The Palm Fountain, the Guinness World Records™ title holder of the world’s largest fountain, which offers spectacular daily shows to visitors and residents from 6pm onward.
The Pointe comprises a publicly accessible pristine beach area for hours of fun under the sun and a 1.5-kilometre promenade for sporting activities and leisurely strolls. The pet-friendly destination spans 1.4 million square feet and offers round-the-clock entertainment, fine dining and lifestyle offerings including Nakheel Malls’ gourmet food hall concept Food District. The Pointe is also home to Reel Cinemas featuring a dine-in experience by culinary star Guy Fieri, Cheeky Monkeys’ flagship kids’ play concept, a children’s playground, a Union COOP supermarket, gyms and fitness centres, beauty salons and unique gifting concepts.
Car parking facilities can accommodate up to 1,400 vehicles and The Pointe monorail station is set to inaugurate soon.
ABOUT ATLANTIS, THE PALM:
Located at the centre of the crescent of The Palm overlooking The Palm Fountain, Atlantis, The Palm is no stranger to working with Red Bull athletes, following the wildly successful ‘Waterpark Lockdown’ skateboarding stunt in 2016. Linda Abdul Hay, Senior Director Public Relations & Communications, Atlantis Dubai comments “Atlantis is thrilled to be part of this awe-inspiring project. Our continued partnership with Red Bull UAE is one which we value dearly, and we look forward to collaborating with them again in the near future. At Atlantis, The Palm we are always looking into out the box ideas that fall in line with our philosophy of creating exhilarating experiences for our guests – and this stunt is as exhilarating as it gets!”.