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Philly Team Claws Its Way To Great Heights

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- It wasn't a bird or a plane…it was Red Bull Flugtag landing with zing on the Delaware River. Today Philadelphians swarmed yet again to watch homemade flying machines soar and in some cases, nosedive. Following in the footsteps of 2010's competition, 65,000 spectators lined both sides of the water, the walkway on the Ben Franklin Bridge and even cheered on from their boats for the fearless teams and pilots.  Atop a giant lobster was team New Kids on the Dock, who managed to soar to close to 40 feet, taking home a first place trophy.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120915/NY75045 )

"What a relief," said Adam Denard of Philadelphia-based Team New Kids of the Dock, referring to his team's 2010 craft failure. "We're so excited to not only redeem ourselves but also to bring the win back to the neighborhood."

Despite unforeseen weather conditions that had the crafts leaving manpower behind, all teams were able to proudly display their many weeks of hard work to an audience that couldn't look away. Coming in second was Team Beast of Amis, employees of local Philly restaurant, Amis, who unfortunately had to report to work tonight on the high of winning big . Young, energetic and utilizing their St. Joseph University social circles, Team Hawkward secured the People's Choice award with thousands of text votes. They also managed to mount the award's podium placing third, largely due to their 1963 throwback skit song that didn't let anyone forget that bird-is-the-word.

"We did not expect to win anything," said Mark McShane of Team Hawkward. "We're blown away by the influence of our amazing supporters, including the St. Joe student body. Oh and my parents are happy to have their garage back."

Red Bull Flugtag, which means "flying day" in German, is a competition that dares both the brave and the brainy to design, build and pilot homemade flying machines in hopes of achieving human-powered flight.  While distance was a major factor, the crafts were also judged on two other criteria – creativity and showmanship – by a panel of celebrity judges including DJ Rich Medina, the bubbly Fox 29-TV anchor, Jennaphr Frederick, Preston and Steve from 93.3 WMMR-FM and Red Bull Athlete and Professional Lacrosse Player Paul Rabil, to name a few.

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