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The Ultimate Journey | The Ryder Cup Trophy in the Sky.

September 25, 2021
Trophy and Carrier

Few sport events combine an intense atmosphere, sporting drama,  excellence and a global interest in the same way as the Ryder Cup has done since 1927. The ‘Ultimate Journey’ to the opening ceremony, for which Worldwide Partner BMW, BMW Group Designworks and the team around wingsuit pilot, Peter Salzmann, (AUT) chose the skies above Wisconsin as the stage, was equally spectacular.

Equipped with a wingsuit in a Ryder Cup design, as well as a transport capsule for the trophy, specially developed by BMW Group Designworks for that purpose, Salzmann and his team jumped out of a helicopter from 10,000 feet above sea level.  The iconic gold trophy received a zero-emission chauffeur service in a BMW iX xDrive50 for the final few miles to the opening ceremony at Whistling Straits, where Salzmann brought it onto the stage.

Peter Salzmann (Center) & the team at Designworks — Digital Modeler, Gernot Wöhrmann (Left), and Lead Designer, Tommy Forsgren (right), with the Ryder Cup trophy and its innovative flight capsule.

The Trophy Case.

The chief criterion when developing the trophy case was to protect the Ryder Cup during the stunt. At the same time, it had to guarantee the freedom to move for the wingsuit pilot, as well as optimal aerodynamic properties.

The challenge was to create a product that is innovative, luxurious and inspiring, and thus reflects the spirit of BMW i. A challenge tailor-made for Designworks, the innovative engine of the BMW Group, with its expertise in bringing together the needs of mobility across industries.

“Golf what a game! I have been a fan of the sport for a long time or maybe more specific the golf swing itself —such a refined movement of power and precision which in combination with the mental part makes it such a challenging task. Actually, you always evolve your golf game you don’t master it and when I think about it, it’s a bit like design itself” cited Tommy Forsgren, Lead Designer at Designworks.

“When asked to work on this project, which is connected to the historical Ryder Cup event, it was something that excited me to be part of. We just knew it had to be a product that blends the BMW i excitement for technology with the prestigious and honorable aspects surrounding the event itself.”

Tommy Forsgren, Lead Designer at Designworks, fits the trophy inside the capsule.

The trophy case, created by Designworks to protect the Ryder Cup trophy during flight.

Design.

The trophy case weighs 5.3 kilograms and is 540 x 245 x 250 millimetres. It consists of an outer aluminium frame and a 3D printed space frame capsule with large gaps, allowing the Ryder Cup trophy to be seen, even when closed and during the flight. The case can be attached to the interior skeleton of the wingsuit just as quickly as it can to a wall – for example, for exhibition purposes. The opening mechanism is like that found on a wing door. The colour scheme of the trophy case is based on the look and feel of the BMW iX.

The Designworks team evaluating the wingsuit with professional wingsuit pilot, Peter Salzmann.

As well as the visual design, which reflects the status of the Ryder Cup, it was just as important, when designing the case, for it to be possible to perform the flight stunt perfectly. For this reason, the Ryder Cup trophy case was fastened to the inner skeleton of the wingsuit using a special construction. The entire system guarantees Salzmann the necessary freedom of movement and possesses the necessary aerodynamic properties. This made it possible to land safely with the trophy after the two-minute flight, despite reaching a top speed of 230 km/h.

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