Etihad Airways’ second “Swing on the Wing” competition has proved a huge
success, with European Tour star Henrik Stenson hitting a record
long-drive of 721 yards on the runway at Abu Dhabi International
Airport.The competition, just one element of Etihad’s innovative sponsorship
activities for last week’s Abu Dhabi Golf Championships, saw long-drive
world record holder Paul Slater and five amateur golfers join Stenson on
the wing of an Etihad Airways aircraft.
Geert W. Boven, EVP Sales and Service, Etihad Airways, said: “It is
fantastic news that Henrik hit such a massive drive to win this year’s
“Swing on the Wing”. It was a truly awesome spectacle to see the golfers
in action on the wing of the Etihad aircraft.”
Following the phenomenal success of the 2006 “Swing on the Wing”
competition, Etihad expanded the concept by offering amateur club
players from across the world the chance to join Ryder Cup star Stenson
and Paul Slater on the wing of the A340-500.
Delighted at having taken part in the world-famous challenge, Stenson
said: “This was an unbelievable experience. I saw pictures of Ian
Poulter and Paul Casey from last year and was thrilled to have the
chance to take on Ian’s record. I am just glad I was able to sneak past
it. A big thank you to Etihad and all involved, I will never forget this
During the final competition on the runway the big hitting Swede broke
last year’s record by striking the ball a full 721 yards, beating Ian
Poulter’s 2006 record by 25 yards.
More than 8,000 amateur players took part in long drive competitions in
order to qualify for the final in Abu Dhabi, with the winners coming
from Dubai, United States, UK, Germany and India. Representing the UK
was James Efde from London.
Rob Atkinson, a club golfer at the Arabian Ranches club in Dubai, said:
“This has been the experience of a lifetime. Without Etihad Airways I
would never have had the opportunity to stand on the wing of a plane, in
such a wonderful setting, and drive golf balls into the horizon. To be
able to do it alongside Henrik Stenson was also a dream-come-true. “
As the diamond sponsor and official airline for the 2007 ADGC, Etihad
was involved in a series of promotional activities surrounding the
tournament as well as flying the players, officials and their equipment
to the UAE.
Photo caption: Etihad Airways’ second “Swing on the Wing” competition
has proved a huge success with European Tour star Henrik Stenson hitting
a record long-drive of 721 yards on the runway at Abu Dhabi
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