Hannes Arch is the 2008 Red Bull Air Race world champion. Arch entered the competition as a rookie in 2007, having previously been race director for the championship. But his love of sport goes far beyond flying planes. He qualified as a mountain guide while still a teenager and expanded on his love of climbing by taking up hang-gliding, paragliding and BASE jumping. Together with Swiss daredevil Ueli Gegenschatz, he was the first man to BASE jump from the north face of the Eiger, later repeating the feat on the north face of the Matterhorn. He retains an interest in these sports as the organiser of the gruelling Red Bull X Alps. His flying accolades before qualifying as a Red Bull Air Race pilot include the title of 2006 European Aerobatic Champion in the Aerobatic Freestyle Category.