Extreme big-air kiteboarding contest moves to Kite Beach in Cape Town for 2018.
TO KITE BEACH
“As the aim of Red Bull king of the Air is to continuously push the level of extreme kiteboarding,” says event Sportive Director, Sergio Cantagalli, “one of the key factors to be considered at an event of this nature is: where to possibly get the most radical and extreme conditions, to give contestants the best opportunity to perform at their limits.”
“After several editions at Big Bay, the committee, in consultation with the riders have made the decision to move the contest site to ‘Kite Beach’ in Table view. This is known as the Capetonian Mecca of kitesurfing, as it is perfectly exposed to the blasting Cape Doctor and Westerly swell,” Cantagalli says.
“There we expect to improve the extremity level of the sport by breaking records and establishing new heroes,” he added.
CLASS OF 2018
With the competition – due to take place on the windiest day between the 27th of January and 11th of February – an all-star list of riders has been announced to compete for the 2018 title. The rider list is made up of the top nine riders from the 2017 event, plus the top nine from the ranking of the online video competition as well as wildcards.
2017 champion Nick Jacobsen will unfortunately not be able to defend his title as he recently broke his leg in a crash.
Jacobsen outgunned Aaron Hadlow (GBR) and Ruben Lenten (NED) in the final of the 2017 event in front of a big crowd at Big Bay. The final provided a fitting climax to a day of close-fought battles where every heat produced highlights and upsets and 2018 promises to be no different.
The best King of the Air ever
© CHRISTIAN BLACK/RED BULL CONTENT POOL
Hadlow is as eager to return to the top step and will be gunning for an unprecedented third title, but he will have his work cut out for him with the likes of past champs Jesse Richman (USA) and Kevin Langeree (NED) – who both missed out on 2017 due to injury – will both be back again thanks to wildcard invites.
Another newsworthy inclusion is local favourite Joshua Emanuel who has been on a tear of late, taking out the Red Bull Megaloop Challenge in Holland and setting a new Woo height world record.
“The Megaloop Challenge was a huge success for me and has motivated me and pushed me a lot further. It has always been a dream for me to win a competition like that, especially on an international level,” he commented.
“The atmosphere at King of the Air is just something else – when you look back at the beach and you see five to 10 thousand people standing there, it’s pretty amazing. I’m looking forward to compete against the best in the world and see where I fit in. To win it this year you’re going to have to go super high, get your kite super low and just fly on the extreme.”
Other riders to look out for are video entrants Sam Light and Marc Jacobs, both of who have competed before.