Cape Town’s famed Table Mountain was the perfect backdrop for the sixteen invited kiteboarders and eight wildcards to face-off in a unique ‘flag out’ competition format. It was eventually American Jesse Richman who managed to edge out Sam Light and Nick Jacobsen to emerge victorious in front of 5,000 spectators.
“I never expected this and I’m so amazingly pumped! Red Bull King of the Air has been the biggest event in the world since the very beginning – I competed in it when I was a little kid and it was the coolest thing ever. To come here and win this event is unbelievable! By far the best riders in the world were throwing down in the best conditions for the event today!”
Scored by the judging panel of kiteboarder Susi Mai, editor of Kiteworld Magazine and presenter of ‘The Kite Show’ Jim Gaunt and South African original Red Bull King of the Air alumnus Greg Thijsse, they were judged on the height, creativity and style they executed their manoeuvres with airs reaching up to 25 metres.
Godfather of wind-based watersports Robby Naish was in Cape Town to check out the event first hand.
“I’m a little embarrassed to say this but this was my first time in South Africa. It’s a real pleasure to be here, I’m really stoked I came! I always knew it was good here,” remarked Robby on his first visit to the country.
Robby went on to say: “We’ve been talking about resurrecting Red Bull King of the Air for a while and today we had some of the best conditions – this was best exhibition of high performance kitesurfing I’ve ever seen. Big Bay was the perfect venue for this event. If this place wasn’t on the map before today, it’s definitely going to be after. I don’t think ever seen this many people at a kiteboarding event.”
The South Africans held their own in the field of riders with Andries Fourie making it through to the semi-final.
- Jesse Richman (USA)
- Nick Jacobsen (DEN)
- Sam Light (GBR)
- Youri Zoon
- Andries Fourie (RSA)
- Lewis Crathern (GBR)
- Gianni Aragno (ESP)
- Kevin Langeree (NED)