A southwest storm with gusts off 90km per hour, hundreds of kite fans at the beach of Zandvoort and a warning from the Dutch Weather Institute for dangerous weather created perfect conditions for Tuesday’s Red Bull Megaloop Challenge. At event site in Zandvoort, 16 top international riders rode out on the water to perform the most spectacular jumps. Twenty-year-old Lasse Walker did the best megaloop and convinced the four-piece jury to crown him winner.
The Red Bull Megaloop Challenge waits for the best and most extreme conditions are extreme; 30 knots from the correct direction. Since the last challenge in October 2013, athletes and event organizers alike have been waiting for the perfect weather conditions. The 16 riders, who were pre-selected by Ruben Lenten himself, came from around the world to give it their all at the Red Bull Megaloop Challenge. With a wind of 30 knots and gusts up to 45 knots, the riders flew 15 meters high and with airtimes as long as 5 seconds. They were judged on height, distance, style and execution, where the best megaloop would advance to the next round.
Four riders advanced to the final including Dutch riders Lasse Walker, Willem van der Meij, Kevin de Smidt and German rider Linus Erdman. With the Dutchmen Kevin de Smidt in second place and Willem van der Meij in third, Lasse Walker took first and the Dutch riders dominated the podium at the Red Bull Megaloop Challenge.
Extreme kiteboarding legend Ruben Lenten, event organizer and judge stated, “The judges were unanimous that Lasse was the best one today. He went more vertical, horizontal and radical. On all criteria Lasse was the best one.” In an interview after the event, Walker commented, “Winning is a dream come true. Two years ago, I qualified for the first time, which already was great! But winning is even better. My next goal is to participate and win the Red Bull King of the Air and off course to maintain this title.”