Dutchman Kevin Langeree out-classed Spanish young gun Liam Whaley and Lewis Crathern (UK) to win his second Red Bull King of the Air title at Kite Beach in Blouberg.
“Today everything just came together and it’s like a dream come true,” the 2009 World Freestyle Champ and 2014 Red Bull King of the Air winner commented after the final. Langeree, who missed out on the 2017 event due to an injury, is only the second rider ever to have won two King of the Air titles. “To win it again is just a magical feeling,” he said.
Rounds One and Two of the competition were completed in good conditions on Saturday 27 January – the first day of the weather window period. Wednesday 31 January offered the world’s best big-air kiteboarders the opportunity to push the limits of their sport when the ‘Cape Doctor’ Southeasterly wind, coupled with a good Southwesterly groundswell, lined up the conditions for the final rounds of action to take place.
Langeree, after a hiccup in Round One saw him working hard to advance through all the rounds on both days, peaked in the final against Crathern and Whaley. Whaley was called up as a late replacement for the injured 2017 defending champion Nick Jacobsen.
A 6,000-strong crowd lined Kite Beach – the new venue this year – and watched as the riders pushed each other from Round Three all the way to the Final.
“The move to Kite Beach was the best thing ever,” Langeree said, “It gave us as riders the opportunity to show our moves and it was definitely a day I won’t easily forget,” he said.
“Conditions were good,” said Sportive Director, Sergio Cantagalli of the finals day. “The wind, combined with the good swell gave the riders the chance to perform and that was our main goal.”
“We saw some new names and this is very important to us,” he added. “We also saw some high scores and new moves and there was a lot of energy.”
“This event is unique in that it is in continued evolution with the input of the riders and the judges it is always our aim at improving it. It is like a World Tour in one event,” he concluded.
Aaron Hadlow took the competition’s Mystic ‘Move of the Day’ award with his Megaloop inverted board-off front roll.
- Kevin Langeree; 2. Liam Whaley; 3. Lewis Crathern; 4. Jesse Richman; 4. Aaron Hadlow; 4. Steven Akkersdijk; 7. Lasse Walker; 7. Sam Light; 7. Gijs Wassenaar; 10. Joshua Emanuel; 10. Marc Jacobs; 10. Antonin Rangin; 13. Oswald Smith; 13. Ross Dillon Player; 13. Reno Romeu; 16. Jerrie Van De Kop; 16. Tom Bridge; 16. Ruben Lenten