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Highlights from the King of the Air 1

Every year Cape Town draws massive crowds for the Red Bull King of the Air (KOTA) kitesurfing competition, and 2015 was no different. Didn’t make it to the event? Not to worry, here is all the information you need.

The event

Red Bull’s third annual tricked-out event hit Cape Town on 11 February, 2015. The world’s top wave riders descended on Big Bay to see who could get the biggest airs and land the coolest tricks.

Cape Town is home to the Cape Doctor – a strong, persistent and dry south-easterly wind that produces the ideal conditions for riding the airstream. And performing gravity-defying tricks of course!

The results

The global kiteboarding community is a close-knit group. Watching that camaraderie between contestants is always a treat. Nonetheless, there always has to be a winner.

The line-up this year included former King of the Air champions Jesse Richman and Kevin Langeree, ‘Master of the Extreme’ Ruben Lenten, as well as a few local heroes, so you know that competition was tough.

The much anticipated final showdown included Dutch defending champion Langeree, British Aaron Hadlow, Jerrie van der Kop (also Dutch) and America’s Jesse Richman.

All four showed why they deserved to be in the KOTA final, but it was Aaron Hadlow who wowed the crowds and the judges for the gold. He also won the ‘Mystic Move of the Day’ for his massive Megaloop KGB. This intricate move requires finishing a back-roll megaloop, then unhooking and passing the bar behind your back.

“I was just full of adrenaline and managed to pull some pretty sick moves so I’m really happy now,” Hadlow said after the event. “The atmosphere here at Big Bay is like nothing else – the crowd loves it. It’s the one event in kiteboarding that really is for kiteboarding and I’m so happy to be on top!”

Langeree had to compete with eight stiches in his hand following a training accident, but that didn’t stop him from coming in second and claiming the ‘Biggest Air of the Day’ award with an impressive 13.5m launch. Jerrie Van de Kop took the last spot on the podium while 2013 champion Jesse Richman unfortunately suffered several bad runs, crashing out on more than one occasion.

All in all, the perfect weather conditions and quality of competition made for a scintillating event.

If you didn’t make it this year, make sure you are in 2016.

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