It’s that time of year when Cape Town and it’s powerful South-Easter gets ready to host the world’s best Kiteboarders in the pinnacle of big-air Kiteboarding – Red Bull King of the Air.
The event also takes place at a new venue this year being Kite Beach in Blouberg. Organisers feel that this venue will give competitors an even better chance to perform at the highest level, in the best conditions.
Competition is set to take place on the windiest day between 27 January and 11 February. The list of riders competing for the 2018 title has been announced and comprises of the top nine riders from the 2017 event, the top nine from the online video competition, as well as wildcards.
Full 2018 Red Bull King of the Air Rider List:
Nick Jacobsen (DK)
Aaron Hadlow (UK)
Ruben Lenten (NL)
Lewis Crathern (UK)
Steven Akkersdijk (NL)
Lasse Walker (NL)
Oswald Smith (RSA)
Reno Romeu (BRA)
Jerrie van de Kop (NL)
Jesse Richman (USA)
Kevin Langeree (NL)
Aurelien Petereau (FRA)
Joshua Emanuel (RSA)
Marc Jacobs (NZ)
Ross Dillon Player (RSA)
Antonin Rangin (FRA)
Sam Light (UK)
Gijs Wassenaar (NL)
Defending champion Nick Jacobsen is eager to reclaim his title and will go into the event as top seed. “It’s like a gladiator arena when you’re in the water. The beach is full of people and the pressure is high from your sponsors and audience.”
Jacobsen outgunned Aaron Hadlow and Ruben Lenten 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.
Another newsworthy inclusion is local favourite Joshua Emanuel who has been on a tear of late, taking the win at Red Bull Megaloop Challenge in Holland and setting a new Woo height world record.
For more information, head over to http://redbullkingoftheair.com.
Photos by Craig Kolesky, Ydwer van der Heide and Tyrone Bradley / Red Bull Content Pool.