Sunday, February 7, 2016, Capetown, South Africa – On the final day of the Red Bull King of the Air at Big Bay in Bloubergstrand, big clouds hovered above the slopes of Table Mountain, suggesting ideal southeasterly winds to come. What ensued was extreme kiting with over 13,000 people glued to the action. The highly anticipated final heat was anyone’s game, with Kevin bringing the biggest airs and Jesse pulling off some impressive maneuvers. In the end, Aaron Hadlow received first place, with team Naish riders Jesse Richman and Kevin Langeree in second and third respectively both boosting huge on their Naish Torch.
Every year the world’s best kiteboarders travel to Big Bay, South Africa to see who can pull off the biggest and most progressive airs at the prestigious Red Bull King of the Air event. This year, Team Naish riders, Ariel Corniel and previous KOTA champions Kevin Langeree and Jesse Richman earned their spots to compete in this elite contest among 21 other world-class kiters.
Ariel, a KOTA first-timer, proved to be a fierce competitor in the first couple rounds—someone to watch out for next year. Kevin and Jesse dominated every heat they were in and progressed into what turned out to be a very exciting final heat.
Reno Romeu was flagged-out in the first half leaving Jesse, Kevin and Aaron to battle head-to-head for the title in the second half of the heat. Performing consistently throughout the entire heat, Kevin reached extreme heights and bused new moves including, like his big kiteloop laid back curl with a one-footer. Meanwhile Jesse went all out with his well-known explosive style, trying a kiteloop front mobe and pulling off an even more challenging kiteloop double half-cab.
“This was by far the closest final we’ve ever had at Red Bull King of the Air in Cape Town,” said head judge Alex Vliege told Red Bull media. In the end, it came down to the riders’ top three best tricks and for Aaron, his variation of moves won him the title. Jesse, stoked on his second place finish, shares his thoughts, affirming “I’m happy with it. I went for it, I sent it and I landed the certain things I really wanted to land.”
In his post heat interview, Kevin told Woo Sports that “it was great being a part of this event and being on the podium again. Unfortunately not on the number one place which I hoped for, but that’s how it goes. You win some; you lose some.” Though hoping to achieve better final results, Kevin was pleased to earn the ‘Mystic Best Move’ award with his impressive kiteloop front roll, inverted one foot in the semi-final.
Kevin also pushed the limits of big air on his 10 meter Naish Torch with Woo data showing the highest jump of the contest among all contestants at 18.8 m. Jesse Richman was right behind him on the roster with his Naish Torch, taking the third spot at 18.7 m. Congratulations to all the competitors at another successful 2016 Red Bull King of the Air!
Hashtags: #kingoftheair #KOTA #Naish_Kiteboarding #BigAir