Thursday February 25th, 2021 – Cape Town, South Africa: After many months with no competitions, kiters around the world were ready to feel the thrill of competing again. This Thursday, the 3rd annual Big Air Kite League competition was green lit and the riders were ready for action — winds were averaging around 45-50 knots ensuring a tough and exciting day for everyone! With 5 Naish team riders competing — Ross-Dillon Player, Stig Hoefnagel, Stuart Downey, Philipp Schonger, and Dylan Graham, as well as 7 KOTA riders, the contest was bound to be close. Taking home first place in the action packed event was Naish team rider, Ross-Dillon Player and Stig Hoefnagel landed a spot in the semi-finals.
“The whole event went really well, I began my first heat of the day relaxed, I didn’t want to send my biggest tricks immediately, I wanted to make it through the first few rounds without injuring myself. I won my first heat, taking me straight into the semi-finals. Advancing into the semi’s, I knew I had my work cut out for me competing against Mike McDonald and Giel Vlugt, two amazing riders. I started the heat conservative again and slowly worked my way into bigger tricks, a massive gust of wind came and I swear I did the biggest double boogie loop of my entire life and the moment I landed, I knew I had won my heat. I was stoked to say the least because that meant that I had just landed a spot in the finals against two of my all-time idols, Aaron Hadlow and Steven Akkersdijk,” Ross said.
Ross entered the finals with his proven method — start relaxed and as the clock counts down, send bigger and bigger tricks. Ross told us that, “the vibe in the water between the three of us was just so good — we had a great riding pattern going and we were all sending it. The crowd was going absolutely insane, you would have thought this was the King of the Air! This day will go down as one of the most memorable days of my career and it feels as if I have just won the Mega Loop Challenge all over again – its truly incredible.”
The Naish 9 m Pivot and Drive remained tried and true, leading Ross to victory. This competition was no easy feat and we are stoked that the Naish team took the day by storm.
Congrats Ross, we can’t wait to see what the season has in store for you.
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Photo Credit: Kyle Cabano, Madic Media & Thomas Burblies