Kevin Langeree wins 2019 Red Bull King of the Air

February 6, 2019 | Kiteboarding
Kevin Langeree: he stole the show in the final of the 2019 Red Bull King of the Air | Photo: Red Bull

Kevin Langeree claimed the 2019 Red Bull King of the Air, in Cape Town, South Africa.

The event showcased what big air kiteboarding is all about, surrounded by a football stadium atmosphere, and windy, wild and challenging ocean conditions.

The world's top riders did not disappoint and treated the 9,000-plus spectators to the highest level of big air kiteboarding.

The kiteboarding event that is 70 percent about height and 30 percent about extremity had three fantastic athletes in the final: Jesse Richman, Kevin Langeree and Liam Whaley.

But they all had to go through a rough road before reaching the ultimate stage. In the first semifinal, Liam Whaley eliminated Lasse Walker from the competition.

Jesse Richman, who won the 2013 edition, defeated Danish daredevil Nick Jacobsen in a tight second semifinal. On the third semifinal, Kevin Langeree beat Aurélien Pétreau in another close heat.

With Table Mountain looming in the background, the finalists attacked the South African windy waves at full throttle. Richman was the first to crash. Not once, but twice. But the Hawaiian managed to recover and get back in the game.

An Action-Packed Final

All riders had plenty of opportunities to hit the liquid ramps and get to the blue skies of Blouberg's Kite Beach. It was non-stop action from the first to the last second.

Liam was fighting for a maiden title after finishing runner-up last year; Jesse wanted a second trophy, and Kevin aimed at becoming the first rider to conquer three Red Bull King of the Air titles.

In the end, it was Langeree who impressed judges the most. The Dutch secured his third African tribal mask.

"Three times! It's just a miracle. I feel so happy and stoked taking this thing back to Holland for the third time. And what an event. I want to thank everyone for putting this event together," expressed Langeree.

"It's been absolutely amazing. I want to thank all the fans at home as well. You guys have been great support following me and sending me cool messages."

"In the beginning, I knew I had the potential to win, but then in the final, I had no idea. These guys were killing it. I managed to land a new trick, and I think that put me out on top," concluded the three-time Red Bull King of the Air champion.

The action started on Thursday, 31st January, as near perfect wind and swell provided strong conditions for the world's top kiteboarders to take to the skies.

A major upset saw two-time winner Aaron Hadlow crash out in round two and unable to continue after a rib injury. South African hopefuls Joshua Emanuel and Ross-Dillon Player exited the competition in round 4.

The "Mystic Most Extreme Move" award went to Jesse Richman for his powered kung fu 1080 handle-pass on the first day and he took home the $1,000 prize purse for the award.

2019 Red Bull King of the Air | Final

1. Kevin Langeree (NED) 27.60
2. Jesse Richman (HAW) 26.50
3. Liam Whaley (ESP) 24.86

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