Marc Jacobs: the winner of the 2021 Red Bull King of the Air | Photo: Red Bull

Marc Jacobs has taken out the 2021 Red Bull King of the Air (RBKOTA) in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Kiwi kitesurfer celebrated his 32nd birthday in grand fashion after beating three-time champion RBKOTA Kevin Langeree and rookie Stig Hoefnagel in an action-packed final.

Traditionally run in a weather window from late January to early February, the big air kiteboarding event took place at Kite Beach conditions in the new waiting period from late November to early December.

With non-elimination Round 1 completed on Saturday, the forecast looked ideal to finish the event on Sunday, with winds predicted to reach around 30 knots (55 km/h) south-southeast from 14 pm.

Heralded by the iconic "table cloth" of cloud being pulled over Table Mountain, the infamous Cape Doctor wind showed up fashionably late, just before 15 pm.

But the wind conditions didn't disappoint and stayed constant throughout the afternoon, giving athletes enough of an opportunity to perform.

Some of the top early performances came from the new guard, with young guns Janek Grzegorzewski, Giel Vlugt, and eventual finalist Hoefnagel providing huge airs, big scores, and heavy upsets.

Red Bull King of the Air: the iconic and prestigious trophy | Photo: Red Bull

The Birth of a New Era

The contest signaled a new era in the sport - something which the event has been known for throughout its history.

Heats were tight and close, with the impression score often being the heat decider, while Spanish Liam Whaley bagged the "Mystic Move of the Day" thanks to a front roll kite loop board-off.

Jacobs claimed the iconic trophy after 22 heats and six hours of competition spread over the two days.

"I'm beyond stoked with the win. It's been three or four years of full-on dedication to making this come true," expressed Marc Jacobs.

"The fact that it happened on my birthday and that it played out exactly how I envisioned it is just crazy. It feels so good."

"We have a really good training season in New Zealand from June to October, and then in November, it starts dropping again.

"So, coming straight here from a good season - the new timing is definitely in my favor."

The 2021 Red Bull King of the Air marks the return of professional big air events to the water after 20 months of global lockdowns.

"The sport is growing and developing fast. We are keeping track of that. They are fast! It is an exciting time for the sport," concluded Sergio Cantagalli, RBKOT sports director.

"Also, we have a new King. Jacobs was consistent throughout, and he brought a lot of technical moves with extreme height."

2021 Red Bull King of the Air | Final

1. Marc Jacobs (NZL) 32.28
2. Kevin Langeree (NED) 27.70
3. Stig Hoefnagel (NED) 26.10

Top Stories

Kiteboarding will make its Olympic debut in Paris 2024. Here is everything you must know about the event and the qualified athletes.

In an electrifying display of kiteboarding prowess, 19-year-old Italian Andrea Principi has been crowned the champion of the prestigious Red Bull King of the Air competition, held in Cape Town, South Africa.

Patri McLaughlin set a new Guinness World Record for the largest wave ever kitesurfed.