Jaeger Stone claims 2019 Red Bull Storm Chase

March 13, 2019 | Windsurfing
Jaeger Stone: the winner of the 2019 Red Bull Storm Chase | Photo: Marko/Red Bull

Australian windsurfer Jaeger Stone has taken out the 2019 Red Bull Storm Chase, in Ireland.

The specialty event got underway with wind gusts of up to 70 knots (80 miles per hour, 130 kilometers per hour), and 26-foot (eight-meter) waves breaking off the Irish Coast.

Eight world-class windsurfers traveled from all corners of the globe to Magheroarty Beach, in County Donegal, to take on the full force of a massive North Atlantic storm.

Athletes and crew had waited over three years for a storm sufficient enough to compete in. The riders were judged on jumps, wave riding, and execution of tricks.

All windsurfers took part in a warm-up day on Saturday, and the first day of competition on Sunday, but the harshest storms were saved for "Big Tuesday" when the winner was crowned.

Philip Köster led the standings at the beginning of the day but could not hold off the charge by Stone.

Jaeger Stone: hitting the skies of Ireland's Magheroarty Beach | Photo: Marko/Red Bull

The Unstoppable Stone

"It was absolutely insane to compete in these conditions. It was ballistic, massive, and freezing. Winning the contest feels unreal, and it still hasn't sunk in yet. I'm still just trying to warm up my hands!" expressed Stone.

The eight riders headed out in pairs for 20-minute heats, but as the wave size increased and wind direction changed, they moved to another part of the beach for one final round of short heats with winds gusting to 70 knots.

Highlights from the water included a nearly-landed double push-loop from Ricardo Campello, an incredible air taka from Köster, and several seriously massive aerials from previous event winner Thomas Traversa.

A helicopter and a safety crew team on jet skis kept the riders safe.

"Of all the storm chases we've done, this was the hardest - the conditions were radical, and it was just so cold," added Klaas Voget, the sports director for the event.

"Temperatures were just 5ºC [41ºF]. I didn't think we'd see such high-performance sailing in these temperatures. That was impressive. And finally, today was the windiest day that many of these guys have ever sailed in."

2019 Red Bull Storm Chase | Top 3

1. Jaeger Stone (AUS)
2. Philip Köster (GER)
3. Leon Jamaer (GER)

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