Dane crowned Red Bull King of the Air at pinnacle competition in kiteboarding.
For the first time ever Nick Jacobsen emerged victorious in front of a huge crowd at Big Bay in South Africa. The crowd favourite outgunned defending champion Aaron Hadlow and Ruben Lenten to win one of the most prestigious events in the sport.
The south-easterly wind, known as the ‘Cape Doctor’, came to the party with just three days remaining in the event window period.
With the backdrop of a golden Cape sunset, some 8000 spectators watched as Jacobsen – who had been consistent since round one – put on the performance of the day to peak in the final. It proved a fitting climax to a day of close-fought battles in which every heat produced memorable moments.
“This feels incredible,” commented a visibly elated Jacobsen shortly after the prize giving. “This is actually my first international win and I can’t believe I just won Red Bull King of the Air!
“Riding in the final with Ruben and Aaron, two legends of the sport, was just amazing! I’m speechless.”
Lenten went down hard early in the final, leaving two-time defending champion Hadlow to go blow-for-blow with Jacobsen.
“Today was amazing,” said Sergio Cantagalli, Sportive Director of Red Bull King of the Air. “We missed a bit of swell but the guys put on a great show. Somehow they push each other more with every year. It’s as thrilling to watch for us sitting in the judges’ tower as it is for the crowd.”
In the speciality awards, local Oswald Smith landed the competition’s ‘Mystic Best Move’ award with his Kung Fu handle-pass, while Lewis Crathern (GBR) launched himself to a massive height of 19.4m to take home the WOO award for the ‘Biggest Boost’ of the day.
Red Bull King of the Air final standings
1 Nick Jacobsen
2 Aaron Hadlow
3 Ruben Lenten
4 Lewis Crathern
4 Steven Akkersdijk
4 Lasse Walker
7 Oswald Smith
7 Reno Romeu
7 Jerrie Van de Kop
10 Graham Howes
10 Gijs Wassenaar
10 Willem Van der Meij