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Marc Jacobs blows away the competition at Red Bull King of the Air
A new king is crowned as young riders push things forward at the celebration of big air and bigger tricks that was Red Bull King of the Air 2021.
Marc Jacobs celebrated his 32nd birthday in fine style when he beat three-time champion Kevin Langeree and Dutch rookie Stig Hoefnagel in an action-packed final to be crowned Red Bull King of the Air.
“I’m beyond stoked with the win,” said the New Zealander, who ascended the throne to claim his trophy after 22 heats and some six hours of competition spread over two days. “It’s been three or four years of full-on dedication to make this come true,” he said. “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.”
Traditionally run in a weather window in late January and early February, Red Bull King of the Air 2021 took place on the best conditions in the new waiting period in late November to early December, for the first time since it came to South Africa. Jacobs believes this suited him.
"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 favour," explained Jacobs.
The fact that it happened on my birthday and that it played out exactly how I envisioned it is just crazy
With non-elimination Round 1 completed on Saturday, the forecast looked ideal to finish the event on the Sunday, with winds predicted to reach around 30 knots (55kph) south-south-east from 2pm. Heralded by the iconic ‘table cloth’ of cloud being pulled over Table Mountain, the infamous Cape Doctor showed up fashionably late (just before 3pm), but didn’t disappoint and stayed constant throughout the afternoon, giving all the athletes the opportunity to perform.
Some of the top early round performances came from the new guard. Young guns Janek Grzegorzewski of Poland, Giel Vlugt of the Netherlands and eventual finalist Stieg Hoefnagel providing some huge airs, big scores and heavy upsets. It signalled a new era in the sport of big air kiteboarding – something which the event has been known for throughout its history. Heats were incredibly close and the impression score was often the heat decider.
Relive the decisive action of Day 2 in full:
Watch all the live action from day two of the world’s most badass, big air kiteboarding contest.
“The sport is growing and developing fast, and we're keeping track with that,” said Sportive Director, Sergio Cantagalli after the event. “They are fast! It's exciting times for the sport,” he said, referring to how quickly the next generation is pushing the limits. “Also we have a new King, he was consistent throughout and he brought a lot of technical moves with extreme height so he is so deserving of that crown.”
With regards to the change in date, Cantagalli believes it brought a new, fresh vibe and personality to the sport. “It will help develop the sport even more and the potential is there to develop the character. I’m looking forward to that.”
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