LIVE: Follow all the exhilarating action from the Red Bull King of the Air competition at Kite Beach
CAPE TOWN - The 2020 Red Bull King of the Air competition boasts a stellar field, with a host of past champions, local favourites and a few new faces set to battle it out at Kite Beach on Thursday for a chance to win the most extreme big-air kiting contest in the world.
The 2020 edition will see a record number of South Africans in the field, with Ross-Dillon Player, Stuart Downey, Oswald Smith, Joshua Emanuel and Jason van der Spuy all competing for the title. History will also be made when Angely Bouillot becomes the first woman to compete for the crown.
“I’m really proud to be selected for Red Bull King of the Air 2020 after three years of trying,” Bouillot, who qualified through the online video entry process, said.
“It’s a real honour and I'm excited to prove that women have a place in these extreme events and my mission is to inspire young women to participate in more events like this.”
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Among the locals, Player and Downey both qualified through an innovative new qualification process. This process featured four satellite events around the world, which were billed as 'Fly to Red Bull King of the Air'.
“Winning Red Bull Megaloop definitely gives me confidence going into Red Bull King of the Air,” said Player.
In keeping with the constant innovation of the event, the format will also change in 2020, seeing these four winners, along with 14 video-entry winners competing in rounds one and two of Red Bull King of the Air. These rounds will take place at a mobile venue, which offers the best conditions on the day - either the Witsand/Misty Cliffs area or Kite Beach, Blouberg.
Conditions are set to be perfect for the event. The 'Cape Doctor' is set to pepper the Atlantic on Thursday, which will see perfect conditions for Kiteboarding.
"Tomorrow (Thursday) we are expecting a good day for a strong, to near to full gale South Easterly, from mid-morning through the afternoon," said Red Bull King of the Air Sportive Director, Sergio Cantagalli.
The official call put all the athletes - those who qualified for Rounds 1 and 2, as well as those seeding into Round 3 - on standby. The event will get underway when conditions are optimal, anywhere between 11am and 8pm.