Marc Jacobs ’stoked’ with first Red Bull King of the Air win

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Nov 22, 2021

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Kiwi Marc Jacobs celebrated his 32nd birthday in fine style when he beat three-time champion Kevin Langeree (NED) and rookie Stig Hoefnagel (NED) 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 thrown 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 - 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.”

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 (55km/h) south-southeast 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 (POL), Giel Vlugt 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 much-storied history. Heats were incredibly close - the impression score was often the heat decider.

“The sport is growing and developing fast. We are keeping track with that,” said Sportive Director, Sergio Cantagalli after the event. “They are fast! It is exciting times for the sport,” he said, referring to how quickly the next generation is pushing the limits. “We also 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.”

@ZaahierAdams

IOL Sport

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