Aaron Hadlow wins King of the Air AGAIN!
After three days of solid wind, the waves rolling into big bay on Sunday were massive, over 2m high in the sets with wind blowing between 25 and 30 knots. The beach was lined with spectators, all hiding up in the dunes due to the high tide, and the commentators on the live feed were stoked. Conditions were perfect for the final day of the Red Bill King of the air and the riders were on fire.
Judged by a team of 5 expert judges, the criteria took into account height, extremity, style, and variety as the riders competed in heats of 15 minutes each. Unique to the King of the Air, after 8 minutes one rider was knocked out and the remaining three battled it out to the end. Through the heats, kiters like Lewis Crathern and Lasse Walker put their bodies on the line, both ending up in hospital after wiping out hard in their heats. Other riders who weren’t as unlucky pulled off the same tricks, insane moves like the kiteloop KGB and megaloop board-offs. A few years ago, tricks like those would never have happened because without the King of The Air, riders wouldn’t be training in anything but Freestyle!
The action went all day, and just before sunset the final was ready to run, with winds at their peak and the start studded lineup of Aaron Hadlow, Jesse Richman, Kevin Langaree and Reno Remeu, ready and waiting on the beach. Opening the final Jesse Richman tripped on a wave, throwing one foot out as he cranked into a mega loop backroll. No problem, he stuck his foot back in and claimed it like the pro he is. Kevin Langeree floated across the bay, feet out and smooth as silk. Not a butt check in sight from him, and consistently the highest jumps of the day. Aaron Hadlow pulled some killer loops and handlepasses off camera, leading to some debate after the finals, and Reno Romeu bowed out early to make way for the three past King of the Air champions.
Left standing atop the podium was Aaron Hadlow, amidst a lot of debate considering the fact that both Jesse Richman and Kevin Langaree performed so spectacularly. On the live feed, a lot of Aarons tricks were missed, with four riders busting out tricks as regularly, the cameras simply couldn’t keep up. If the judges were watching that feed, it would have been Langaree for sure, but of course they weren’t, those lucky 5 were sitting high above the crowds and could take in everything that went down. Hadlow it was, taking back to back King of the Air wins for the first time ever. Of course taking it in his stride, cool as ever in the after presentation interview.
You can watch the entire event online thanks to Red Bull, providing coverage of every heat and of course the final, check it out below and stay tuned for the highlights real and wipeout replays to come this week. King of the Air will be back again next year, and wildcards will be available so if you think you can boost as big as the pros, start training!
Raging Bull Surf backs the Merimbula Classic
What a great choice by Raging Bull Surf - getting on board a legendary watersports event.