Red Bull King of the Air 2019

Image courtesy of Tyrone Bradley / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull King of the Air 2019 – Kevin Langeree makes history with third title win

The Dutch rider, Kevin Langeree, has been crowned the Red Bull King of the Air 2019 champion, becoming the first person to win three Red Bull King of the Air titles.

Red Bull King of the Air 2019

Image courtesy of Tyrone Bradley / Red Bull Content Pool

The final saw two previous winners, Kevin Langeree and Jesse Richman, going up against last year’s runner up, Liam Whaley in an extremely close and intense contest.

Langeree seemed in tune with the wind conditions from the outset and had some stylish mega-loop landings that scored well. Jesse Richman was true to form, going both big and extreme with moves like an incredible unhooked back-loop handle-pass with three rotations, with an extra loop thrown in for greater distance.

Jesse Richman – Image courtesy of Ydwer van der Heide / Red Bull Content Pool

Meanwhile, in the dying seconds of the final, Liam Whaley became one of only two riders to successfully pull off a mega-loop KGB in the Red Bull King of the Air event. The last rider to do so was Aaron Hadlow, and it helped him win the title several years ago.

Yet despite the unbelievable efforts of Richman and Whaley, it was Kevin Langeree who claimed the trophy, adding to his 2014 and 2018 wins. Jesse Richman took second place and Liam Whaley came in third.

“This feels amazing! I put so much time into training and getting ready for the contest and coming out on top is just magical as there was a lot of pressure on me as defending champ,” said Langeree. “Jesse and Liam were on fire and went big. I had to pull everything out of the bag. But yeah, I did it again… my third win. I couldn’t be happier!”

With Table Mountain providing an epic backdrop, the second day initially kicked off with the semi-finals with Liam Whaley going up against Lasse Walker. Both riders dug deep into their repertoire, with Walker throwing in some mega-loops, but Whaley landed the first double Kung-Fu handle-pass seen in the competition in the dying seconds of the heat. This move not only scored well, but it also boosted Whaley’s impression score and helped him secure a place in the final.

Kevin Langeree – Image courtesy of Tyrone Bradley/Red Bull Content Pool

The second heat was sure to be an absolute cracker, with two previous King of the Air champions facing off. Nick Jacobsen went head to head with his new North kiteboarding teammate, Jesse Richman. Both riders went massive providing a spectacle for the crowds, but it was the flying Hawaiian, Jesse Richman who got one over his teammate and landed a place in the final. A great moment came when both riders crossed paths towards the end of the heat and high-fived, showing the admirable sportsmanship on offer in professional kiteboarding.

The last heat of the semi-finals saw Kevin Langeree up against the oldest competitor, Aurélien Pétreau, who was also the only non-professional rider in the event. Knowing that he had his work cut-out, Pétreau gave it everything, committing whole-heartedly to a double backroll mega-loop early on, a move that not many other riders can land as smoothly.

Kevin Langeree – Image courtesy of Ydwer van der Heide / Red Bull Content Pool

He went old school with a board-off deadman, and included a number of mega-loop board-offs in the heat, but Langeree ultimately pulled out a victory with some massive mega-loops that saw him storm into the finals. The Mystic ‘Most Extreme Move’ award went to Jesse Richman for his powered ‘kung fu 1080 handlepass’ from the first day, and he took home the $1000 prize purse for the award. All eyes now look to 2020, where the bar has been raised to a new level for kiteboarding’s most extreme event.