31st January: Red Bull King of the Air Official Opening Ceremony
Judges House, Bloubergstrand, Cape Town
Spirits were high at Kite Beach today after the green light had been called for Rounds 1 and 2 to be on tomorrow. Kite Beach down to Big Bay, was packed with hundreds of kites, as the Cape Doctor came through in the afternoon around 3pm. The riders competing in Rounds 1 & 2 got their final training session in and the buzz for tomorrow’s event could be felt throughout Bloubergstrand.
The wind continued to blow into the evening, as the riders, judges and friends of Red Bull gathered at the Judges’ House in Bloubergstrand for the official opening ceremony.
Backed with a pink Cape Town sunset, the traditional South African Braai got underway. After everyone knocked back a few drinks and had a good feed, the Sports Marketing Manager for Red Bull King of the Air, Martin vaan Staden announced over the mic that the draw will happen in 5 minutes.
How the draw works:
Riders are placed in the draw based on their ranks. They are ranked according to their performance from last year’s event. Every year, there are riders who have not yet competed in the event so cannot be seeded. Red Bull comes up with a unique way to rank them fairly each year. This year, it was musical chairs.
Angelie Bouilot (France), Airton Cozzolino (Italy), Ewan Jaspan (Australia), Clement Huot (France), Ryan De Witte (Netherlands) and Jason Van Der Spuy (South Africa) lined up in front of the crowd for a classic game of musical chairs.
The DJ blasted the music and in the first round as the music stopped, Angelie Bouilot, the first female rider to compete in Red Bull King of the Air, was the first to be left standing. Angelie was therefore 18th seed in heat 6 up against Lewis Crathern and Posito Martinez.
Next without a chair was Ryan De Witte, who was placed in heat 3 against Ross-Dillon Player and Josh Emanuel.
With three chairs left, Jason was slow to make it round, leaving him ranked next in Heat 2 against Stuart Downey and North’s Team Rider Marc Jacobs.
Everyone laughed as Ewan Jaspan snuck in next to Airton Cozzolino, leaving Clement Huot in Heat 5. As the music played for a final time, Airton, the first strapless rider to enter King of the Air grabbed the single chair from Ewan Jaspan, leaving Airton in heat 4 and Ewan in heat 1 against Aaron Hadlow and Oswald Smith.
Check out the full draw for Red Bull King of the Air 2020 below;
After the official draw was successfully announced, the riders filtered out to rest up before the big competition tomorrow.
Stay tuned for daily updates @northkiteboarding.