People were skeptical about the forecast for Day 1 of Red Bull King of the Air 2020 as it was a 'black south easter' which tends to be gusty and unreliable. However, the morning of the competition, it looked to be a promising 20 knots that was building later in the afternoon.
As the crowds began to line the event area in the afternoon, the rider briefing was held in the Red Bull tent at 3pm where the judges ran through the rules and judging critera and riders were able to ask any final questions.
The event was scheduled to happen around 4pm, an hour after the rider briefing. However with the far from ideal conditions, the first possible start time was pushed back. People filled the time by purchasing their Red Bull King of the Air 2020 apparel, browsing the North Kiteboarding & Mystic pop up to sign up to win both a custom King of the Air Atmos twintip and Stealth harness, or by camping out on the beach. Some riders competing in Rounds 1 & 2 even went out for a session to pass the time.
Just before everyone had given up, with only a few hours of daylight left, it was announced that 6.45pm was the first possible start. They were going to give the conditions a go, so the riders in Heat 1 headed down to the beach to prepare.
Heat 1 consisted of 2 x Red Bull King of the Air winner, Aaron Hadlow (UK), the South African local Oswald Smith (known as Ozzy) the only competitor riding boots and Ewan Jaspan (Australia), the wakestyle/ park legend who took Yanek Grzegorzewski’s place after a skydiving injury.
Shortly after, North Team Rider, Marc Jacobs who was competing in Heat 2 headed down to the beach to prepare with his trusty caddy and team member, Nick Jacobsen.
There was a sense of relief that competition would be going ahead as crowds lined the beach and waterfront. Ozzy got the crowd cheering landing a huge late-backroll megaloop right in front of the crowd before stomping a huge front-roll megaloop seconds later sending him flying downwind and out of the competition zone.
Aaron Hadlow, 2 x Red Bull King of the Air winner got in two backroll megaloops and Ewan Jaspan was rewarded with a huge cheer for landing a back roll megaloop and early tic tac. With the sun setting, when rider silhouettes’ made it above the horizon you knew it was a big jump.
Half way through the heat, the judges voted on whether to continue or not. With the current weather prediction not looking promising, the decision was to put the heat on hold. Unfortunately, this meant the rider’s performance in Heat 1 would not be counted.
After a slightly frustrating day for all, the crowds at least were able to enjoy the incredible sunset and some of the riders headed out for a fun session together.
There is a new interesting weather system on its way and everyone is on standby for Thursday 6th as the next possible start. The riders are enjoying some rest to recuperate mentally and physically in the meantime. We’ll update you as soon as the 48 hour countdown is on.
Meanwhile, stay up to date with all the Red Bull King of the Air 2020 news and more here.