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Contrasts of King of the Air

The visual story of Red Bull King of the Air 2016 in black and white. Bright, multi-coloured kites, boards and gear. Colour-coded lycra competitor’s vests. Matching flags. 13 000 spectators in summer uniform. A day at Red Bull King of the Air is a dazzling affair of many flashy hues. Photographer Tyrone Bradley took a step back and documented it in monochrome. Launch Capetonian Oswald Smith – who was recently crowned SA freestyle champ – throws some style as he launches into his Round Three heat, mid afternoon on Sunday 7 February 2016. No matter what, you can count on Ozzy to throw some style. The gear took a beating Ozzy would eventually crash out of the comp in Round Three – going down awkwardly and breaking his binding. Disappointed. You could say that… Got your back Ozzy’s ‘pit crew’ scramble to replace the binding on his board to try get him back in the mix. All focus Sam Light (UK) studies the conditions ahead of his Round Two heat. Half of the elimination Round Two was completed on the Wednesday prior, with the remaining two heats taking place on Sunday. Sam – an early favourite – was upset in …

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Aaron Hadlow keeps the throne

Epic conditions at Big Bay as the Englishman claims second straight Red Bull King of the Air title. It was a game of thrones of sorts in the final of Red Bull King of the Air 2016, as the 2015 defending champ, Aaron Hadlow out-gunned previous champions, Hawaiian Jesse Richman (2013); Kevin Langeree from the Netherlands (2014) and first-time finalist Reno Remeu to claim back-to-back wins. The elements at Cape Town’s Big Bay rose to the occasion too – the fourth time this extreme big air kiting contest has been held here – with solid swell (four- to six-foot) and howling Southeasterly winds offering classic ramps for the riders to perform on. Romeu showed a lot of heart but was flagged-out first and it was left to the three previous champions to battle it out. Their contrasting styles showed throughout the day, but nowhere more so than when it was all on the line in the final – the clinically technical Hadlow vs the stylishly polished and consistent Langeree vs Richman with his gung-hu, all-or-nothing approach. “There is no better way for me to start the year,” Hadlow commented afterward. “The energy from the beach was just insane – there …

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Red Bull KOTA 2016: Aaron Hadlow

Check out these two video interviews with the current King of the Air, Aaron Hadlow.

In the first video, Aaron talks about the thrill of winning last year, the reaction he got and the current contenders this year. The second video, talk us through his…

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What can’t Aaron Hadlow do?

2015 champ pulls off his signature Megaloop KGB on day one of Red Bull King of the Air. Day One of Red Bull King of the Air fortunately came in the first week of the waiting period and the 5000+ spectators on Big Bay beach, Cape Town were not dissapointed. 2015 champion Aaron Hadlow came out with his ‘go big or go home’ attitude once again and pulled off this epic Megaloop KGB. Aarons talks us through his signature move: ‘Last year I did a move that helped me to win the title but I have not attempted it since. The risk is high and it is something I am reluctant to practice for the risk of injury. During the first round I was not sure I would attempt it but I was lifted by the crowd and the energy of the heat. In the end I wanted to get the trick out the way so I knew I could be confident to attempt it further down the line.‘ ‘It is always nice to lay down the benchmark in the earlier round but in all honesty it’s probably not the best strategy although in the moment it felt great and …

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