What: FLY TO...Red Bull King of the Air
When: July 22-24, 2005
Where: REAL kiteboarding at “The Slick”, Cape Hatteras, NC
Wind: YES SW 20-30 kts
Parties: YES. Five parties in two days
Sponsors: Red Bull, REAL Kiteboarding, John Wayne Cancer Foundation, Jimmy Lewis Kiteboards, Slingshot, Highway 12 Gear and Clothing, H2air, Outer Beaches Realty, Kinnakeet Corner, Village Grocery, and Indiantown Gallery.
Once again, “Father Southwest” provided the goods for the prestigious Fly to ..Red Bull King of the Air Qualifier held July 22-24 at REAL Kiteboarding in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
Friday’s conditions were absolutely perfect for the competition, where elimination heats were held from 4pm through dark with a field of 30 men and 6 women riders. The field was fiercely competitive with no easy heats in the ladder and any rider capable of taking the contest. Average riders? None. This was a very talented field!
Friday’s action featured four major rails from the REAL Slider Park including the new 62ft Red Bull Funbox, 48ft John Wayne A-Frame, 48 ft Triple-S slider and the popular 17ft wide Death Star pyramid kicker.
Winds for Friday’s action started in the 20+ range and finished gusting into the 30’s with male competitors in the 200lb range riding 8m kites. Weather for the comp was sunny with air temps in the high 80’s and water in the mid 80’s. Between the sunny skies, warm temps, blistering breezes and power of the REAL Slider Park, a competitor looking for a good comp couldn’t really ask for anything more...
A complete single elimination round was held determining first through third place for both Men’s and Women’s divisions as well as Best Trick Award. The riding level in both divisions was through the roof with handle passes, kite loops, blind maneuvers and combos of all three in one jump lighting up every riders repertoire in every single heat. The action was non-stop from the second the competitors hit the water Thursday for warm-ups (also good SW winds) all the way through Friday night.
Working their way through the rounds, standout riders in the men’s division included Jason Slezak, Dimitri Maramenides, Sam Bell, Andy Hurdman, Davey Blair, Hamish McDonald, Mike Hall, Billy Parker and many more. In the women’s division, Morgan Skiperdene was on the warpath to avenge her 2003 title after last year’s 2nd place finish. Bri Chmel was hitting all the sliders including the 62 ft Red Bull Funbox. On the same slider, although not a woman, Hamish McDonald was driving the crowd crazy sliding the massive Red Bull on his skimboard! It has to be a world record slide on a skimboard. 62 feet. Mental!
Red Bull hosted a great welcome party for the competitors Friday night at REAL’s Lesson Center, waterfront right at “The Slick”. The huge Red Bull tent draped the back lawn at REAL. Great food, music, beer and plenty of Red Bull drinks were had by all to welcome in the weekend with a bang. Two after hours parties at Ken and Kara Earley’s, and the Charleston riders’ house kept the visiting and local riders “super litt” well into the early morning hours.
Saturday saw a total glass off in the morning so it was decided to postpone the event until the afternoon, when it was again…a total glass off. Not a problem when you have 10 sliders, and a fleet of PWCs! We rallied the troops, set up the REAL Slider Park and took advantage of the glassy conditions by towing the competitors behind skis while they rode wakeboards, wakeskates, skims, whatever! It was a great day to be out on the water having fun and making the weekend even better. Competitors rode from 2:30pm to past 7:30pm, killing the sliders and kickers and just soaking in a great sunny day at The Slick.
Saturday night saw the mother of all Red Bull parties with a killer sunset over The Slick, riders wakeskating and wakeboarding the REAL Slider Park, music playing courtesy of Red Bull’s DJ, drinks flowing at the Red Bull bar and a massive spread of food for the hungry riders, spectators and event staff to devour. The awards ceremony kicked off at dark and was later followed the premiere of ACL’s new kiterboarding DVD Autofocus on REAL’s 10ft outdoor screen. As usual, the Red Bull crew kept people awake and kicking by throwing another mental party at their house (they took the DJ hostage and re-deployed her there) with great music and a wild, wild night.
We would like to send out a special thanks to all the competitors who traveled to Cape Hatteras to attend the Fly To…. Red Bull King of the Air. The complete list of people killing it on the water included:
Sam Bell (REAL)
Jason Slezak (REAL)
Pierre Le Pabic
Erik Stone (REAL)
Stan Radev (REAL)
Nadia Rioux (REAL)
Aimee Raby (REAL)
Kristy Moller (REAL)
Jadie DeLille (REAL)
We would also like to throw out a big thanks to all involved in helping run the event and also our sponsors including Red Bull, REAL Kiteboarding, John Wayne Cancer Foundation, Jimmy Lewis Kiteboards, Slingshot, Highway 12 Gear and Clothing, H2air, Outer Beaches Realty, Kinnakeet Corner, Village Grocery, and Indiantown Gallery. Without their help, great events like this one would not be possible!
And the winners of the 2005 Fly To….Red Bull King of the Air are………
1st Place : Dimitri Maramenides **
2nd Place : Andy Hurdman
3rd Place : Jason Slezak
1st Place : Morgan Skiperdene **
2nd Place : Bri Chmel
3rd Place : Nadia Rioux
**Receive full expense paid trips to Maui to compete in the Red Bull King of the Air.
Best Trick : Jason Slezak
Dock Slide 360 Handle Pass to Blind, to Triple-S slider to Blind, to S-Bend to blind.
Slick Style Award : Ken and Kara Earley
Worst Wipeout : Ethan Wayne
Who won and why ?
In the Mens division, it could have been anybody's game depending on who had their day. "D" as some people call Dimitri, was killing it with huge board offs, handle passes, kite loops, everything big, extended, and well.. big. Andy Hurdman could have won but missed nearly a third of the final heat. In the remaining minutes he knocked of more tricks than any other competitor in their entire heat. Andy's riding is so technical that only he is qualified to judge himself. Slezak was the smoothest of them all. He didn't do as many tricks, but he didn't care either. The tricks he did were dead stylish and f-ing ridiculous. His triple combo off the dock slider took the Best Trick hands down. 4th place ? Unanimously Davey Blair. This guy was blowing minds all weekend with massive nuclear glides and nauseating kite loops both off the Death Star. Keep your eyes on this guy. He's coming hard.
In the womens division, Morgan had more moves and more of them. Bri charged every slider. Nadia was skying jumps higher than alot of the guys. It came down to Morgan because she flat out deserved to win. She took the title in '03, just missed it last year and wanted it the most this time around. From the second she hit the water, you knew she wanted it back........
Follow the Fly To....Red Bull tour up the East Coast to Dewey Beach, Deleware September 9-11th, 2005 This event is hosted by H2Air kiteboarding and promises to be another great weekend of competition, parties, nightlife and more! Mens and Womens winners from the Dewey Beach event will also receive FREE trips to Maui, Hawaii to compete in the Red Bull King of the Air!