Ross-Dillon Player leads South African one-two at Red Bull Megaloop

by FariedaJune 11, 2019

Ross-Dillon Player and Oswald Smith claimed an incredible South African 1-2 finish at the Red Bull Megaloop at Zandvoort.

Ross-Dillon Player and compatriot Oswald Smith did South Africa proud at the Red Bull Megaloop Kite Surfing event in Zandvoort on Saturday.

Organizers have waited two years for the conditions to align perfectly to allow 16 kiteboarders to show off their biggest megaloops in the most extreme weather conditions.

The event was confirmed on Thursday, when the weekend weather forecasts predicted winds of over 40 knots would hit the Dutch coast at Zandvoort. That have the contestants from all over the globe just 48 hours to make their way to the venue.

The event has been held just four times in the past with previous winners being Jerrie van de Kop in 2013, Lasse Walker in 2015 and Joshua Emanuel in 2017.

Athletes from France, South Africa, Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands gathered at the Spot, in front of 8,000 fans dedicated enough to brave gale force winds on the Dutch beach.

Judges awarded points based on height, distance, style and performance of the megaloops, meaning one perfect jump within the heat’s time limit would usually be enough to see a rider progress through to the next round from their heat of four.

After some initial struggles riders adjusted to the conditions and began impressing the gathered crowd by boosting up to 15m vertically and 50m in distance.

The final heat saw the two South Africans, Player and Smith, pitted against Dutch favourite Walker and Spanish-based Liam Whaley.

Player laid down a strong early performance in the final heat that ultimately proved just enough for him to beat out fellow South African Smith and Walker, who claimed a bronze medal.

“Coming from the first round I thought I was going home, but after that I won every heat. That’s four heats. I can’t believe it, it just went so well,” an emotional player said after the event.



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