Severe weather warnings are usually enough to have most people running for cover and stay indoors, but for some athletes it’s just what gets the pulse racing. Not least the kiteboarders who ripped across the dunes in Zandvoort, Holland on Tuesday amid gale-force winds which made for ideal conditions at the Red Bull Megaloop Challenge 2015.
A home favourite, 21-year-old Lasse Walker, was crowned the winner after convincing the four-man jury that his performance was the standout.
Judge Ruben Lenten said: “The judges were unanimous that Lasse was the best one today. He went more vertical, horizontal and radical. On all criteria Lasse was the best one.”
Kiteboarders from France, South-Africa, Germany, UK and the Netherlands took part in the event in which organisers wait and wait until scheduling it when the weather conditions are extreme enough.
That is just what the thrill-chasing kiteboarders need to produce their eye-watering stunts as gusts of upto 90kmh helped propel the world’s top riders.
The four riders in the final were Walker, Willem van der Meij, Kevin de Smidt and the German rider Linus Erdman. de Smidt finished second with Van der Meij third, making it a cleam sweep of the podium for the Dutch riders.
The Megaloop athletes are not alone in the world of Red Bull when it comes to athletes whose pursuits are based on the most extreme of weather.
The surfers at Red Bull Cape Fear are waiting for the weather to whip up the most towering waves off the coast of Australia before starting their event this summer.
Perhaps most memorably of all Canadain ice climber Will Gadd had to wait for the mercury to plunge low enough to allow him to make his incredible climb up the frozen Niagara Falls in January this year.