In an action-packed live event, Red Bull Wake Capital brought a never-before-seen course and the best rider line-up this planet currently has to offer.
Hamburg and water sports just seem to go together. One would think the time-honoured harbour city has seen it all. But on Saturday, Red Bull Wake Capital turned the HafenCity into a wakeboard wonderland.
In the shadow of the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, Austria’s Timo Kapl came out of nowhere to win the event. With a sensational ride of the 240m course built especially for Red Bull Wake Capital, the 24-year-old shredded his way to victory and into the hearts of the fans on the Magellan Terraces. Receiving a full 88.66 points from the jury, he narrowly edged out runner-up Daniel Grant from Thailand (84.66 points). USA’s Guenther Oka was third with 81.00 points.
“I gave it my all and put in the run of my life. I’m super happy to have won here. I had a very bad injury two years ago, didn’t know if I could come back again – and now this,” said Timo Kapl, completely overwhelmed right after the final.
On Saturday, the 16 participants gathered in the HafenCity represented a veritable who’s who of the international wakeboard scene. At short notice, Sam de Haan stepped in as a substitute for the injured Graeme Burress. The world-class riders gave it their all, performing jaw-dropping tricks for their fans. With a Backside 450 onto the drop-down rail, Timo Kapl from Linz made clear that he was in it to win it right from the start. Even legendary athletes Leon Glatzer (surfing) and Lara Lessmann (BMX freestyle) were swept off their feet.
The spectacular course, which was built in the style of the HafenCity with shipping containers, excavators and industrial pipes, provided the perfect backdrop for the action. The specs: a length of 240m with nine obstacles. The riders could go all out but also had to keep adjusting to changing conditions: “The complete set-up moves up and down four metres with the tidal range of the Elbe,” explains track designer David Vervenne from UNIT Parktech. “During competition, the drop was around two-and-a-half metres.”
On top of all the world-class action, fans at the Red Bull Wake Capital also saw a show to remember. The Red Bull Skydive Team wowed the audience with their jump from a helicopter at 1,700m and flew in spectacular formation. German beatboxer Robeat turned up the heat with a sick beatboxing interlude. But the craziest side act of all came from wakeboarder Nik Gührs, who rode the course holding a pizza which he delivered in-person to German live-streamer Filow. Talk about a surprise trick!