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By Arne Schuber
Tom vs. Airton:
Two exotics that couldn't be more different: Tom in Boots, Airton strapless. The chop now sloshed even harder than on day 1, which didn't make Airton's life any easier. But he seemed to give a shit as always. Because he was holding a full carrot on it again. Tom drove playfully and mixed some freestyle elements into his tricks, such as his megaloop late backroll, in which he unhooked himself before landing and sat up blindly. This was followed by Airton's Megaloop Late Backroll Boardoff in the tried and tested all-in manner. One-handed kite control cannot be rated highly enough. Unfortunately, he had a lot of bad luck with his landings and crashed often, so that Tom got one lap further.
Tom vs. Marc:
After the core thriller between Josh and Janek, the audience first had to bring their pulse down again. Marc and Tom, team-mates at North, helped because the balance of power seemed to be clearly distributed in this heat. Tom managed to score a few extra style points with his creative to-blind landings, but Marc left no doubt that he would go far in this event. With the powerful and clean style that is known from him, he pulled a squeaky clean front roll contraloop boardoff, followed by a backroll kiteloop boardoff, a Grabbed Boogieloop and a Grabbeb Late Backroll Megaloop for a solid 8.08 counters. Tom put a late backroll kiteloop to blind against it and received an 8.3, but in total he did not come close to the high level of the New Zealander.
Marc vs Liam:
It actually almost hurt to know before the heat that one of these two would not make it to the final, because everyone would have the potential. We had seen contraloops, kung fu passes and violent megaloop boardoffs from both of them before and these are the tricks that should probably lead to victory. Marc fired machine gun volleys of high scores within the first two minutes: Boogieloop Triple Rotation, Grabbed Frontroll Contraloop Boardoff - plus really deep loop angles. Liam obviously did not miss it, because after a crash at Trick 2 he followed Boaroff with a super high backroll kiteloop and was the first to get an 8-point score. But things didn't go really well for the new Porsche driver, because Trick 4 also ended in a crash, while Marc hammered trick by trick into the deep end and was able to extend his lead with a massive front roll board-off contraloop, which was worth 8.46 for the judges. Liam caught up with Marc with a front roll boardoff kiteloop and immediately put pressure on with an extra blatant Kung Fu pass. Fart dry, the kiwi immediately pulled through his handle pass, but with less height. Shortly before the end, the two separated only 0.04 points! Seconds before the whistle, Liam slammed out another incredible dangle pass, which briefly put him in the lead. Again, the overall impression had to decide this heat - with Liam having an unusually large number of crashes on the scorecard. And the judges didn't ignore that: Marc made it into the final with a wafer-thin margin.
Nick vs Kevin:
This KOTA really wasn't boring. In the last heat of round 3, the two buddies, big air legends and KOTA winners Nick and Kevin met each other. The wind has now nailed well over 30 knots - both of them stand on it, because it suits their riding. Accordingly, the "old men" were on fire. Both did what they always do: Kevin tried maximum height and control, Nick unpacked his signature move, among other things, with which he won the KOTA in 2017: Megaloop one-footer on the way to the beach. Kevin, for his part, countered with a massive, babbled Onefooter Megaloop. In the meantime, the two only separated 0.26 points on the rating slips. The kiteloop boardoff show was impressive, only the really outstanding innovations did not bring both veterans with them. A year or two ago it would have been a worthy final heat - all six tricks rated were clearly above the 7 mark - but neither of them dared to attempt contraloops or dangle passes. In the end, Kevin prevailed with the significantly higher impression score.
We're honest, we didn't necessarily have Kevin and Stig on the slip for the final, but Marc did. But none of the three undeservedly put on the Lycra to start the last heat of the KOTA '21. Another 15 minutes of full throttle! Kevin changed the kite right after the first trick. Apparently the wind had eased a little. While Marc was already booking one trick after the next and collecting lavish points, Kevin surprisingly had to put up with two crashes. Stig once again had one or the other problem in making the right jump. In the previous heats, he was able to iron this out every time, but now he didn't succeed. A finale like this is likely to be quite a pain in the ass. Both Dutch people had a hard time. Kevin lost valuable time because he lost his board. Halfway through the heat, he only had two rated tricks on his watch - a boogie loop and a grabbed megaloop, both of which are not very likely to win. Stig seemed to be struggling and pulled a little closer to Marc with a boogie loop, a kiteloop boardoff and a grabbed late backroll kiteloop. He in turn confirmed his outstanding form impressively: Frontroll Boardoff Contraloop, Grabbed Late Backroll Kiteloop, Dangle Pass with double rotation - his standards left little to moan and were honored accordingly by the judges. Nothing could get too hot, especially after Kevin crashed again a minute before the end of the heat and had to fish for his board again. The name of the winner of the 2021 King of the Airs is at least as clear as it deserves: Marc Jacobs. Congratulations - on your victory and your birthday! You still make the most beautiful gifts yourself. And props go out to Jesse Richman for his prophetic abilities.
“Two years ago I completely changed my game plan. It took hard work and dedication. I'm nobody special, I just worked my ass off for it, ”said the Kiwi humbly after his triumph in the fifth attempt and thanked his sponsors politely. In the meantime, the corks popped at the North Headquarters, because with the Orbit the brand is once again producing the winning kite.
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