Australian windsurfer Jaeger Stone has won Red Bull Storm Chase after 131kph wind gusts and eight metre waves battered the Irish Coast
Eight world-class windsurfers travelled to Magheroarty Beach in County Donegal from all corners of the globe to take on the full force of a massive North Atlantic storm.
The competitors and crew had waited over three years for a storm sufficient enough to compete in.
The riders were judged on jumps, wave riding and execution of tricks.
The riders took part in a warm-up day on Saturday, and a first day of competition on Sunday, but the harshest storms were saved for ‘Big Tuesday’ when the winner was crowned.
Philip Köster led the standings at the beginning of the day but could not hold off the charge by Stone.
Stone, 28, said: “It was absolutely insane to compete in these conditions. It was ballistic, massive, and freezing. Winning the contest feels unreal, and it still hasn’t sunk in yet – I’m still just trying to warm up my hands!”
The eight riders headed out in pairs for 20-minute heats but as the wave size increased and wind direction changed, they moved to another part of the beach for one final round of short heats – with winds gusting to 131kph.
Highlights from the water included a nearly-landed double push-loop from Ricardo Campello, an incredible Air Taka from Köster, and several seriously large aerials from previous event winner Thomas Traversa.
A helicopter and a safety crew team on jet skis kept the riders safe.
Sports Director Klaas Voget added: “Over all the Storm Chases we’ve done, this was the hardest – the conditions were radical, and it was just so cold. Temps were just 5º C – I didn’t think we’d see such high-performance sailing in these temperatures. That was impressive. And finally, today was the windiest day that many of these guys have ever sailed in.”
1st Place: Jaeger Stone (AUS)
2nd Place: Philip Köster (GER)
3rd Place: Leon Jamaer (GER)