Aaron Kelly of Marcus Beach in Queensland has gone back to back on the Gold Coast and take out the Red Bull Airborne Qualifier for the second year in a row.
Kelly defeated Liam Mortenson, Wesley Ayres, Loui Hynd, Sean Gunning and Coby Perkovich in a thrilling heat on Saturday at Duranbah,
Kelly took to the skies in the first 10 seconds of the final, throwing a massive air-reverse on a larger wave – scoring a well-deserved 8.33 (out of a possible 10). The other competitors could not match the score for the remainder of the 40-minute final, all of them trying (but not completing) some very risky and futuristic manoeuvres – leaving Kelly victorious.
“It feels amazing,” said an exhausted Kelly. “I’m so happy with that result – especially at an air comp, with Josh (Kerr) being able to see it. The waves were perfect for airs today – we couldn’t have asked for a better day!”
Kelly has now secured himself a place in the main event in March/April where he will go head to head with some of the best aerial surfers in the world including Jack Freestone (AUS), Noah Deane (AUS), Italo Ferreira (BRA), Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Filipe Toledo (BRA).
Former WSL Championship Tour surfer and Red Bull Airborne series co-founder Josh Kerr (AUS) was ecstatic to see Kelly take the win today, as he presented him the winner’s cheque in the pouring rain.
“That was a sick air,” said Kerr. “A very well deserved victory!”