30 Freestyle Motocross and Motocross riders from all over the country competed in the Best Whip and Best Trick competitions. The venue, Montecasino, was sold out, with 5,000 spectators enjoying the wild show of the riders throwing massive whips.
"This event started as a small event five years ago at a quarry," said event organiser Ryan Van Der Spuy. "It has been incredible to see the event grow into what it now is and to witness the excitement from both the riders and spectators."
It was high action from the outset, with each rider going bigger and more extreme with each attempt through the earlier rounds. With judges taking style, amplitude and variation into account, 14 riders qualified through to the semi-finals that would see them battle it out for a Top 8 spot to advance to the final..
In the FMX Best Trick contests, Dallan Goldman took the Right-Side-Up win and the R10,000 first prize with his 1-Hand 9 O'Clock Nic Indi (Airplane Indy), followed by Julien Vanstippen's Holygrab to Double Hart Attack in 2nd and Michael Oyston's Dead Body Indy in 3rd.
And, in the Upside-Down segment, Julien Vanstippen took the win and the R20,000 first prize with his huge Ruler Indy Backflip ahead of Dallan Goldman with a Backflip Indy in 2nd.
"Having an event like King of the Whip in South Africa is exactly what this country and sport needs," said Goldman. "Ryan Van Der Spuy has done an awesome job setting this venue up and ensuring that all the riders are here. I just see King of The Whip getting bigger and bigger, and I wouldn't be surprised if we start selling out some stadiums soon. The potential for this event is massive."
Then it was time for the big whips in the Best Whip contest final that saw Jesse Wright, Dallan Goldman, Dirco van der Westhuizen, Matt van Galen, Dalton Venter, Ricky Raaff, Ryan Adler and Julien Vanstippen take to the air.
With each rider pushing hard, and the crowds roaring in excitement on each jump. Some of the inverted jumps were hard to believe, but the riders recovered from what looked like some impossibly tweaked whips to land safely and successfully.
The Best Whip event, the premier division of the evening, was won by the current X-Games Best Whip gold medallist, Belgium's Julien Vanstippen - who showcases some of the biggest whips the world has ever seen. Dallan Goldman, who has podiumed at every King of the Whip event, was runner-up, and Jesse Wright's ability to whip big both ways saw him claim 3rd.
"Everyone was riding so good, so it was hard to do better than them, but yeah, good times for all," said a jubilant Vanstippen. "For sure, I will come back for this event. I think more people will want to get involved in this event, train harder, and see bigger whips in the future. So next time we will come for a month and then go down to Cape Town to party. Let's go!"
1st - Julien Vanstippen R60,000
2nd - Dallan Goldman R30,000
3rd - Jesse Wright R15,000
1st Julien Vanstippen (R20,000)
2nd Dallan Goldman
1st Dallan Goldman (R10,000)
2nd Julien Vanstippen
3rd Michael Oyston