The 2023 Edition of the King of the Whip – Best Whip Contest, presented by LW Mag in association with Ford, Monster Energy, Yamaha, Garmin, Motul, GoPro and Estrella Cerveza wowed a sold-out crowd at Montecasino, with Julien Vanstippen securing his second title.
26 Freestyle Motocross and Motocross athletes from all over the country, including three international riders – Julien Vanstippen (Belgium), Edgar Torronteras (Spain) and Marc Pinyol (Spain) – competed in the Best Whip and Best Trick competitions. 6,000 spectators were treated to a day of non-stop action and a showcase of the biggest whips ever seen on African soil.
Event organizer Ryan van der Spuy said, “I am incredibly proud of King of the Whip. The event gets bigger and better every year, and this wouldn’t be possible without the fans and the riders, which I have a huge appreciation for. KOTW has solidified itself as the biggest locally produced Action Sports event in the country and I cannot wait to see what 2024 holds.”
It was all about progression through the Jam Session-style qualifying rounds as the riders went bigger and more extreme with each attempt. Judges took amplitude, style and variation into account when making their decision of which 14 riders would qualify through to the semi-finals, which would see them battle it out for a Top 7 spot to advance to the final.
As the sun started to set on Montecasino the Freestyle Motocross riders geared up for the Best Trick contest. Marc Pinyol put it all on the line landing the California Roll, his first time to dirt since 2017, to take the win. South Africa’s Dallan Goldman slotted himself into 2nd place with a huge Airplane Indian Air, and Edgar Torronteras rounded off the podium in 3rd with a Saran Wrap to 1 Hand Superman Indian Air to No Hander lander.
Speaking to Marc Pinyol about his win, “I really enjoyed South Africa, Montecasino and the King of the Whip. I’m leaving the country with a great experience, I loved the crowd, they were killing it too, so they deserved me going big. What I really enjoyed too was seeing a lot of riders pushing each other to go big, helping between them and showing a lot of respect and passion. It’s a place I’d love to come back to. The organisation, public, riders and now I can say some friends, I have to give them all a 10.”
Then it was time for the highlight of the show, the Best Whip final, which saw Jesse Wright, Dalton Venter, Dallan Goldman, Stav Orland, Matt van Galen, Edgar Torronteras and Julien Vanstippen take to the air. Due to increasing wind levels, the riders and judges opted for a 3-jump per rider final. Insane whips paired with the roars of the crowd made for a hotly contested final as riders went bigger and more inverted with each jump.
“At 43 years old I have been able to fulfil a dream, travelling to South Africa thanks to Ryan, the promoter of this magnificent King of the Whip event,” said Edgar Torronteras. “The experience has been incredible, never before have I thought that South Africa was so beautiful and that there was so much love for motorcycles. The people are friendly and smile, and that is what gives me life.
“As for the competition, it has been insane, and incredible, an organisation of 10, a format that is a pleasure to follow, great riders that I didn’t even know existed, and that has left me with my mouth open when I saw them ride. For my part, I have been myself and I have ridden as always, fluidly and concisely with my technique and I have enjoyed it. I assure you more than anything else, finishing in 2nd place keeps my sports career alive and I will give a good place by placing this trophy in my museum. I only think about returning next year to live this beautiful experience again and feel the love of South Africa.”
The premier division of the evening saw a close battle between Julien Vanstippen and Edgar Torronteras for the top spot of the podium, both throwing their biggest whips of the day on their final jumps. Vanstippen, back to defend his 2022 title, was successful and crowned the 2023 King of the Whip. Torronteras followed close behind in 2nd. Dallan Goldman retained his record of podiuming at every King of the Whip event by finishing in 3rd place. Jesse Wright finished in 4th place followed by Dalton Venter in 5th.
An elated Julien Vanstippen said, “I love this country, I have so much good experience from last year and this year again so it’s a pleasure to be here. The crowd was insane and all the riders are so good with me so I’m just enjoying my time here. I was ready for it, I’ve been working on my whips during the year. I just enjoyed it and when I enjoy riding I throw down some good whips.”
King of the Whip 2023 results:
1st – Julien Vanstippen R60,000
2nd – Edgar Torronteras R40,000
3rd – Dallan Goldman R20,000
4th – Jesse Wright R10,000
5th – Dalton Venter R5,000
6th – Stav Orland
7th – Matt van Galan
1st – Marc Pinyol R15,000
2nd – Dallan Goldman R7,000
3rd – Edgar Torronteras R3,000