Last year in the KSP world tour... Not bad!
The internationally recognised KSP professional kite surfing tour is rearing its head for the 2012 season. This week they released their long deliberated wildcard list, naming three more riders that will be invited to attend the prestigious event.
Entries closed a month ago on the first of March, and since then the KSP's seven board members have spent a great deal of time deciding who to allow into the pre qualifying round. The three wildcards will join three more riders selected by the now defunct PKRA world kite surfing tour to complete the 29 competitor lineup for the competition. So who are these wildcards? You may not have heard of the three KSP entries, but you've certainly heard of the PKRA three.
Sebastian Ribeiro - This young guy from Brazil did pretty well in last years KSP event in Peru where he won the 'up and comer' award from the judges. They said his style and power really turned heads throughout the competition, and although his national body didn't put him forward for the event due to him not competing in many events, he KSP reckon's he'll put on a good show.
Grant “Twiggy” Baker is an ex big wave surfer who's competed in a heap of high profile big wave surfing events. He made headlines back in 2006 when he rode in the biggest waves ever surfed in Mauritius at One Eye. His experience in large swell makes him one to watch in this years KSP tour.
Ninja Bichler just missed out on automatically qualifying for the 2012 tour, after she missed the Peru stop on last years tour. As well as having the coolest name ever, she charged a 10 foot break at Mauritius last year making her an easy choice for the selection team on the KSP.
From the PKRA, we've got our very own Keahi De Aboitiz, who dominated the last events on the PKRA tour last year and was in prime position to become the world kite surfing champion. Due to the limited prize money, high travel costs and limited exposure of last years KSP event, Keahi chose not to compete despite being invited. Now that the event has somewhat sorted itself out this year, maybe we'll get an Aussie entrant in the tour?
Also from the PKRA wildcards, Abel Lago and Kari Schibevaag who placed third and first respectively in their divisions last year. These two are sure to put up a fight with the KSP riders, and will cause a bit of a stir if they manage to walk away with the title.
All the action kicks off on June 1st to 10th in Cascais, Portugal. Riders are currently training hard for the event, and the way everyone's been releasing movies left right and centre, we're sure to see some action from most of them. Stay tuned for all the latest on the KSP world tour in 2012.