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2012 KSP wild cards announced

1 April 2012 | 2:39 am

The KSP is pleased to announce their wildcard picks for the 2012 KSP Tour Season as well as the addition of the latest supporting industry member, Cabrinha Kites.

The application period for KSP tour riders officially closed on March 1, 2012. The list of applicants was thoroughly reviewed by the IKA and then sent forward to the KSP and PKRA in order to allow them to make their wild card selections.

The KSP’s seven board members considered their decision, taking into account several factors such as the IKA qualification system, the riding level and future potential of each rider. Following a long deliberation, the KSP board members agreed to award the coveted KSP wild card slots to the following riders:

Sebastian Ribeiro (BRA) – Sebastian is a young, red-hot Brazilian surfer turned kitersurfer who was the recipient of the KSP Best Up And Comer award in Peru in 2011. His flowing style turned a lot of heads and impressed his opponent and judges alike. Considering the strong Brazilian contingent on tour and the fact that Sebastian was unlikely to be put forward by his National Association due to fewer competition results than some of his fellow country men, the KSP felt that Sebastian was a thoroughly deserving candidate for a wildcard slot with an extremely promising competitive future.

Grant “Twiggy” Baker (RSA) – Twig is a world renowned waterman best known for throwing himself over the ledge of the biggest, most dangerous waves on the planet under his own paddle power. He won the Mavericks big wave competition in 2006, the Billabong XXL Biggest Wave in 2007 and remains a constant fixture on the big wave scene. Twig has been kiting since the early days of the sport and competed at the Mauritius invitational event in 2006, which saw some of the biggest waves ever ridden at One Eye. His past achievements, vast experience and competitive prowess make him the perfect nominee for a KSP Tour Wildcard.

Ninja Bichler (GER) – Ninja first appeared on the scene as a wildcard at last year’s inaugural KSP event on Mauritius. Needless to say, she blew minds as she absolutely charged 10 foot One Eye throughout the entire competition, eventually landing top spot on the podium. However, having not competed in Peru, Ninja fell just short of qualifying for the 2012 KSP Tour. Ninja’s incredible performance in Mauritius and fearless approach made her the prime choice for the 2012 KSP Female Wildcard.

The PKRA has also made their decision, selecting the following riders to receive the PKRA Wildcards for the 2012 KSP season:

Keahi de Aboitiz (AUS) – 1st place PKRA wave tour 2011
Abel Lago (ESP) – 3rd place PKRA wave tour 2011
Kari Schibevaag (NOR) – 1st place PKRA wave tour 2011

These 6 riders will join the top 8 male (Airton Cozzolino, Mitu Monteiro, Guilly Brandao, Mauricio Pedreira, Sky Solbach, Jesse Richman, Juan Pablo Diban, Patri McLaughlin) and top 4 female (Ines Correia, Marie Gautron, Kristin Boese, Melissa Gil) pre-qualified riders from last year’s overall KSP Tour rankings. All of the aforementioned riders will then be joined by the additional 10 male and 5 female riders to be announced by the IKA on April 1, 2012.

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