Bringing the Ponta Preta Kite Surf Pro to a close, today concluded the KSP’s inaugural three-stop 2011 Kite Surfing World Championship Tour.
“We had insane conditions on tour this year,” said KSP rider and Vice President Sky Solbach. “ We scored the most perfect surf ever seen in competition in Mauritius and the longest waves on the planet in Peru. Unfortunately Mother Nature did not cooperate in Cape Verde, but we still had a blast in the Super Sessions here.”
Due to the bleak swell forecast for the remainder of the 10-day holding period, yesterday, the KSP rider’s committee decided along with KSP organizers to end the competition early following the two Super Sessions in varying conditions.
According to the KSP contest rules all 24 men at this Cape Verdean tour stop received an equal number of points (4,365), which go toward the 2011 World Championship title. The 12 female riders each earned 5,265 points. Overall, 64 riders from 20 countries competed on the inaugural KSP Tour.
Kicking off at 7 p.m. last night at the beachside venue of Odjo d’ Agua in downtown Santa Maria, KSP officials awarded the Cape Verde Super Session winners and crowned the 2011 World Champions.
In the women’s Super Session Overall, Kirsty Jones (UK/North) took first, with Adriana Harlan (Hawaii) placing second and Kristin Boese (Best/Germany) coming in third. On the men’s front Airton Cozzolino (Italy/North) took first, with Bear Karry (USA) and local wild card winner Jose Djo Silva (Cape Verde/F-One) coming in second and third, respectively.
The prize giving then turned to the coveted World Championships, the culminated results from the One Eye Kite Surf Pro in Le Morne, Mauritius, the Pacasmayo Kite Surf Pro in Pacasmayo, Peru and the Ponta Preta Kite Surf Pro in Santa Maria, Cape Verde — held at three of the best kite surfing locations in the world.
On the women’s podium, 9-time World Champion Kristin Boese (Germany/Best) took third place, with Marie Gautron (France/Naish) coming in second and the young Portuguese rider Ines Correia taking the World Championship title.
The men’s podium saw 2010 Kitesurfing World Champion and winner of the second KSP Tour stop in Peru, Guilly Brandao (Brazil), in third place and local Cape Verdean hero Mitu Monteiro (F-One) in second. However, it was Airton Cozzolino (Italy/North), winner of the first tour stop in Mauritius and second place finisher in Peru who stole the crowd’s hearts. In an emotional interview, the native Cape Verdean could not fight back his tears of joy after being carried onto the podium by his local crew and graciously accepting his first ever World Championship trophy in front of his home crowd.
“I am so happy. Thank you to everyone. It’s a dream come true,” said the near-speechless Cozzolino.
The 2012 KSP World Championship Tour schedule will be released on February 1, 2012. Once again, the lineup of venues promises world-class exotic locations across the globe to showcase high-performance kitesurfing in the world’s best waves by the world’s best riders.