The 2012 IBA World Tour will kick off in top fashion mode with the crazy Hawaiian stop with a familiar name in the world bodyboarding scene. The Pipeline Pro 2012 is on the horizon and the rules are set.
The Pipe Pro 2012 will see the best 24 riders of the 2011 Grand Slam Series directly seeded into Round 6. Four wildcards (Spencer Skipper, Paulo Barcellos, Kainoa McGee, Brian Wise) and four "permanent alternates" (Mike Stewart, Diego Cabrera, Adam Morley and Jones Russell) have been announced, too.
Then, there are places for the 16 highest rated riders from the 2011 Global Qualifying Series' ratings and the 48 regional seeds from the continental IBA competitions (Japan, Australasia, America, Africa, Latin America, Brazil, Brazil and Europe). Finally, 16 bodyboarders will be selected from the Pipe Pro Trials 2012, to be held between 11th-12th February at Sandy Beach.
"IBA allocate seeded positions into the main event at Pipe for a variety of reasons. Firstly, we want to be able to offer the regions the opportunity to showcase their best riders from the domestic tours at Pipe", explains IBA World Tour manager, Terry McKenna.
"This is a great incentive to follow your National tour, knowing that you will surf Pipe with only three other guys. Secondly, if these newcomers get a good result they might continue to follow the tour. It’s a great way for us to bleed new talent into the Word Tour whilst strengthening the National tours," Terry added.
The IBA Women's World Tour and the 2012 Drop Knee World Tour will also commence at Pipe. In the women's case, there's an extended field of 32 female bodyboarders. Aoi Koike and Claudia Ferrari have been announced Women's wildcards.
The DK Grand Slam event will feature the Top 16 riders from the 2011 rankings, as well as eight wildcards and eight trialists.
Pierre-Louis Costes, Eunate Aguirre and Damian King are going to defend their world bodyboarding titles secured in the 2011 season. Ladies and gentlemen, wax your surfboards.