Meet the Rippers Ready for Red Bull Storm Chase

Ten new windsurfers are shortlisted for pop-up event requiring a mammoth winter squall.
By Josh Sampiero

The contest window for Red Bull Storm Chase is almost here. Starting in the new year, 14 riders will be waiting for the next Force 10 storm to hit the Northern Hemisphere. Then, it's go time.

So who exactly is coming? Four riders we know. Thomas Traversa, Dany Bruch, Marcilio Browne and Leon Jamaer are finalists from the last Red Bull Storm Chase. 

The next four riders will be selected from a pool of nominees. Due to the last-minute nature of the contest, it might come down to who can get there in time — so we have a pool of 10. In no particular order, here they are ...

Big wind expert, Philip Köster

Sail number: G44
Home base: Canary Islands
Age: 22 

© Ryan Taylor/Red Bull Content Pool

A legend in his own time, Philip Köster burst onto the scene young and quickly established himself as one of the best go-big guys on the planet. 

The wonder from Down Under, Jaeger Stone

Sail number: KA 120
Home base: Australia
Age: 26 

After a few low-key years Down Under finishing up college, the former young gun is back and firing on all cylinders. Stylish, smooth and all-around talent make him a threat in any contest. 

Insane aerialist, Ricardo Campello

Sail number: V-111
Home base: Venezuela
Age: 31

One of windsurfing's new generation of wildmen with the ability to switch off fear and simply go for it. He's the guy who defined full-planing double-forward loops and is insanely talented in high wind. 

The Englishman, Adam Lewis

Sail number: K516
Home base:
UK
Age:
27

A newcomer to the contest but not to storm sailing, Adam Lewis is a UK-based pro who is used to chasing down big wind and waves. Will he get the call-up? Could depend on the availability of other heavy-hitters. 

High-flying young gun, Antoine Martin 

Sail number: F193
Home base: Guadeloupe
Age:
23

Wavesailing purists have been watching Antoine Martin on the American Windsurfing Tour since he was a grom. Now he's a man. And although he might not have the height and strength of someone like Philip Köster, he has finesse, skill and determination to make moves work. Creative and fearless, he is know for his double rotations and talent for picking off the biggest waves. 

Veteran pro, Robby Swift

Sail number: K89
Home base:
Hawaii
Age:
32

© John Carter/Red Bull Content Pool

If there is a man on a mission, it's Robby Swift. After proving himself in the first mission of the last Red Bull Storm Chase, an injury kept him from competing in the second mission. One of the most industrious and dedicated pros in the industry, Swifty is sure to deliver. 

Consummate waterman, Kai Lenny

Sail number: US-1112
Home base: Hawaii
Age: 24

The iconic leader of a new generation of watermen. A do-it-all ripper who surfs, SUPs, sails and kites, Lenny wins races and surf contests alike, while looking really good. Will Kai Lenny be able to make it over from Maui in time for a last-minute storm? We'll keep our fingers crossed. 

Triple threat, Camille Juban 

Sail number: GPE8
Home base:
Guadeloupe
Age:
27

Small, French-speaking, and fearless ... just like the last Red Bull Storm Chase winner Thomas Traversa. Coming off a big injury in 2015, the gung ho Guadeloupian would love to throw down on a big storm. 

World champ, Victor Fernández López

Sail number: E42
Home base: Canary Islands
Age: 32

How can you ignore the most recently crowned Wave World Champion of the PWA World Tour? You can't, nor should you. A regular winner in the PWA Pozo contest which regularly delivers wind in excess of 50 mph, just the kind of conditions he might face in Red Bull Storm Chase. 

Storm sailing fanatic, Jules Denel

Sail number: F41
Home base: France
Age: 26

The racer-turned-freerider Jules Denel is the final fearless Frenchman on our invite shortlist. His indestructible appearance and "let's go" attitude make him a natural choice. Familiar with the kind of conditions that Red Bull Storm Chase is looking for, he is a natural fit. 

So what's next? We wait. When the contest window opens in the New Year, the Red Bull Storm Chase crew will have their eyes on every potential weather development in the Northern Hemisphere.

Keep your eyes on our Facebook page for up-to-the-minute news! 

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