Contenders for the GKA Female Rider of the Year Award 2022

Published 27th May 2022 by Andrea Susanne Opielka


We’re excited to be able to announce the following individuals were voted as the leading contenders for the GKA Rider of the Year Award by a panel of industry professionals, representatives, brand managers, media creators and journalists. 

Please watch the video below and scroll down to read the bio info about the contenders – winners announced 25th June at a ceremony in Tarifa.


(The public vote counts as 33% of the overall vote alongside a specialist legends & pioneers committee and GKA Kite World Tour judges, crew and event partners)

WORDS: Holly Keenan

Mikali Sol GKA Awards


Mikaili Sol is widely considered one of the best female freestyle Kitesurfers of all time. Mika has pushed female kitesurfing to another level, showcasing an array of freestyle and big air tricks that no other female riders are yet to land. 

By the age of 14 Mika was already 4x junior World Youth Champion and in 2018 Mika made her mark in the kiteworld as she became the GKA Freestyle World Champion. From then on Mika has dominated the women’s freestyle competition and recently took home her 4th consecutive world title. Her biggest achievement to date was being the first female to land a double handle pass in competition at the GKA Superkite in Brazil 2021. This single maneuver pushed women’s freestyle to the next level. 

Mika’s goals for the future are to continue to elevate the level of womens’ kitesurfing and show the world what she is capable of. 


Capucine Delannoy GKA Awards


Capucine Delannoy first discovered her drive for competition when she began slalom ski racing. However, when her parents decided to relocate to the Beautiful Brazilian coastlines of Prea she discovered her love for kitesurfing.


Alongside her brother Camille Delannoy, Capucine began competing in the Kite-Surf discipline in 2019. At just 15 years old Capucine secured her first competition win in the GKA Distance Battles against the reigning world champion Mikali Sol. 

In 2021 Capucine won two of the GKA Kite World Tour stops showcasing exceptional kite-surf maneuvers that no other female riders have landed. Capucine has been crowned Vice World Champion and Junior World Champion in 2021.


Pippa Van Iersel Profile Header


Pippa Van Iersel is one of the most progressive and dynamic riders on the GKA World Tour. The talented Dutch rider competes in both freestyle and big air and has had podium finishes in both disciplines. It was clear from the start that Pippa would be a tough competitor to beat. At her first international competition Pippa made it all the way to the podium, throwing down some huge maneuvers. She has continued to place in the top three on the GKA Freestyle World Tour and placed 3rd overall at the end of 2021. 

Pippa has also been at the foreground of the women’s big air scene and in 2021 she won both the BAKL events in France and Brazil. To top the 2021 year off Pippa received an international sponsorship deal with the popular surf brand, O’neill.


Angely GKA AWARDS Profile Header


Angely Bouillot will go down in history as one of the pioneering females in womens’ big air. The talented kitesurfer started her sports career in ski racing and would occasionally go kitesurfing on her summer holidays.

However, after receiving some comments about her natural ability to kitesurf, at the prime age of 25 Angely decided to turn all her attention to kitesurfing. This was one of the best decisions Angely could have made as she quickly began to gain attention amongst other big air riders. After training all the big air maneuvers in Leucate, Angely decided to submit a wildcard entry video into the Redbull King Of The Air.

After being turned down for three years running in 2020 Angely’s wildcard entry was accepted and she would go down in history as the first female ever to compete in the KOTA. Amongst her other achievements Angely won the Queen is Born in 2019, one of the first ever all female big air events.


Bruna Kajiya GKA Awards


Arguably one of the greatest female freestyle riders of all time, Bruna is 3 x Freestyle World Champion and 6x Vice Freestyle World Champion. Bruna began kitesurfing in 2004 after seeing kitesurfing from her classroom window. Ever since she has been pushing the womens’ freestyle discipline and was the first woman ever to land a double handle pass (also known as a BS315.)

After competing on the World Tour for over 10 years Bruna continues to elevate womens’ freestyle and is currently ranked 2nd on GKA Freestyle World Tour. As well as her three world titles, Bruna has also been 5x Brazilian Champion, 2 x Triple S Champion, and 1 x Latin American Champion.




Rita Arnaus GKA Profile HEader


The highlights of an excellent 2021 for Rita Arnaus was being crowned Vice World Champion 2021 and landing a new sponsorship deal with Porsche and Duotone. Rita’s determination, passion for the sport and strict training regime have helped bring her to the top of her disipline. 

Rita began kitesurfing when she was just 16 years old at her home spot in Sant Pere Pescador.

Rita fell in love with freestyle kitesurfing and competed in her first international competition just two years after learning to kitesurf. As well as being one of the top 3 best female freestyle kitesurfers in the world, Rita has also been crowned Spanish Freestyle Champion on multiple occasions.



Jalou GKA Awards


Jalou Langeree is a household name in the world of kitesurfing. She won her first world Championship in 2012 and proceeded to win again in 2015 and 2018. Jalou has been a true pioneer in the womens’ strapless discipline, pushing women’s wave-riding to another level.

After competing on the world tour for over 15 years Jalou is now taking a step back from competition and instead focusing her attention on sharing her 20 years of kitesurf knowledge with other girls in the sport.



Marcela GKA Awards


Marcela Witt is a Kite-surfer from the beautiful north shores of Brazil. She began kitesurfing at a young age in Rio de Janeiro as her Father and Grandad had taken up the sport. From then on Marcela has dedicated her life to kitesurfing. She is the Brazilian Kite-surf Champion and she recently won the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup in Morocco 2021.

Amongst winning world cup events, Marcela has also been setting world records in her free time. She was recently the first woman ever to kite-surf Nazare Portugal in 2021 and she was also the first woman to Kite-surf in Antarctica. Not only does Marcela compete in Kite-surfing but she is also an avid wingfoiler. In 2021 Marcela was crowned South American Wingfoil World Champion.



Women’s Best Move of the Year – CLICK HERE

Men’s Rider of the Year – CLICK HERE

Men’s Best Move of the Year – CLICK HERE

Social Contribution of the Year – CLICK HERE

The GKA Awards will be given out during a special invitational ceremony in Tarifa on Saturday night, 25th June, during the GKA Big Air World Championships event window, which also sees the GKA Kite Expo take place in the first week. Hold on tight! 

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