GWA Wingfoil Freefly Slalom World Cup

35th Fuerteventura World Cup kicks off. Tradition meets premiere

21.07.2023 - For wind-powered water sports enthusiasts, summertime means above all: Fuerteventura. Because the Canary Island will host the 35th PWA World Tour windsurfing championships. Premiere: For the first time, the wingfoilers of the GWA Wingfoil World Tour will be part of the event. Like the windsurfers, the wingfoilers will also find ideal conditions on the canary island.

The south of Fuerteventura spoils the wind-driven professional athletes with a rare combination: the reliable trade winds are locally amplified, so that even the best are extremely challenged. At the same time, the competitions take place almost within reach of the shore, which pleases the spectators. The white sandy beach of Sotavento and a turquoise sea visually crown the spectacle.

This year, competitions in a total of four disciplines will take place on Fuerteventura. The wingfoilers will be collecting world ranking points in Surf Freestyle and FreeFly Slalom. 40 men and 13 women registered for the wingfoilers' competitions on 21 July and then showed what incredible tricks they can do in a spectacular super session.

French wing pro Oscar Leclair commented, "It's my first time in Fuerteventura," Leclair said. "It's a super cool place with super wind. It's a great event with a great festival, we will enjoy it and do our best."

Afterwards, the windsurfers will take to the high-speed track. Slalom is considered the Formula 1 of windsurfing and the Sotavento strong winds push the riders to their limits every year as they accelerate their boards to over 80km/h as part of the PWA World Championship Series. Afterwards, it's all about the freestylers. Both men and women compete in all disciplines in Fuerteventura.

For the visitors, however, the event does not end there. A huge marquee attracts with parties and concerts, where dancing legs and arms are swung until the morning hours. On the final days, the competitors traditionally take part. During the day, things are quieter in the marquee, the dancers become sight-seers with the competition arena in plain view...

FreeFly Slalom starts

24/07/2023 - Starting today, the turquoise waters off Sotavento Beach in Fuerteventura will be all about the FreeFly-Slalom discipline for the next three days. The wingfoilers, 36 men and 10 women, will compete in a knockout system in several groups to race around a slalom course with eight buoys.

The addition 'FreeFly' means that on a section of the race course the propulsion by the wing has to be abandoned. Instead, only the foil is pumped over this distance to maintain propulsion. If light swell is then added, then these waves may also be used surfing.

GWA Head Judge Álvaro Onieva on this concept: "This brand new format gives more priority to the FreeFly element. The most important thing is that it is different from highly specialised races and therefore is closer to grassroots riding. Also, the equipment riders need to compete doesn't have to be as technically specialised. Less high-tech, less material, more individual skill with normal equipment. The Frontwings of the hydrofoil, for example, need to be suited for all-round use, in order to work on the course as well as on the FreeFly sections."

However, a look at the equipment used by the pros shows that special racefoils with long masts around one metre in length and small hydrofoils are used in the races. This allows high speeds to be achieved on downwind and upwind courses.

The four riders who are also leading the current GWA Tour overall standings after three events coped best with the racing conditions on Fuerteventura. Titouan Galea (1st), Bastien Escofet (3rd) and Francesco Cappuzzo (4th) each won a race and together with the German-French Alan Fedit (2nd), who consistently foiled in second and third place, currently form the top four.

In the women's event, Spain's Nia Suardiaz dominated with seven wins in seven races. She thus leads the event ranking almost uncatchably. The two Frenchwomen Orane Ceris and Flora Artzner follow in second and third place.

For two more days, the racers will fly over the water on their foils in the south of Fuerteventura until the final results are determined from the addition of all races.

Double victory for Nia Suardiaz at the GWA Wingfoil World Cup on Fuerteventura. After her triumph in surf freestyle, the young Spaniard also took the title in FreeFly-Slalom.

25.07.2023 - This Spaniard is a real challenge for her competitors. After the 16-year-old Nia Suardiaz won the surf freestyle discipline two days ago in Fuerteventura, she continued her winning streak on the race track.

With 13 victories in 15 races, the Spaniard from Andalusia dominated the competition in the FreeFly-Slalom discipline and was able to finish at the top of the podium again after two windy days.

A thrilling duel was fought between the two French women who came second and third. Orane Ceris and Flora Artzner were almost equal on points behind Suardiaz for a long time and were each able to win one of the races on the second day of the event. It all came down to a duel in the last race, in which both wingfoilers fought it out.

In the duel at the buoy it became so tight that both women crashed. Flora Artzner was quicker to get back on the foil and secured second place. Orane Ceris had to let two competitors pass and was only fifth in this decisive run. This result decided the order on the podium - Flora Artzner secured second place only one point ahead of an unlucky Orane Ceris.

The men will determine their results on 26 July.

Titouan Galea (FRA) wins FreeFly-Slalom competition ahead of Francesco Cappuzzo (ITA) and Bastien Escofet (FRA).

Frenchman Titouan Galea wins the FreeFly Slalom race discipline at the GWA Wingfoil World Cup on Fuerteventura. The exciting competition was only decided on the last day in the last race. In the duel with his arch-rival Francesco Cappuzzo from Italy, it looked at first as if Cappuzzo could still steal the victory from the favourite Galea.

Cappuzzo had moved up from fourth to second place since the beginning of the event and won the penultimate race. The overall victory was still within his reach. But it didn't come to that, because the all-important last race was won by Titouan Galea in a gripping fight ahead of Francesco Cappuzzo. The Frenchman celebrated the victory with a backflip directly behind the finish line.

Bastien Escofet from France managed to defend the third place against his compatriot Alan Fedit on the last day of the event.

The PWA Windsurf World Cup with the disciplines slalom and freestyle will follow on Fuerteventura from 27.07. to 05.08.2023.