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Breakout stars look to build momentum in Fuerte

GWA to make historic tour stop at Sotavento in second of back-to-back world cup events in Canaries

GWA Wingfoil World Cup Fuerteventura
Playa Sotavento, 21–26 July, 2023

The breakout stars of the GWA Wingfoil World Tour will seek to build momentum at the second of back-to-back events this week in the Canary Islands, Spain.

The GWA Wingfoil World Cup Fuerteventura is set to stage the Surf-Freestyle and FreeFly-Slalom disciplines at the fifth tour stop of the year at Playa Sotavento.

The athletes who put in big performances at last week’s tour stop at Pozo Izquierdo, in neighbouring Gran Canaria, in cranking 35-40 knots winds, will be hoping to repeat their success.

But with the prospect of slightly less wind—in the 20-25 knots range—the conditions could help shake up the order among the 40 men and 10 women, from 14 nations around the world, who are slated to battle.

The on-going duel in the Surf-Freestyle discipline between the US’s Chris MacDonald and reigning world champion Malo Guénolé (FRA) will no doubt be enthralling.

Knocking on the door

The extraordinary MacDonald, 17, looks to have the upper hand at the moment after stunning performances in Pozo Izquierdo that helped him take the win. Guénolé, 18, failed to make the final after his run was end by new-comer, Germany’s Benjamin May, in the quarter finals.

May,19, had thrown down remarkable performances in Pozo Izquierdo and will be hoping he can pick up where he left off in Sotavento. But it was the Spanish 15-year-old Axel Gerard who dispatched May in the semi-final with a massive heat in Pozo.

Gerard, in his first final, found himself up against the unstoppable MacDonald. The American dominated the encounter with a monster performance, but Gerard will undoubtedly have learned a lot that he will take to the upcoming Sotavento stop.

Other big names like Alan Fedit (FRA), Bastien Escofet (FRA), Jerome Cloetens (ESP), and Oscar Leclair (FRA) will be looking to to avenge their defeats in Sotavento

But there is also a big roster of young and fast-improving athletes, like 12-year-old Benjamin Castenskiold (DEN), Xavi Corr (ESP), Ancor Sosa (ESP) and Noé Cuyala (FRA), who are knocking on the door.

Hoping for reset

In the men’s FreeFly-Slalom Bastien Escofet, who had been tour leader going into the Pozo event, will be hoping for a reset. He finished down the order, behind veteran racer Titouan Galea (FRA), who dominated to secure the win.

Italy’s Francesco Cappuzzo and Alan Fedit, who took the second and third podium steps, will want to go one better in the different wind and water conditions offered by Sotavento.

In the women’s Surf-Freestyle and FreeFly-Slalom Spain’s Nia Suardiaz, 16, is in such dominant form it is hard to see her closest rivals, the French riders Orane Ceris and Flora Artzner, upsetting the established order.

But anything possible and whatever the outcome, the show will be thrilling. Join us for all the action here.

words: Ian MacKinnon
images: Lukas K Stiller

Spot Info: Sotavento, Fuerteventura

The weather in Fuerteventura, Spain, during July, ranges around 25-30C with sunrise around 07:15 and sunset at 21:00.

Wind and water
July is a great month for wind in Fuerteventura. The wind regularly blows 20-25+ knots, coming from the north/north-east, which blows side offshore at Sotavento. The water is choppy with occasional kickers rolling in with the swell. Water temperature is 23-24 C, so bring a shorty or summer wetsuit.

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