Template: common/main-header.twig

Brilliant Bowien shines bright

Bowien van der Linden grasps second event win of season after defeating world champion Nia Suardiaz

Copa Kitley GWA Wingfoil World Cup Brazil 2023
Cauipe, 21–24 November

Having focused attention on the men for the first two days, the 12 women registered to compete were amped for their competition to get underway.

There was a question mark raised whether the competition would take place in the sea or, in the lagoon, however, Surf-Freestyle is a discipline that in these sea side conditions thrives. 

With an element of freestyle and waves counting towards the overall score, that allows riders to showcase the breadth of the sport-and that’s exactly what saw from the women’s fleet.

Double Dutch

When the grand finale arrived, it was a face-off between Nia Suardiaz (ESP) taking on Bowien van der Linden (NED), a match-up we’ve seen a handful of times this year. With two wave scores counting alongside two freestyle tricks, Van der Linden knew that this event was a great chance to take victory.

Suardiaz opened up the final with two solid back-to-back freestyle tricks, one of which included a Backflip that scored 7.53. Backflips are relatively new to the women’s fleet and Suardiaz is one of the only women who comfortably lands these consistently. 

Van der Linden didn’t score above a 5 for her freestyle tricks, however, it was in the waves where she delivered. Her opening wave scored a big 7.0 which included an ariel pop into the pocket. Her second wave of a 6.70 created the backup needed to counteract the lower freestyle scores. 

Suardiaz, who struggled to pick the right waves, was unable to find her groove and that ultimately handed the Dutchwoman the title in Cauipe.

“Oh, this is amazing,” said Van der Linden. “I really had no idea what was going on during the heat, I was just doing my own thing out there. There were super good waves and I’m so happy with my performance”. Her smile spoke a thousand words as she took her second Surf-Freestyle event of the year. 

Suardiaz on top of world

Despite her second-place finish, it has has been a year to remember for Suardiaz. “The waves were really tricky and I found reading the ocean almost impossible,” she said. “I didn’t catch many good waves but I did the best I could with them.”

The Spaniard, however, dominated all season, taking victory at five out of a possible seven Surf-Freestyle events. She clinched the world title in September in Denmark. 

She also claimed the FreeFly-Slalom world a few days later at the same event. During 2022 Suardiaz came so close to winning both disciplines, narrowly missing out on Paula Novotna (CZE) and Flora Artzner (FRA). Her 2023 results reflect her towering performances, which may well see her dominate again next season.

Podium for Marchetti

Sofia Marchetti (ITA) received a third-place finish for her performance in Brazil. The athlete has shown vast improvements throughout 2023, so her podium finish was well-earned. Although the mini-final didn’t go ahead due to an injury suffered by Orane Ceris (FRA), Marchetti will take heart from result and hope for even progress next season. 

For Ceris , her year ended with an unfortunate knee injury picked up in her semi-final. During her heat against Van der Linden. The French rider, coming out of New Caledonia, was already wearing a knee brace coming into the event. But a hard landing in a freestyle trick brought Ceris back to the beach, ending the heat was over. 

The Frenchwoman was one of the first females to land the Backflip in competition and having continuously pushed the women’s division. She always has tight battles with Suardiaz and the hope is she will make a speedy recovery in time for the opening of the 2024 calendar.

words: Liam Dredge
images: Svetlana Romantsova

Copa Kitley GWA Wingfoil World Cup Brazil
Women’s Surf-Freestyle results

1 Bowien van der Linden (NED)
2 Nia Suardiaz (ESP)
3 Sofia Marchetti (ITA)
4 Orane Ceris (FRA)

Image for MacDonald lands back-to-back wins in Spain

MacDonald lands back-to-back wins in Spain

Young American world champion in league of his own as he takes Surf-Freestyle win with untouchable display in Tarifa

Read this article
Image for Suardiaz tightens grip on repeat title in Tarifa

Suardiaz tightens grip on repeat title in Tarifa

Spanish world champion takes Surf-Freestyle win on home waters
as men's contest remains perfectly poised for big finish

Read this article
Image for Title holders seek to cement bids for crowns

Title holders seek to cement bids for crowns

Second stop of Surf-Freestyle title race set to kick off at fifth edition of Tarifa Wing Pro in high-stakes drama

Read this article
Image for Wingfoil Youth Worlds set for the Canaries

Wingfoil Youth Worlds set for the Canaries

Winners in FreeFly-Slalom and Surf-Freestyle disciplines to be crowned at one-stop GWA Youth World Championships

Read this article