After completing round one and half of round two in the men’s division yesterday, the competition continued today with an earlier start. A large 42 rider fleet meant the judges and crew were eager to start the competition at the earliest convenience given the wind was strong enough. A similar forecast was scheduled with cloudy skies to begin, but as the afternoon hours hit the blue skies came out, trade winds kicked in and it was full power at the GWA Wingfoil World Cup here in Lanzarote.
Yesterday saw Paula Novotna (CZE) seal the deal on her second surf-freestyle event win of the year. The win now puts her ahead of close competitor Nia Suardiaz (ESP) in the rankings race. A familiar pattern with these two ladies making the final in all three events so far. Going into the final tied on 1870 points that first-place finish was even more important and grasped by Novtona after a thrilling battle.
Day two – Thursday 7th – Pure focus was on the men’s surf-freestyle. At 11.45 heats were underway with the last action taking place at 19.00
Day two was a day to remember with a stronger breeze than yesterday. A solid 24 knots blew throughout the majority of Thursday’s action and every heat was like a final with riders going bigger than ever before, making full use of the ramps that lined up.
Christopher Macdonald (USA) and Balz Müller (CHE) came into the competition as joint leaders but it was Gollito Estredo (VEN) that took the win and those all-important points at this stage in the tour rankings.
The early heats were just as competitive as the finals with exits from current tour leader Christopher Macdonald, Tituoan Galea (FRA) and Francesco Cappuzzo (ITA). As the big names were ejected the competition was well and truly up for grabs with riders looking to make a name for themselves at this hotly contested event.
When the final came around Gollito Estredo (VEN) was up against Malo Guenole (FRA) who hadn’t put a single foot wrong all competition. At a young 16 years of age, Guenole didn’t compete in Silvaplana and looked highly determined to get a result, but was up against a legend in the watersports world. This was a final to remember and went down to the final buzzer.
Gollito started off the heat with two huge scores both in the nines. A 9.10 back loop closely followed up with a 9.23 front loop sent Estredo into orbit! Malo fired the shot back with a front flip scoring 9 and a frontside 720 putting another 7.43 points on the card.
As Gollito looked to be winning Malo pulled the trigger and rocked a huge 8.60 back flip which sent the crowd into carnage towards the end of the heat! It came down to the all-important impression score, which often made the difference in these gripping heats!
It was a patient wait on the beach before Gollito Estredo grasped his first-ever GWA tour win, but certainly one he’s been promising this season,, and boy did he celebrate. His crazy 37.79 was the score of the day, and needed to get the better of Malo’s 34.50.
The mini-final produced a thrilling 8 minutes. Xavier Corr (ESP) faced Balz Müller (CHE) in a heat that had it all. Big scores from both riders got thrown with Balz Müller getting the highest from a back loop 7 scoring 8.43. In the end, Müller edged the win after missing out on Malo in the semis.
GWA WINGFOIL WORLD CUP LANZAROTE
MEN’S SURF-FREESTYLE PODIUMS
Gollito Estredo (VEN)
Malo Guenole (FRA)
Balz Müller (CHE)
Xavier Corr (ESP)
A day for the history books at the GWA Wingfoil World Cup Lanzarote. Crazy maneuvers, unparalleled height, multiple rotations and tight scores put everyone on their feet! A huge congratulations to Gollito Estredo for taking the win and stirring up the rankings! The final witness today has to be the best we’ve seen on the tour to date.
Back again tomorrow with a good forecast we’ll be looking at some surf-slalom exhibitions with the live stream running every step of the way.