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Champions celebrate debut wins in Leucate

Reigning champions maintain their dominance in both FreeFly-Slalom and Surf-Freestyle disciplines

GWA Wingfoil World Cup France 2024
6-14 April, Leucate

The final day of the GWA Wingfoil World Cup Leucate has arrived and we have officially crowned our champions. The 27th edition of the Mondial du Vent has once again delivered exceptional conditions in France. Competitors faced formidable winds up to 57 knots, pushing the riders to their limit and separating the strong from the weak.

Featuring 64 riders from 12 nations, the event boasted one of the largest fleets yet, underscoring the ever-evolving nature of wingfoiling as a sport for a new generation. It was exciting to see so many new young faces on the tour.

Exceptional Surf-Freestyle talent

Undoubtedly, one of the standout riders in the men’s Surf-Freestyle category was the talented young French wingfoiler, Noé Cuyala. In every heat, Cuyala, 16, showcased his skill with a new trick, the first Backflip-to-Backflip landed in competition during the semi-finals. Beyond his exceptional talent, Cuyala consistently radiates positive energy and sports a contagious smile, making him a a great role model.

Current Surf-Freestyle world champion, Chris MacDonald (USA), delivered an unparalleled performance at the GWA Wingfoil World Cup Leucate, flawlessly executing every trick in the finals. Despite the cranking Tramontana winds, MacDonald remained unfazed, continually expanding his repertoire of tricks throughout the competition. In the final he landed a huge Frontflip into three consecutive Front 360 rotations. We eagerly anticipate witnessing his new innovations at the upcoming GWA Wingfoil World Cup event in Tarifa.

Malo Guénolé (FRA), renowned for his impressive array of tricks and unique style, was a strong contender for the win in Leucate. While he showcased his skill all the way to the final, Guénolé couldn’t land all the tricks he had planned, resulting in a fourth-place finish. 

Men’s Surf-Freestyle  
1 Chris MacDonald
2 Noé Cuyala
3 Axel Gerard

Women’s rising stars

In the women’s division we had two French upcoming riders, Enoha Laurent, just 13, and Manon Dupé, 14. Both did a stellar job at handling the tough conditions with Laurent making it to her first-ever semi-final in the Surf-Freestyle discipline at her maiden GWA Wingfoil World Cup.

Mar de Arce (ESP) also put on an incredible performance, and is hot on world champion Nia Suardiaz’s heels. De Arce discussed how the event went for her.

“This was actually a really great event for me,” she said. “Even with these crazy conditions I still had a lot of fun. For the next events for sure my goal is to try and catch Nia [Suardiaz] but we all know she is on another level. I am trying new moves, so hopefully these will go well in the next competition.”

Women’s Surf-Freestyle  
1 Nia Suardiaz
2 Mar de Arce
3 Sofia Marchetti

Absolute dominance

De Arce not only executed some highly technical manoeuvres but also executed some impressive height and power in her tricks, which the judges deemed crucial.

However, Suardiaz (ESP) again commanded the spotlight. Her flawlessly executed, fully inverted Backflips graced all her heats, not putting a foot wrong. In the Freefly-Slalom discipline, Suardiaz exhibited absolute dominance over the fleet, creating a considerable gap between herself and her competitors.

Orane Ceris (FRA) is one rider who can challenge the Spanish 17-year-old. Ceris has landed many technical manoeuvres in competition, performing an impressive Backflip herself. The French woman only competed in the Freefly-Slalom discipline in Leucate, but hopes to return to Surf-Freestyle once she has recovered from a knee injury.

Women’s FreeFly-Slalom 
1 Nia Suardiaz
2 Kylie Belloeuvre
3 Mar de Arce

Cappuzzo opens title defence

Bastien Escofet (FRA) proved himself to be one of the most powerful riders in the Surf-Freestyle discipline, impressively executing massive Backflips and Frontflips. Additionally, he emerged as a standout competitor in the FreeFly-Slalom discipline, winning in two elimination rounds. Despite faltering in the finals, where precision was paramount, Escofet’s setback serves as fuel for his determination to return stronger at the next event in Tarifa.

Italian world champion Francesco Cappuzzo demonstrated his adaptability in the new FreeFly-Slalom format. While he faced challenges in the initial rounds, he rallied when it mattered most, seizing victory in the final race. His teammate, Julien Rattotti (FRA), delivered an impressive performance throughout the eliminations,  testament to his off-season training alongside Cappuzzo.

Men’s FreeFly-Slalom
1 Francesco Cappuzzo 
2 Julien Rattotti
3 Riccardo Zorzi 

Event Information

  • Location: Leucate, France
  • Dates: 6-14 April, 2024
  • The official Race Notice and event schedule can be found here.
  • All event information is here.

Stay on top of everything about the event in Leucate by clicking event news.

Liveticker will be updated throughout the day. An highlight video will be published after the event. Written reports will be posted to the website at the end of each competition day.

Event conclusion

The final day of the GWA Wingfoil World Cup Leucate saw a Tow-in Surf Foil competition, where four riders went neck-and-neck to see who could perform the best trick. Yet again Noé Cuyala stole the show with a Backflip-to-Backflip manoeuvre. Cuyala took the win, demonstrating that he has a lot to offer.

It was an unforgettable event here in Leucate at the Mondial du Vent and we look forward to returning next year for another epic showdown.

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