The huge numbers of new riders wanting to compete in Surf-Freestyle and FreeFly-Slalom disciplines has inspired the GWA Wingfoil World Tour to update the entry process for World Cup events through the GWA Qualifying Series.
The recent GWA Wingfoil World Cup France, at Mondial du Vent in Leucate, is a good example of why the new requirements have become necessary.
The men’s side of the draw was oversubscribed, obliging the GWA to limit the number of entries to the full quota of 32 riders for Surf-Freestyle, and 48 for FreeFly-Slalom.
In the Surf-Freestyle draw for Leucate, 20 athletes were admitted by their world ranking, four by video wildcard submissions, five from GWA Qualifying Series positions, one by GWA wildcard and two more given by the Mondial du Vent organiser.
The FreeFly-Slalom’s breakdown for the event was 35 by ranking points, five from the GWA Qualifying Series, four GWA wildcard allocations and four by the local organiser.
The example of Leucate highlights the growing importance of the GWA Qualifying Series events as a pathway into upcoming GWA Wingfoil World Cup events.
The GWA Qualifying Series format will run events in Surf-Freestyle and FreeFly-Slalom disciplines.
There are three tiers of GWA Qualifying Series events:
3 Regular Qualifying Series events
Here is a short explanation what the formats are about and how to enter the GWA Wingfoil World Tour through the GWA Qualifying Series events.
1 GWA Continental events
In this case, the next upcoming Continental event is the GWA Wingfoil European Championships Brest, France, running from 3-8 May, in FreeFly-Slalom and Surf-Freestyle disciplines.
The top three men and women in each discipline at the Europeans will win places at our World Cup events, with a validity for the next three events.
2 GWA Challenger events
It is a GWA Qualifying Series event with enhanced status. In this case it is the event scheduled for Torremolinos, Spain, from 3-4 June, but it will only feature the FreeFly-Slalom discipline.
Again, the top three men and women win places at the GWA Wingfoil World Cup events, valid for the next three events.
Aspiring competitors who failed to get into the Mondial du Vent event, are now being strongly encouraged to compete at the Europeans in Brest, and/or the Challenger event in Torremolinos, in order to secure their spots in the GWA Wingfoil World Tour.
3 GWA Qualifying Series events
At these “regular” Qualifying Series events in the Surf-Freestyle and FreeFly-Slalom disciplines, riders can also collect points to earn qualification for World Cup stops.
The QS ranking will take into account only the best TWO results from the past 12 months in order to determine the number of points.
The number of points on offer at any particular GWA Qualifying Series event are equal. But if it is necessary to break two riders who are tied on points, the points can change according to the number of participants taking part. For further information, please check out the current rule book here.
A FreeFly-Slalom Qualifying Series event with 16 to 32 competitors, for instance, could see riders’ ranking points multiplied by 1.2 to break the tie. The multiplier is a reflection of the fact that it is harder to win an event with many riders, rather than just a few. A similar weighting system will apply to the Surf-Freestyle discipline.
The Wave discipline will have a similar system of qualification to enter the GWA Wingfoil World Tour, as soon as we have the GWA Qualifying Series wave events confirmed.
In addition to the GWA Qualifying Series events, there are additional pathways to qualify for World Cup Events. These include obtaining local and GWA wildcards and submitting video applications for each of the events.
words: Ian MacKinnon
images: Samuel Cárdenas / Sailing Energy