WHAT IS THE FORMAT FOR SURF-SLALOM?
For the GWA Wingfoil World Cup in Leucate, the Surf-Slalom format has 72 riders entered which is a record number of competitors for the GWA. The format will be four heats with 18 riders in each heat. The top nine from each heat will advance through to the next rounds, by the end there will be 18 riders in the final.
The competitors will commence at the start line, marked by two race boats. They then race down to the first marker and go downwind around the other five markers. After the first heat has gone, the following heat will proceed one minute after. The start of the race requires extreme focus as riders must play their tactics right if they want to cross the start line in the first position.
“The most important part for the riders is the start. The start, in particular, will be tricky as it will be very crowded. We have more people competing in slalom than expected, there are usually 12 riders, but now we have 18.” Juan Antonio Aragon Diaz (head race director).
The challenge with this event is that judges need to obtain a result, but judges are limited on time as the wind has not been playing ball over the last few days. So, to get a result across all the disciplines the judges will do one elimination round in men’s and womens’ Surf-Slalom ,and this will be enough for a result. In an ideal world, the race officers would like to run 6-7 races (elimination rounds) but this is time dependent.
There will also be a Principal Race officer monitoring the start line. He has a lot of responsibility as he has to make sure the flagman raises the flag right on time and nobody crosses the line before the start. If this does happen then, the race would have to be re-run. Principal race officer Rui Meira explains.
“Being Principle Race Officer can be extremely stressful as often riders will dispute saying they didn’t start early, but I have to go with what I see on the line.” If one person crosses the line we have to completely restart the race, so naturally, riders become frustrated. You make a lot of friends doing this job.”