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GWA Wingfoil World Cup Leucate 2021 | Day One

Report: Sasha Jade / All photos: Samuel Cardenas & Svetlana Romantsova / Video: Mintautas Grigas 

After a nervous time on hold due to travel restrictions the GWA Wingfoil World Tour is stoked to arrive here at Mondial du Vent in Leucate,  to kick off the first event of the 2021 season! 

Due to the global pandemic we’ve put extra precautions in place to ensure our crew and athletes are safe during their time with the GWA Wingfoil World Tour at Mondial du Vent here in France. 

Each rider took a COVID-19 test before being granted entry to our competition zone and GWA bubble. 

Daily temperature and health checks will be taken before the action starts. Thankfully everyone has been given a clean bill of health and the event is off to a very smooth start.

The event is closed to the public and only GWA crew and riders can enter, so make sure you show them some love and support on their social channels to keep the motivation strong!

The two dominant winds here in Leucate are: Tramontana (known for its strong and offshore wind that can gust to 40 knots) and Marin (known for light to moderate side onshore seabreeze).

The clouds were  holding off the wind today, but they certainly were  not holding off the spirits here at Mondial du Vent.

Riders have arrived from all around the world and lift those spirits high to  show what Wingfoiling is all about through their entry from the many different disciplines (Freestyle, Kiteboarding, Windsurfing, Foiling…)

44 men and 8 women registered for the event this morning here at Mondial Du Vent and they are ready to battle it out on the playing fields. With the host of 52 riders in the ranks who are out to unseat the previous event champions  Balz Müller and Eva Weiss when the main event begins.

The competition season has just commenced, so it’s too soon to make any assumptions that the first place positions are by any means unassailable.

15 nationalities have appeared with riders spreading across disciplines and generations. This is by far the most diverse batch of competitors we’ve had in any of our previous competitions!

The pioneers of this new sport are evolving what we know to be possible on a Foil and Wing whilst training for this competition.

GWA Wingfoil World Cup Leucate 2021 | Day One

Before this battle commences, let’s just clarify the judging criteria so we all have a clear idea about the rules on the playing field.

The two different elimination ladders are being used for the event:

  1. Dingle elimination for surf-freestyle discipline. 
  2. Single elimination for surf-race discipline. 

Judging criteria for Surf-Freestyle:

The Surf-Freestyle riders are judged by the quality of the manoeuvres and fluidity of their surfing. The bigger boards tend to be used for the surf-freestyle format as it gives more buoyancy throughout the move.

What judges are looking for are elements of:

  • Surfing waves/ swell
  • Air-tricks
  • Carving/Surfrace tricks
GWA Wingfoil World Cup Leucate 2021 | Day One

For the waves the judges will be analysing the following:

(a) Degree of difficulty of the manoeuvres performed.
(b) Commitment in the manoeuvres performed and the risk taken to perform them.
(c) Variety and combination of manoeuvres within the same wave.
(d) Speed and power.
(e) Flow and linking of manoeuvres.
(f) Size of the waves ridden, directly linked to the degree of difficulty of manoeuvres performed on each wave.
(g) Innovative and progressive manoeuvres.
(f) Wave selection

 

For the tricks:

(a) Height and amplitude
(b) Technical Difficulty
(c) Power
(d) Risk factor
(e) Smoothness
(f) Innovation
(g) Speed in and out of the move
(h) Style

Judging criteria for Surf-Race:

The concept is simple; the first person who crosses the finish line wins the race. Riders have to navigate among the series of boys depending on the conditions and placement of set marks. Wings tend to be smaller creating more speed for less resistance and drag. Boards are smaller as well as the rider needs to get up on the water only once and the goal is to never touch the water.

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Although the clouds have won the battle with the wind today, the riders hit the water for a quick tow in session to get warmed up for tomorrow’s first possible start of the competition announced at 10 am CET.

Stay tuned for real time updates on the event Live ticker.

You can find all the pictures on Our Gallery

GWA Wingfoil World Cup Leucate 2021 | Day One
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GWA Wingfoil World Cup Leucate 2021 | Grand Finale

The sun was out bright and early on the last day here at Mondial du Vent, bright and early this morning, lighting the way to the playground for the final time. It's a beautiful clear morning here, with a cold 20kts Tramontana chill blowing through the air. The women’s Surf-Freestyle heats  were up first. 

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GWA Wingfoil World Cup Leucate 2021 | 3, 2, 1, ACTION!

We had a sopping wet morning here in Leucate, with a thrilling 8 degrees Celsius, the perfect temperature to chill the riders nerves before their heats. But the rain certainly didn’t dampen the mood as finally…THE WIND ARRIVED!  Competitors made their way to the beach nice and early, croissants in mouths and suited up in an extra layer or two to the 8am skippers meeting held at the shore.

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Image for GWA Wingfoil World Cup Leucate 2021 | Day Three

GWA Wingfoil World Cup Leucate 2021 | Day Three

Today we had our first sunny start here in Leucate! The substantial breeze blew hope through the air during the morning skippers meeting.  Aiming to speed up the tempo of the event, judges planned to kick off with the Surf-Racing discipline. Riders were told to remain alert for the calls, as the GWA Wingfoil World Tour race director Dani Jimenez and GWA head judge Mallory de la Villemarqué headed to the beach to plan the race course of the day.

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