Friday 14th October, 2022. Words: Gemma Hamaini Photos: Samuel Cardenas
Men’s round 3 commenced at 11am, in tough conditions,with winds gusting up top 30 knots, it was a true challenge, yet the riders were finding their pace and not holding back. It was an intense day of non-stop action right up until the finals, where we witnessed some of the very best wingfoiling action ever seen.
Men’s Rounds 3 and 4
The battle between generations continued today, and the young guns were pushing harder than ever. Malo Guenole was on fire from the start, and during his first heat of the day in round 3 he landed an unreal frontside 7, scoring 9.5 points, the highest of the day. Chris Mac Donald was not far behind him, and his frontside 7 also gained a solid 9 points, leaving the crowds on the beach speechless with the height and execution.
As the day advanced, the wind speed increased to over 35 knots, making it even more of a challenge to perform well executed, technical tricks. Axel Gerard has been riding consistently well throughout this event, and in round 4 he knocked out veteran competitor Stefan Spiessberger. Malo Guenole defeated a disappointed Maxime Chabloz, who had been looking in fine form during this event so far, but could not keep up with Malo’s pace.
Quarter and Semi-Finals
As we proceeded to the quarter finals the riders continued to perform well despite the raging wind. Camille Bouyer came in with bang, and defeated Alex Gerard by a fraction of a point. Malo Guenole came face to face with Chris Mac Donald Jr in Round 5, two of our top riders battling it out for the chance to advance further in a heat that resembled a final from the very start. Front flips, back flips and frontside 7’s all performed with insane height and clean execution, but Malo managed to push ever so slightly further, and won the heat with his back flip in the final moments, making it the tightest heat of the day.
Xavi Corr and Titouan Galea were the last two to advance into the semi-finals, with Titouan taking out our last event winner and tour leader, Gollito Estredo.
Semi-final 1 saw Camille Bouyer face Malo Guenole for the much-desired spot in the finals. With the heats now reduced to 6 minutes, the pressure to perform was higher than ever. Once again, it all came down to the final trick of the heat, as they had both been neck and neck throughout. Malo once again produced an accomplished display of riding, with his front flips, back flips and impeccable frontside 7. It was close but Camille could not quite top his competitors performance, and the spot in the finals went to Malo.
Xavi Corr is a young local rider, and this was his first ever semi-final at a GWA event. To make the situation even better, he had to face one of the top riders in the world, Titouan Galea for the second semi-final of the day. Xavi opened up landing three solid tricks, whilst Titouan struggled to land his first attempts. However, as we approached the halfway mark, they were almost identical in points. Xavi went all in, feeling comfortable in his home conditions, and on his final trick attempt he threw out an insane frontside 7 scoring 8.73 points, whilst Titouan crashed his last attempt losing valuable points. Xavi deservedly locked down his spot in the finals, where he would face Malo Guenole.
The younger generation have absolutely dominated this event from the start, and our two finalists, Xavi Corr aged 15, and Malo Guenole aged 17, are the perfect example of the new fleet of athletes who are blowing away the competition. Both riders were clearly hungry for the win here in Tarifa. Malo opened with his classic massive backflip scoring 7.2 points. Xavi responded with a backflip of his own, scoring very slightly lower. They continued pushing trick for trick, each one alternatively taking the lead. As it came down to the final moments, Xavi took a slight lead, whilst Malo crashed three valuable trick attempts. He went for a frontside 3 to secure 5.23 points, but it just was not enough as Xavi went all in with a massive frontside 7 to seal the deal scoring 8.37 points and making him the official winner for the GWA Wingfoil World Cup Tarifa Surf-Freestyle discipline at just 15 years of age.
“I’m so stoked to win the GWA here at my home spot of Tarifa,” said Xavi. “Malo put up a really great fight, it was so close. Right at the end I got my 720 which I’m so stoked about. Honestly I’m so happy to win this competition here.”
The final standings for the GWA Wingfoil World Cup Tarifa are as follows:
1st Xavi Corr (ESP)
2nd Malo Guenole (FRA)
3rd Camille Bouyer (FRA)
4th Titouan Galea (NCL)
1st Paula Novotna (CZE)
2nd Nia Suardiaz (ESP)
3rd Bowien van der Linden (NED)
4th Flora Artzner (FRA)
The competition is now completed, just in time as the forecast shows the wind dropping tomorrow. There will still be plenty going on at the beach tomorrow, with the official podiums and closing ceremony taking place at 2pm.
Follow all of the live scoring and live ladders from the GWA Wingfoil World Cup Tarifa here.
It was a stormy and windy morning on the penultimate day of competition in Tauranga, New Zealand. Despite the conditions, we completed 4 eliminations for the men and 11 for the women, with Bastien Escofet and Nia Suardiaz holding the lead.