Template: common/main-header.twig

MacDonald lands back-to-back wins in Spain

Young American world champion in league of his own as he takes Surf-Freestyle win with untouchable display

GWA Wingfoil World Cup Spain 2024
Tarifa Wing Pro
01—04 May, Valdevaqueros 

The current Surf-Freestyle world champion, the US’s Chris MacDonald, dominated the second call at the GWA Wingfoil World Cup Spain to take back-to-back wins in the season’s opening stops.

MacDonald, 18, convincingly won the Tarifa Wing Pro at Valdevaqueros, the site where he clinched the GWA Surf-Freestyle crown last year for the first time. Barely a month ago he won the first stop at Mondial du Vent in Leucate, France.

“In Leucate it was more like 60 knots, here we were lucky if it was 22 knots, so, different conditions,” said MacDonald. “It was different riding here and I think everyone did really good. I’m just stoked to see the sport evolving and stoked with the win here.”

The second day of the Tarifa Wing Pro, which was again hosting the Surf-Freestyle discipline of the GWA Wingfoil World Tour, was down to the last 16 men after Tarifa local, Nia Suardiaz, won the women’s event on the opening day.

The quarter-finals were bangers that might have been worthy of a final on any other day. The competition was so intense that there were a few unexpected big name casualites.

France’s Alan Fedit made a surprise early exit despite posting some good scores in the Poniente breezes that built to 20 knots. The young Austrian Aleksander Acherer came close to moving to his first semi-final and posted an 8.27 from 10 for a Backmobe, but was just outpointed.

Surprise faller

In another quarter-final, the young Spaniard, Xavi Corr, was on fire and chalked up the biggest score of the whole competition, 9.97 for a Backmobe 3, that helped him progress.

Another surprise quarter-final faller was Noé Cuyala (FRA). He had taken the second podium step Leucate, but was overhauled by Tomas Acherer (AUT) and Luca Vuillermet (FRA).

The first semi-final was the tightest contest of the competition. Less than a point separated the top three riders.

Clément Hamon (FRA) was unfortunate to lose and see his run ended despite his big Backloop Frontside 3 that earned 9.0. Countryman Axel Gerard, 15, and Xavi Corr (ESP) had got their noses in front and progressed to the final.

The second semi-final was huge. Tomas Acherer was unable repeat the form of his earlier heat despite an 8.90 for a Frontflip Frontside 3. Malo Guénolé was just edged out even though he pocketed 8.73 for an Innovation trick.

That saw Axel Gerard (FRA) and Chris MacDonald join Xavi Corr, 16, and Bastien Escofet (FRA) in the grand final as the Poniente filled in to about 25 knots.

Shaky start

In the final Xavi Corr was unable to repeat his earlier heroics, in spite of a strong 8.70 for an Innovation move, and ended in fourth. Bastien Escofet seemed to be cruising to the second podium place with a clutch of high-scoring tricks, including 8.87 for a Backmobe, but just came up short.

Axel Gerard suffered a shaky start to the heat after a number of crashes. But his three closing tricks were on the money and he landed a Frontside 10 for 8.43 followed by a Backmobe for 8.53 that helped ease him into second place.

“I finished second here in Tarifa and I’m really stoked because I improved my result from Leucate,” said Gerard. “I’m also stoked to finally do a final in Tarifa. I’ve never been in a final here, so I’m really happy about that. So, I’ll definitely be training for the next event.”

World champion Chis MacDonald even seemed a little rattled after a couple of early crashes in the heat. But several Innovation tricks—one for 9.23—settled any nerves. He then threw down a Backmobe 3 for 9.43 that sealed the deal.

words: Ian MacKinnon
images: Samuel Cárdenas

GWA Wingfoil World Cup Spain results

1 Christopher MacDonald (USA)
2 Axel Gerard (FRA)
3 Bastien Escofet (FRA)
4 Xavi Corr (ESP)

Event information

  • Location: Bibo Beach House, Valdevaqueros
  • Dates: 01—04 May, 2024
  • The official Race Notice and event schedule can be found here.
  • All event information here.

Find everything about GWA Wingfoil World Cup Tarifa by clicking event news.

Follow us here

  • Follow the event page: liveticker and live scoring
  • Follow our Instagram and our new Facebook account for behind the scenes action and event updates
  • Subscribe to our newsletter for end of day reporting
  • Check out our youtube channel for daily highlight videos
Image for Suardiaz tightens grip on repeat title in Tarifa

Suardiaz tightens grip on repeat title in Tarifa

Spanish world champion takes Surf-Freestyle win on home waters
as men's contest remains perfectly poised for big finish

Read this article
Image for Title holders seek to cement bids for crowns

Title holders seek to cement bids for crowns

Second stop of Surf-Freestyle title race set to kick off at fifth edition of Tarifa Wing Pro in high-stakes drama

Read this article
Image for Wingfoil Youth Worlds set for the Canaries

Wingfoil Youth Worlds set for the Canaries

Winners in FreeFly-Slalom and Surf-Freestyle disciplines to be crowned at one-stop GWA Youth World Championships

Read this article
Image for Champions celebrate debut wins in Leucate

Champions celebrate debut wins in Leucate

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

Read this article