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NO EASY HEATS FOR THE SURF-SLALOM RIDERS IN ST. MORITZ

Tough conditions throughout the day meant riders had to be on their A-game – sun, rain, and thunderstorms, we’ve had it all on Day 2!

Wednesday 15th April 2022
Words: Liam Dredge
Photos: Sailing Energy/Engadinwing
Videos: Aalvaa Media

After a thrilling first day of Surf-Freestyle action in Silvaplana, Wednesday’s focus was on the Surf-Slalom heats. Crew and athletes headed down to St Moritz where the skippers’ meeting took place at 10.30am. Although the early hours of the morning presented a cloudy atmosphere and the forecast was showing heavy rain, the beauty of the swiss alps delayed poor weather and although clouds were still vacant, blue skies appeared with the first heat commencing at 13.45.

A feature we’re proud to introduce for the Ensis Engadinwing by Dakine GWA Wingfoil World Cup is the use of a live Sailmon GPS tracker. Athletes are provided with a device allowing crew and spectators to follow them every step of the way! For close finishes and reliable data, this is a perfect and exciting partnership with Sailmon for Switzerland. 

Day two – Wednesday 15th – lighter winds all morning pushed the start time back. With a big race briefing, the action got underway just before 2pm. Read on for updates on all exciting races that took place despite challenging conditions;

MEN’S SURF-SLALOM

Heats got underway from 13.45 once the thermal wind down in St Moritz filtered through the iconic Swiss mountains. With 40 men in the draw, the first four elimination rounds would see the top five go through to the Semi-Finals with the top five from each Semi-Final making it to the finale.

The highlight of elimination one was a cinematic heat one – gripping, dramatic and full of surprises. The course was one that offered a downwind blast with speedy turns, no upwind tracking, and a finishing straight purely focusing on pumping to victory! Although Camille Bouyer (FRA) was comfortable out in front we saw a battle for the remaining four positions. Turns three and four saw a few mistakes across the playing field. It was a battle for fifth as Maxime Chabloz (SUI) was fighting hard and edging close before grasping the position around the final corner claiming that all-important fifth spot. 

Camille Bouyer continued the impressive form that earned him runner-up in Leucate and he didn’t put a foot wrong during elimination one here in Switzerland. In all three of his elimination rounds, he flew past competitors putting himself in a comfortable position going into elimination round two. 

We managed to run-up to the Men’s elimination 2 progressing all the way to the final before the wind disappeared. Francesco Cappuzzo was looking solid in all heats keeping his hair dry and not putting a foot wrong. It will be very interesting to see how the elimination two final conducts when we regain action in the coming days. As it stands Camille Bouyer (FRA) is in the lead closely followed by Francesco Cappuzzo (ITA) and Alessandro Tomasi (ITA) in third – so good results from these athletes. 

WOMEN’S SURF-SLALOM 

After Tuesday’s battle in Surf-Freestyle the women were eager to get racing down in St Moritz. Following on from a handful of the men’s heats the ladies got underway. Elimination one was a tough stint for the athletes with the wind not wanting to play ball. It had been up and down all day and challenged the fleet to bring out their best skills. Wings were pumping, legs were burning and we saw swimming skills to cross the line – sometimes that’s just the nature of the beast and we don’t always get the conditions we want. Adapting to the scenario and taking the win was Nia Suardiaz (ESP) in first, Orane Ceris (FRA) in second, and Kylie Belloeuvre (FRA). 

Elimination two and three proved further battles for all. Elimination two saw five out of the nine ladies not finishing the race. Flora Artzner (FRA) took her first race win of the day with Maaike Huvermann (NLD) and Orane Ceris (FRA) following closely behind. Elimination three was a similar outcome with conditions really throwing curve balls. In the end, the overall result after three elimination rounds was Maaike Huvermann (NLD) first, Orane Ceris (FRA) second and Nia Suardiaz (ESP) coming in the third position.

We’ll see the men and women back in race action later throughout the week as the wind, unfortunately, didn’t hold for us to continue. They’ll be eager to get amongst some stronger winds back at Silvaplana where the racing will complete in the coming days.

Get more detail from Tuesday’s action through the liveticker text commentary and heat ladders / results on the GWA Wingfoil World Cup Switzerland event page here

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