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Non-Stop Racing for Day Two in Rhodes, Greece

Friday 15th July 2022
Words: Gemma Hamaini
Photos: John Markantonis / Andromedas Sfakianou

It was an exceptional day of racing in Rhodes, Greece as we completed 7 eliminations for the women and 3 eliminations for the men in optimal racing conditions. 

It was a windy start at Kritika Beach in Rhodes, Greece for the second day of the GWA Race Class European Championships. After a long day of waiting yesterday, the riders were eager to get started today, and wasted no time in hitting the water. The course was set, and the athletes were ready for action. We progressed through the eliminations at a steady pace, with athletes displaying an impressive level of racing from the very start.

There were two main battles being fought today, the first was between Paula Novotna and Nia Suardiaz who were neck and neck during every single race. The second was between Francesco Cappuzzo and Mathis Ghio, who also fought a tight dual throughout the day.

Women’s Eliminations

We completed 7 full eliminations for the women today, where Paula Novotna and Nia Suardiaz were in tight competition throughout the day. They went back and forth, until after 6 eliminations they were even with three wins each. It all came down to the final race of the day, where Nia managed to fly through the start and gained a solid lead on Paula. Despite her best efforts, Paula could not beat her, and Nia took the win for the 7th elimination. Kylie Belloeuvre finished the day with several 3rd place finishes after riding consistently during the final races of the day.

With two days of competition left, we are sure we will see the dual between these two riders continue. 

“It was really intense racing today,” explained Nia.”It was hard to beat Paula. The conditions earlier were a bit light but the wind got really good later on. I enjoyed the second race course set-up as it was more technical and really good fun.”

The overall results after 7 eliminations are as follows:

1st Nia Suardiaz (ESP)

2nd Paula Novotna (CZE)

3rd Kylie Belloeuvre (FRA)

Men’s Eliminations

Meanwhile there was an entirely different battle forming in the men’s division. Francesco Cappuzzo started the day strong with a dazzling performance during the first elimination. He seemed unstoppable, until the 2nd elimination final where Mathis Ghio showed great determination to take the win. 

It all came down to the third elimination where Francesco Cappuzzo had a solid start and maintained his lead for the first three marks, however, as soon as they reached the upwind section, Mathis Ghio accelerated into the lead, leaving Cappuzzo unable to catch up to him. Mathis was delighted to win his second elimination of the day, leaving Cappuzzo in second and Bastien Escofet in third. 

After three complete eliminations, Bastien Escofet proved that consistency is key, and although he did not win any eliminations today, he did gain a 4th, 2nd and 3rd finish, which gives him the overall lead above Ghio and Capuzzo.

With two more days of racing left, we will have to wait and see if Escofet can maintain his lead, or if Ghio or Capuzzo will knock him from his top spot. 

“I’m really happy with my riding today,” said Mathis. “It was a really tight battle. I felt really fast and I was happy with my speed. It’s amazing to ride here in Rhodes, it’s windy all day and it’s perfect. I really liked the second course set-up, it was really enjoyable. I think if we can push for more race courses like this it would be amazing.”

The overall results after 3 eliminations are as follows:

1st Bastien Escofet (FRA)

2nd Mathis Ghio (FRA)

3rd Francesco Cappuzzo (ITA)

4th Riccardo Zorzi (ITA)

U16/U19/Masters

We also ran 3 full eliminations today for the U16/U19 and Masters categories. The overall results so far are:

U16

1st Xavier Corr (ESP)

2nd Axel Gerard (FRA)Bobo Gallagher (USA)

3rd Bobo Gallagher (USA)

U19

1st Riccardo Zorzi (ITA)

2nd Luca Franchi (ITA)

3rd Petros Kontarinis (GRC)

Masters

1st Benjamin Billarant

2nd Giorgios Tampuris

3rd Pawel Bielinski

With two more days of competition left, anything can happen. We will run a maximum of 15 eliminations which could allow up to 3 discards, so there are still many possibilities. Tomorrow the skipper’s meeting has been called for 11.30am with the first possible start at 12pm. Be sure to stay tuned as the fastest wingfoilers out there fight their way to the top. 

Follow all of the live scoring from the GWA Wingfoil Race Class European Championship in Rhodes here.

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