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Spanish resort hosts second historic wingfoil event

  • Costa del Sol beach welcomes wingfoil athletes fighting for coveted GWA World Cup places

  • Clutch of renowned watermen and women to battle for crown in maiden Masters World Cup

GWA Challenger QS and Masters World Cup, Costa Lago Beach, Torremolinos
10-11 June, 2023

The Spanish resort of Torremolinos, on the Costa del Sol, is to host the maiden GWA Challenger Qualifying Series (QS) event, with the top three men and women earning spots on the GWA Wingfoil World Tour.

It is the second successive year that Torremolinos has been at the forefront of the fast-emerging new sport. Twelve months ago it played host to the first GWA QS event that drew riders from around the globe.

Now Torremolinos has also bagged the first Challenger QS, an enhanced qualifying series’ event. The Masters World Cup in the FreeFly-Slalom discipline, for riders of 35 years and above, marks another historic first for the resort which will crown the world champion.

Great Poniente winds

Both FreeFly-Slalom events—the Challenger QS and the Masters—will be run in tandem over two days. Organisers studying weather forecasts chose to run the competitions on 10—11 June, the second of two possible weekends, as they look for the best possible conditions.

Álvaro Onieva, a local and co-organiser with Alex Gamez, is convinced the omens are good for perfect FreeFly-Slalom breezes. The westerly, thermal Poniente winds have been  blowing consistently since January.

“This year the wind’s been great so far, and we definitely expect it to continue,” said Onieva. “We’re just waiting now to confirm the forecast so that we can have as much racing as possible, to make it as fair as possible.”

International campaign

Tourism Torremolinos is the major sponsor of the event and is fully behind the exciting new wingfoil sport. It has used wingfoiling and the competition in an international advertising campaign to promote the sport and the resort.

About 30 racers have registered for the events, with more expected now that the dates are confirmed. A clutch of former windsurfing world champions and Olympic gold medalists are set to compete, highlighting the huge appeal of wingfoiling.

Among the biggest names is Spaniard Marina Alabau. She is a former windsurfing world champion and winner of the Olympic gold in 2012, to list just a few of her many honours.

Cast of star athletes

Spain’s Rámon Pastor, European champion in Formula Windsurf in 2019, will be on the startline, along with Raimondo Gasperini, a national champion in his native Italy on several occasions.

But almost as important as the starry cast of athletes are the 22 riders who have registered for the Fun Race, which Torremolinos is sure will bring joy and promote a sense of community among everyday wingfoilers.

words: Ian MacKinnon
images: Samuel Cárdenas / Michel Martin

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