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Suardiaz tightens grip on repeat title in Tarifa

  • Spanish world champion takes Surf-Freestyle win on home waters

  • Men’s contest perfectly poised for big finish after action-packed day

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

Reigning Surf-Freestyle world champion, Spain’s Nia Suardiaz, tightened her grip on another title when she landed the win at the GWA Wingfoil World Cup on home waters at the Tarifa Wing Pro.

The 17-year-old’s Surf-Freestyle event win in front of family and friends came less than a month after her victory in France and puts her in a commanding position half way through the scheduled four stops on this year’s calendar.

“I’m so happy to win here at home in Tarifa with my friends and family,” said Suardiaz. “The wind was light this morning, but it increased to a nice, strong Poniente this afternoon. It was perfect for landing all of my tricks in the final.”

Day 1 of the GWA world cup hosted by the fifth edition of the Tarifa Wing Pro on the town’s iconic Valdevaqueros beach opened with a blustery and early start for the 26 men and 13 women athletes.

With the forecast for the four day event looking tricky, the organisers decided to press ahead with the women’s competition to ensure they would get a result.

Italy’s Sofia Marchetti marked herself out as a contender, winning her early heat with some solid riding and good scores from the judges that were a sign of things to come.

Battle of big guns

By the quarter-finals, the strongest riders were showing their game. France’s Kylie Belloeuvre won her heat and advanced. Her compatriot, Orane Ceris, was also beginning to find her feet again after returning from injury, winning her quarter-final heat.

In the first semi-final, it was a battle of the big guns as the breeze built to more than 20 knots and the sky cleared. Belloeuvre pushed hard but just missed out on a place in the final when she slipped behind.

The Netherlands’ Bowien van der Linden kept her scoreboard ticking over with a clutch of solid numbers, landing all her seven trick attempts. It earned her a place in the final. But it was Sofia Marchetti who got the conditions dialled and took the win.

The second semi-final was a close battle. Ceris earned the biggest trick score of the heat—7.20 from 10 for a Backflip—but just missed out on a place in the final.

Mar de Arce (ESP) was strong and seemed to be heading for the win. But after a shaky start with several crashes Nia Suardiaz pulled it out of the fire and eased her way to the final, along with teammate De Arce.

The final  was a tight affair. De Arce opened strongly and kept landing good scores, but finished in third. Van der Linden had been trailing all throughout the final. But she moved up into second place with her very last score of the heat, 6.0 for an Innovation trick.

Never looked back

“I’m super-happy with my result,” said Van der Linden. “It’s been a really good week of training here with the guys. I got to do some new tricks and innovations and I’m really happy I got to land that in the final. It was a super-exciting heat and I think I made it work.”

Suardiaz did not make the mistake she made in her earlier semi-final and came out of the blocks fast, with a 7.33 for a Backflip to open the heat. From there she never looked back, putting up big numbers that took her total 19.86 from a possible 30.

The opening rounds of the men’s competition witnessed a raft of standout performances filled with innovative new moves from the youngest riders. Spain’s Xavi Corr scored 9.33 for an Innovation trick.

The Austrian Acherer brothers, Tomas and Aleksander, are new faces on the tour. But Tomas’s 24.94 heat total, closely followed by Aleksander’s 22.20, marked them out as ones to watch.

Inevitably, reigning champion Christopher MacDonald (USA) turned it on when he needed, along with Noé Cuyala (FRA), the runner up at the opening stop in Leucate, France, last month.

But Clément Hamon landed the biggest heat score of the day, 25.51 for his three counting tricks. The contest is poised at the quarter-finals stage and there are bound to be fireworks. Join us for all the action.

GWA Wingfoil World Cup Spain results

1 Nia Suardiaz (ESP)
2 Bowien van der Linden (NED)
3 Mar de Arce (ESP)
4 Sofia Marchetti (ITA)

words: Ian MacKinnon
images: Samuel Cárdenas

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.

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