Teenagers Nia Suardiaz and Malo Guénolé upended the form books when they lifted the crowns on the penultimate day of the Copa Kitley GWA Wingfoil World Cup Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Spain’s Suardiaz, 16, turned the tables and avenged her finals’ defeat at the first stop of the pure surfing wave tour in Cape Verde in March, when she was beaten by the US veteran, Moona Whyte.
“I’m super-happy to have won this competition,” said Suardiaz. “I’ve been training a bit since Cape Verde and the conditions here were super-good. We had some nice swells and good wind. I want to become world champion in Surf-Freestyle and FreeFly-Slalom really badly, so I didn’t expect the win here.”
France’s Guénolé, 18, the current Surf-Freestyle world champion, was equally surprised to find himself top of the pile in Brazil in his first pure surfing wingfoil competition.
“I’m pretty stoked with this first place,” said Guénolé. “It’s my first wave event ever. Pretty stoked because the conditions are feeling like back at home. The waves are my favourite thing in wingfoiling because I’m coming from surfing. So, yes, over the moon.”
Day 11 of the world cup, hosted at Saquarema’s iconic break, saw the competition again move to an alternate location to provide the best wind and wave conditions for the wingfoilers as their 12-day competition window was closing.