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The Malo and Flora Show at the Copa Kitley GWA Wingfoil World Cup Brazil!

Back to school! 17-year-old Malo Guenole leaves Brazil as the new GWA Surf-Freestyle World Champion after coming through a nail-biting day. Flora Artzner fulfilled her own promise, having been tipped by her competitors to take the women’s event win with her super fluid wave riding. Paula Novotna had already sealed the Championship, though.

Here’s how day three of the Copa Kitley GWA Wingfoil World Cup Brazil played out:

After two action packed days of competition, the big business of day three on the men’s side was finding out who would finally take the Surf-Freestyle championship home!

There were sensational performances throughout both the men’s and women’s competition.

Paula Novotna had already won the women’s championship before this event, but there was a lot of pride on the line to win this battle in the best wave conditions of the season.

MEN

All eyes were on the moments that Malo Guenole hit the water. Now deeply into the elimination phase, every heat was a matter of life and death.

He needed to reach the final to steal the championship lead from Gollito Estredo who had already exited the competition, having lost his wing on the inside section, wasting valuable heat time on day two against Clemont Hamon.

Malo’s first heat of the day was a quarter final match-up against fellow French surfer, Clement Roseyro. A clean frontside 720 and an 8.33 wave ride in the final moments helped him through that one, once again breaking the 20 point heat score.

The all-important semi-final match-up loomed next, and it was against non other than Titouan Galea.

This heat would decide the fate of the championship:

Galea had already ripped his way past Hugo Marin in the first heat of the day and, as reigning Champion, he wasn’t about to lay down here.

Gollito looked on from the beach, hoping Titouan could do him a favour and take Malo out.

An epic heat, full of powered turns and fully committed airs flew by in ten minutes.

Malo brushed the pressure from his shoulders and continued to hunt out wave after wave, connecting sections and setting his foil loose in the wave, time and again.

Titouan lost his board on the inside in the final moments and Gollito knew it was all over. Malo Guenole had done enough to take the win, 21.90 to 20.33, with a big front flip and two tightly packed wave rides doing the business.

At 17, the French up and comer has now arrived and is the 2022 GWA Wingfoiling Surf-Freestyle World Champion!

WOMEN’S FINAL
Flora Artzner (FRA) V Bowien van der Linden (NLD) 

Although she had the championship already sealed, Paula Novotna was disappointed not to make the final, having lost out to current champion, Bowien van der Linden in the semis.

The women’s final saw the event’s best wave riders compete in the ultimate heat – Flora Artzner had been tipped to win by most of her competitors, thanks to her bold and fluid wave attack, but Bowien was first to find her groove.

The Dutch rider followed an early frontside three with two well connected wave rides.

Sure enough though, within a few minutes, Flora once again was showing her fluidity for more high wave scores. Having taken a break from her career as a marine biologist to commit to the tour, the French rider’s constant arcing flow, back and forth, up and down the faces, really left its mark on this event.

Bowien caught her wing in a good looking wave near the end of the heat and its canopy was badly sliced apart during the wipeout.

Although the last two minutes were tense with both riders caught on the inside, Flora had already done enough to take her first Surf-Freestyle event win.

WOMEN’S MINI-FINAL: Paula Novotna (CZE) Nia Suardiaz (ESP) 

Nia Suardiaz took the last blood of the season by hopping beyond Paula Novotna’s heat score in the dying moments after a season-long rivalry that saw Novotna nail the championship in Tarifa. In the end, wave selection came through for Nia, and although she’ll have wanted more than third place, revenge will have been somehow sweet.

COPA KITLEY GWA WINGFOIL WORLD CUP BRAZIL
WOMEN’S EVENT RESULTS:
1 Flora Artzner (FRA)
2 Bowien Van Der Linden (NLD)
3 Nia Suardiaz (ESP)

GWA WINGFOIL SURF-FREESTLE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2022
FINAL STANDINGS
WOMEN:
1 Paula Novotna (CZE)
2 Nia Suardiaz (ESP)
3 Flora Artzner (FRA)

MEN’S FINAL: Malo Guenole (FRA) V Camille Bouyer (FRA)

Although he’d clearly been having fun all event, with the championship now in the bag, Malo Guenole could finally fully relax in the final against Camille Bouyer.

Camille took the fight to Malo with both riders landing big tricks and making attempts to land front flips into the wave.

Malo led at the halfway point by doing what he’d done all event; reading the wave perfectly to make big turns and explosive airs.

Yet again, he broke far beyond the 20 point barrier with 22.44 and took the top step of the podium at this incredible season finale. Scoring a solid 19.24 in second, Camille secured third place in the championship.

Coming off the water, Malo told Gemma Hamaini on the stream, “After winning the title, it was all fun and when you have fun it’s easier to ride well. I’ve been in Brazil for three weeks, so now I think I have to go home and do school again for a bit!”

MEN’S MINI-FINAL
Titouan Galea (FRA) V Maxime Chabloz (CHE)

The men’s mini-final between Titouan Galea and Maxime Chabloz was one of the most tightly contested heats of the day. Both riders peaked in intensity and performance.

The lead changed hands twice in the final minutes, and both riders broke through 20 point scores, telling you the quality of the heat! But in the end Maxime’s flips and top to bottom wave riding and air combos won through!

COPA KITLEY GWA WINGFOIL WORLD CUP BRAZIL
MEN’S EVENT RESULTS:
1 Malo Guénolé
2 Camille Bouyer
3 Maxime Chabloz

GWA WINGFOIL SURF-FREESTLE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2022
FINAL STANDINGS
MEN
1 Malo Guénolé (FRA)
2 Gollito Estredo (VEN)
3 Camille Bouyer (FRA)

Fully deserved, Malo and Flora Artzner won this final event of the season after being the best performing wave riders throughout. That puts the lid on the Surf-Freestyle discipline for 2022.

WATCH LIVE

On Saturday, the Surf-Slalom riders begin their final campaigns… where Flora Artzner and Titouan Galea are already dominant and out in front!

Watch how the competition unfolds live on the stream which will begin again on Saturday morning – find all you need on the event live page here. First possible start for the action is 11.00 (GMT -3)

Words: Jim Gaunt
Photos: Svetlana Romantsova
Video team: Julien Leleu and Diogo Cardoso
Video edits: Carlos Ortola

Surf-Freestyle World Champions, Malo Guenole and Paula Novotna
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