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The Top Racers Prepare for Action in Rhodes

Thursday July 14th, 2022
Words: Gemma Hamaini
Photos: Andromeda Sfakiano

Although the conditions looked promising, the wind did not hold out long enough today for the start of competition. The time was filled with some tow-in action which gave a great show to the crowds on the beach, and a detailed rider’s briefing to discuss all of the ins and outs of the racing competition.


Opening Day

There was a warm welcome on the beach in Rhodes, Greece, this morning as the riders arrived to register for the GWA Wingfoil Race Class European Championships. Greece is well known for its hospitality, and has welcomed the GWA crew and athletes with open arms.

During this event we will run a maximum of 15 eliminations throughout this week of competition, allowing 3 discards. There are 24 men and 6 women registered to compete, and we will be running Open, Youth and Masters categories. 

The course today was fixed as a downwind set-up, which was the most suitable for the lighter wind conditions, but this will be adapted throughout the week to include upwind sections when the wind conditions are stronger.

“The race class is a pure race oriented race format,” explains Alvaro Onieva, Head Protest Judge. “There are no obstacles, pump tracks or similar as we have in the Surf-Slalom discipline. All of the equipment used is more technical and designed specifically for speed. The Race Class is looking like it is heading in an Olympic direction, which is why we have so many categories, which complete the standards required in the Racing Class, and follow the traditional footsteps that would be required in an Olympic category.”

Although this is a European Championship, we have riders from all continents here to compete. Although non-europeans are allowed to participate, they would not be able to win the official European Champion title. 

“I’m from Maui, Hawaii.It’s exciting to be here, it’s my first time travelling internationally, and competing internationally,” said Bobo Gallagher. “I’ve been travelling around Europe for about a month already and it’s been great. The conditions here are lighter than what I am used to in Maui.”

The forecast for the coming days looks very promising, so we will be back tomorrow with what we are certain will be an action-packed day. The skipper’s meeting has been called for 11am, with a first possible start at 11.30am. Stay tuned to our socials for all of the updates. 

Get more detail and follow our live heat ladders / results on the GWA Wingfoil Race Class European Championships page here.

The Instagram stories are packed! Facebook has been firing. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive the all-important video highlights from this and every event this season.

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