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Title holders seek to cement bids for crowns

Second stop of Surf-Freestyle title race set to kick off in Tarifa in high-stakes drama

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

The reigning GWA Surf-Freestyle world champions, the US’s Chris MacDonald and Spain’s Nia Suardiaz, will be looking to tighten their grip on the 2024 crowns when the Tarifa Wing Pro springs into action in southern Spain.

The teenage title holders opened the defence of their crowns with convincing wins at the season opener at Mondial du Vent in early April, showing that both athletes were the ones to beat this season.

With four stops slated for the Surf-Freestyle discipline on the GWA Wingfoil World Tour, every event is critical if the pair are to realise their dreams of back-to-back world championship wins.

Suardiaz, 17, has the advantage of fighting on home waters in Tarifa, where she completed a victory lap last season after taking the title earlier in Denmark. MacDonald, 18, had clinched his title in Tarifa.

Ceris strongest competition

Twenty-six men and 14 women from nine nations are set to battle in Tarifa, with stops scheduled for Fuerteventura, Spain, in July, and the season finale in Jericoacoara, Brazil, in November.

In the women’s roster, Orane Ceris (FRA) is the strongest competitor for Suardiaz. Ceris missed the first Surf-Freestyle stop of the tour in Leucate, France, with a knee injury, but is set to return in Tarifa.

Another Spaniard, Mar de Arce, the reigning wingfoil Big Air world champion, showed in France that her freestyle game is fast improving after taking the second step of the podium.

In the big Tramontana winds of Leucate, the men’s world champion Christopher MacDonald (USA) was in his element in conditions that mirrored those of his home spot on Oregon’s Hood River.

Upped his game

MacDonald will hoping for more of the same in Tarifa with the Levante winds. But the Corsican 16-year-old Noé Cuyala (FRA) showed already that he has upped his Surf-Freestyle game enormously in the off-season.

Cuyala chased down MacDonald in Leucate and took second place, closely followed by the French duo of Axel Gerard, 16, and Malo Guénolé, the former world champion, in third and fourth places respectively.

But the Spanish-Belgian veteran, Jerome Cloetens, could be a dark-horse and showed last year that he can never be ruled out because of the variety of his tricks, especially if the wind is a little lighter.

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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