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Wave champions set to open title defence

‘I really switched my way of riding. It’s going to be completely different this year. It’s an upgrade.’ Wesley Brito, world champion

GWA World Cup Cape Verde 2024
16-25 February, Ponta Preta / Kite Beach, Sal

The legendary waves of Cape Verde are set to be the stage for the opening round of the Wave discipline on the GWA Wingfoil World Tour, kick-starting the 2024 season.

Reigning GWA Wave world champions, Cape Verde’s Wesley Brito and the US’s Moona Whyte, are slated to open the defence of the titles they clinched in the ground-breaking discipline’s first year in 2023.

The Wave tour is again scheduled to hold three calls, on three continents, to decide who will wear the 2024 crowns. In the pure surfing discipline, the athletes are judged on their carving and commitment in the swell, as well as aerial manoeuvres without using the power of the wing.

The iconic right-hand pointbreak of Ponta Preta, on Sal island, hosted last year’s event, when the wingfoilers proved they could handle its challenging and hollow wave. But if conditions dictate, this year’s contest might also be held at Kite Beach, on the east side of the island.

The men’s Wave world champion, Wesley Brito, won the title after taking the first stop last year. Together with his other showings at subsequent events in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Dakhla, Morocco, it was enough to give him the crown.

Teenage chargers

But during the season the wingfoil Wave landscape in the young discipline changed dramatically. Brito found himself tested by teenage chargers like Malo Guénolé (FRA) and Cash Berzolla (USA) and knows this year he will have his work cut out to repeat his victory.

“I’ve been training some new type of carving that I will only show in the first competition in Ponte Preta [Cape Verde],” said Brito. I’ve been training some other stuff, too. I like to keep it as a card that can help me. I really switched my way of riding. It’s going to be completely different this year. It’s an upgrade. It got harder last year. I saw that the level got really way up in the last competition. I had to come home and try to find new stuff.”

Brito will be battling among a 22-strong slate of men from 11 countries worldwide. The roster includes Hugo Marin (FRA), the overall runner-up, and his compatriot Benoît Carpentier, who earned the second podium place in Ponta Preta.

O’ahu-based Moona Whyte, who pulled off a remarkable double when she also won the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Cape Verde which is again being run in tandem, will grace this year’s line-up.

Whyte has said she intends that the Cape Verde stop will be her only competition this year as she wants the freedom to pursue other kitesurfing and wingfoiling projects as she chases the swells.

Biggest threat

“My plans for this year for winging; probably I won’t do the whole tour,” said Whyte. “But I’m just planning on always having my gear for any trips that I go on. Just trying to push myself a bit more. Especially after seeing how everyone was riding on tour. It really motivates me to push myself more.”

No doubt Whyte will be a force to be reckoned with in Cape Verde, as she battles with the  five other women on the startlist. The biggest threat will come from Spain’s Nia Suardiaz, still 16, who was runner-up on the 2023 Wave tour.

A double world champion in Surf-Freestyle and FreeFly-Slalom, Suardiaz has been training in the swells on Maui ahead of the season opener in a bid to secure yet  another title.

Another Maui-based athlete, Olivia Jenkins (GBR), is set to make her debut on the Wave tour. It is certain to be an enthralling contest between the world’s best. Join us here for all the action.

words: Ian MacKinnon
images: Lukas K Stiller


Spot Info

The idyllic island of Sal is gearing up to host the second GWA Wingfoil World Cup, set to showcase the exhilarating Wave discipline. Against the stunning backdrop of this picturesque paradise, this eagerly-anticipated repeat stop will offer two potential event locations, with both Ponta Preta and Kite Beach in the mix, depending on the conditions.

Ponta Preta
For those seeking the ultimate wave-riding experience, look no further than the legendary Ponta Preta, in Cape Verde. This picturesque spot offers big, powerful, and glassy waves, accompanied by the most favourable cross-offshore winds. Considered a playground for expert-level riders, the waves can soar up to 6m high, making for an adrenaline-pumping experience like no other. While the beach is rocky in places, it’s also dotted with pockets of sand, making it an ideal location when the north-easterly winds kick in.

Kite Beach
As one of Sal’s most versatile kiting spots, Kite Beach welcomes riders of all levels with open arms. The beach’s consistent onshore and cross-onshore winds make it a top choice for watersports’ enthusiasts, ensuring riders always have a smooth return to the sandy shoreline.

While it may be the busiest kitesurfing location on Sal, the vast 3kms stretch of sandy beach ensures ample space for both seasoned riders and kite schools alike, even during peak months. Those closer to the beach can expect a mild wind-blown chop and the occasional shore break, while further out on the reef, you’ll find waves perfect for shredding.

Cabo Verde offers fantastic wind conditions with consistent north-easterly Trade Winds blowing 15-25kts almost daily from November to June. The wind tends to be strong throughout the day, with the most powerful gusts occurring from 9am to 3pm. Kite Beach is the primary kitesurfing spot on Sal, as it faces east and provides less turbulent, onshore wind compared to other south or west facing locations.

The winter months offer pleasant temperatures of around 22ºC, and the water temperature is only slightly cooler. Most wingfoilers will find a 3/2mm shorty wetsuit suitable for full-day kiting sessions, while board shorts may enough on warmer days later in the season. Regardless of the time of year, it’s essential to apply sunscreen.

Wind directions include NNE, NE, and E, and the windiest months are November, December, January, February, March, April, and June

Event Information

  • Location: Sal Island, Cape Verde
  • Dates: 16-25 February
  • The official Race Notice and event schedule can be found here.
  • All event information is here.

Stay on top of everything about the event in Cape Verde by clicking event news.

Liveticker will be updated throughout the day. Event highlight video will be published next morning. Written reports will be posted to the website at the end of each competition day.

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