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Wingfoil tour set for fresh battles in Denmark

Fight for Surf-Freestyle and FreeFly-Slalom titles intensifies at globe-trotting tour’s climactic seventh stop

GWA Wingfoil World Cup Denmark 2023
Hvide Sande, 03—09 September

The battle for the world titles in the Surf-Freestyle and FreeFly-Slalom disciplines is about to intensify as the GWA Wingfoil World Tour lands in fresh waters for the seventh stop of the year.

Denmark’s Hvide Sande on the North Sea is about to host what will be the fifth round of clashes in both the disciplines. The Danish stop could decide who will wear the crowns, even with one stop in FreeFly-Slalom and two in Surf-Freestyle to come.

Spain’s Nia Suardiaz, still just 16, appears almost unbeatable with back-to-back wins in both disciplines in the Canaries in July, building on dominant performances earlier in the year.

The teenage prodigy cemented her all-conquering reputation when she won the pure surfing wingfoil Wave discipline in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro recently, adding a new string to her bow.

If Suardiaz can repeat her success and land the Surf-Freestyle win in Hvide Sande, where the GWA Wingfoil World Tour is making its debut, she will achieve her dream of becoming world champion.

Almost untouchable

With two stops left, a total of seven in the Surf-Freestyle discipline means that Suardiaz gets too discards. A win in Denmark would mean she could sit out the final rounds in Spain and Brazil and still have the title in the bag.

Only Suardiaz’s key rival, former world champion Bowien van der Linden (NED), is still in with a shout should the Spanish teenager fail to take the win in Denmark.

In FreeFly-Slalom, where Suardiaz has been almost untouchable, a win in Denmark would again guarantee her the world title. None of her closest rivals, New Caledonia-based Orane Ceris (FRA) or FreeFly-Slalom (formerly Surf-Slalom) world champion, Flora Artzner (FRA), can take the title in Hvide Sande even if Suardiaz was to slip-up.

The men’s contests could prove more wide open, particularly in the FreeFly-Slalom discipline. Titouan Galea (FRA) will be hoping to press his claim for the world title after he made it two-for-two wins in the Canaries.

Clutch of perfect tens

But veteran racer Galea did not have it all his own way and the second of his overall wins in Fuerteventura went down to the wire. Galea only closed out victory by the finest of margins in the final race of the competition.

Galea’s biggest challenges for the world title come from Francesco Cappuzzo (ITA) and Bastien Escofet (FRA). A win in Hvide Sande could secure Galea the crown, but only if his key rivals finish fourth or worse on the leaderboard. Otherwise, the title race will go down the wire in Brazil.

In the Surf-Freestyle discipline it is difficult to see anyone trumping 17-year-old American, Chris MacDonald. He was on fire in the Canaries, where he also landed consecutive victories to add to his season-opening win in New Zealand. MacDonald bagged a clutch of perfect tens from the judges in the Canaries, who loved his explosive Frontside 10s.

A win for MacDonald in Hvide Sande will see him crowned Surf-Freestyle world champion, not matter what happens at the final events in Spain and Brazil.

It is bound to throw up engrossing battles. Join us here for all the action.

words: Ian MacKinnon
images: Lukas K Stiller

Spot info: Hvide Sande

Hvide Sande is a town in central western Denmark, set among the Holmsland dunes. It is focused on an artificial canal that joins Ringkjøbing fjord with the North Sea. It has two cable parks and a kite school. One of the biggest attractions is climbing up the Lyngvig lighthouse to take in the spectacular views of the flatlands around Hvide Sande.

Hvide Sande has a northern European climate, so weather conditions are rather mild in August. The air temperature during day can be between 20°C at the highest temperatures, and the lowest of 11°C. The water temperature of the North Sea is around 16°C, so bringing a wetsuit, and a jacket is recommended. Sunrise is 06.30h and sunset is 20.30h.

Wind direction is westerly winds blowing 15-35 knots, which are onshore at the spot. Easterly winds can also blow around 12-25 knots, which are offshore at the spot.

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