YOUNG MACDONALD SHINES IN MAIDEN SURF-FREESTYLE WIN
The wind was back for day five. An epic afternoon of men’s surf-freestyle took place with big names eliminated early on.
Saturday 18th April 2022 Words: Liam Dredge Photos: Sailing Energy/Engadinwing Videos: Aalvaa Media
Day five lined up to be a similar day to the first. With not a cloud to be seen and scorching sun, it was only a matter of time until the wind funneled through and hit lake Silvaplana.
The crew prepared for an immediate start with the plan to complete Men’s Surf-Freestyle first, and use the remainder of the afternoon, and Sunday, for Surf-Slalom heats. After a period of twiddling thumbs, the wind kicked right in from 13.45, by 14.15 we had the men underway. It was an afternoon of gladiator battles as the wind continued to get stronger and stronger, minute after minute.
Day five – Saturday 18th – The wind joined us at 13.45 so we were able to crack on with the heats! We also rounded the day off with a handful of Surf-Slalom heats.
UP’S AND DOWNS THROUGHOUT THE MEN’S SURF FREESTYLE BRING FRESH FACES TO THE PODIUM
Silvaplana was booting off when the all-important thermic wind joined us. Picking up from where we left off, round four in the men’s got off to a flying start. A surprise exit from Francesco Cappuzzo (ITA) saw Steffan Speissberger (AUT) have a flying start. As round five came upon us the level of skill being shown was only rising. We saw another surprise knockout when Balz Mȕller (CHE) came up short against Gollito Estredo (VEN) which really opened up the playing field… A battle of the windsurfers!
Chris Macdonald (USA) was going massive in all heats proving to the judges why he deserved his spot in the final. Trick after trick his height only increased, taking trips to the moon allowed the youngster to deliver mind-blowing rotations. At still just 16 years of age the big stage didn’t phase this youthful talent. His final against Stephan Speissberger was one not to be missed. Both riders put on an incredible performance with Macdonald scoring 32.93 to Speissberger’s 25.17. A spectacular show was witnessed with cheers and screams. We’re certain this won’t be the last podium finish from the American superstar.
Titouan Galea (NCL) faced Gollito Estredo (VEN) for a third-place battle where the New Caledonian put in one of the performances of the day. Scoring a whopping 33.06, this was the highest collective score on day five. This followed with a thoroughly deserved third-place finish after fractionally missing out to Macdonald in the previous heat.
We’ve seen back flips, front flips, 720s, frontside 540s, toeside twists… the list is endless. The level that’s currently being produced keeps pushing the boundaries of wing foiling to new levels. We can’t wait to see what the athletes will bring to the table in a few short weeks when we head to Lanzarote.
Chris Macdonald (USA)
Stephan Speissberger (AUT)
Titouan Galea (NCL)
WIND HOLDS TO RUN SURF-SLALOM ON DAY FIVE
With the thermic winds still pumping at 18.00 we transitioned from Surf-Freestyle to Surf-Slalom. Starting off with the women, both elimination rounds were won by Flora Artzner (FRA) who had a solid day of racing showing quick speed and great pumping.
The men were also able to fire through a handful of heats but, gradually as we entered the early evening the wind was dying and it was time to save the majority of heats for tomorrow’s tasty forecast.
Current standings are as follows;
Francesco Cappuzzo (ITA)
Bastien Escofet (FRA)
Alessandro Tomasi (ITA)
Flora Artzner (FRA)
Nia Suardiaz (ESP)
Orane Ceris (FRA)
It’s been a day to remember in Silvaplana. We’ve witnessed speechless Surf-Freestyle and nail-biting racing that wrapped up the day. Tomorrow we go into the final day of the Ensis Engadinwing by Dakine GWA Wingfoil World Cup where we crown the men’s and women’s Surf-Slalom winners.