Please select your home edition
C-Tech 2021 America's Cup 728x90 TOP

Ad Ports Group Wingfoil Racing World Cup Abu Dhabi - Day 2

by Andy Rice 17 Mar 2023 11:25 PDT 15-19 March 2023
Reaching starts are high speed and critical to get right - Ad Ports Group Wingfoil Racing World Cup Abu Dhabi, Day 2 © IWSA / Robert Hajduk

Six short course races in one afternoon, it was a busy second day of competition at the Ad Ports Group Wingfoil Racing World Cup Abu Dhabi.

In the women's fleet, new girl on the block Karolina Kluszczynska (POL) took a couple of races away from the reigning world champion Paula Novotna (CZE). However the Czech queen bounced back with a perfect three from three in the afternoon session to maintain the overall lead.

Torn wing

"The afternoon was windier, which made it easier to go fast," said Novotna. "The earlier races were quite light, so we were pumping, pumping to keep moving. A little more pumping than foiling."

Choosing the right equipment is always the biggest point of stress for the wingfoilers. Smaller foils and smaller wings are really fast in the stronger breeze, but will there be enough wind to keep you flying above the water? That's always the dilemma.

Kluszczynska chose her bigger foil for the early session and it suited her perfectly. "I was going well, and managed to win some races, but in the afternoon I made the wrong choice of foil and I was overpowered and not going to quick. So it was a difficult lesson to learn, but overall I'm pretty happy with my day."

Her toughest moment came just before the start of the last race of the day. "It was about a minute before the start and I was going slowly towards the line when I caught some seaweed on the wing. I capsized and fell, and put my arm through the wing. I still raced the race, finished last, but I wanted to avoid a DNF in my scores."

Magnificent Mathis

The men were split across two qualifying fleets. Reigning world champion Mathis Ghio (FRA) scored six bullets from six races, and no one else came close to that level of consistency. Unlike others who were fretting about their choice of equipment, Ghio stayed with his same gear throughout the day. "I haven't changed anything since the start of the competition," said the Frenchman, who was not so happy with his third place from the long distance race on day one.

"Today I was back at my best and I felt confident with my speed in the slightly stronger wind that we had today," Ghio continued. "It was maybe 14 knots, but the wind here in Abu Dhabi is quite soft, not as much power in the wind as in colder venues like Lake Garda for example."

Split win for Italians

In the other qualifying group, Luca Franchi (ITA) dominated the early session with three from three. But it was another Italian who owned the late session, Alessandro Tomasi (ITA) this time winning three from three in the slightly stronger breeze.

Franchi said he struggled more with the reaching starts of the afternoon session, from which he scored 7,2,2. "For me the upwind start is perfect, I am comfortable with that kind of start. It's much harder to be consistent with the reaching starts. I had a crash in the first race which is why I was seventh. The last race was super close at the finish, maybe I lost by just 1 metre. It was crazy!"

The man he lost to by a single metre was Tomasi who revelled in the stronger breeze of the late afternoon. "My equipment is good for strong wind, and the reach is my best angle so it was good for me getting to the first mark in first place, and then keeping the lead from there."

Ghio has closed the gap to Franchi, with the French and Italian riders now on equal points at the top of the leaderboard. Mateo Dussarps (FRA) sits in third overall.

On Saturday the men's fleet is reorganised into gold and silver fleets for the beginning of the Finals series. A maximum eight races are scheduled, with first start at 1100 hours.

To follow the action, visit here


1. Luca Franchi ITA 6p
2. Mathis Ghio FRA 6p
3. Mateo Dussarps FRA 10p

Women 1. Paula Novotna CZE 6p
2. Karolina Kluszczynska POL 11p
3. Orane Ceris FRA 15p

Related Articles

GWA Wingfoil World Cup Cape Verde winners crowned
Spain's Elena Moreno stages big upset to defeat world champion Moona Whyte Spain's Elena Moreno staged a dramatic upset when she defeated reigning world champion, the US's Moona Whyte, at the opening stop of the GWA Wingfoil World Tour's Wave discipline in Cape Verde. Posted on 21 Feb
GWA Wingfoil World Cup Cape Verde preview
Wave champions set to open title defense in Cape Verde 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. Posted on 16 Feb
Kiel Week welcomes X-15 wingfoil class
This groundbreaking move signals a new era for foiling at this prestigious event Kiel Week, is proud to announce the inclusion of the X-15 wingfoil class in its U19 demo/coaching event during the final four days of Kiel Week 2024. Posted on 30 Jan
2024 GWA Wingfoil World Tour event calendar
Gearing up for another busy year with 10 events across four continents As we look ahead to 2024, we're gearing up for another busy year with 10 events across four continents. Join us on this journey by attending our events Posted on 31 Dec 2023
Foil Academy International Trophy overall
The event gathered over 40 athletes from 10 nations in the waters of Cagliari, at Su Siccu The big final show of International Foiling marks the conclusion of an intense week at the Foil International Academy Trophy within the Next Generation Foil Academy project powered by Luna Rossa. Posted on 23 Dec 2023
Mayan Wind Fest 2024
This festival is poised to attract top international athletes The vibrant city of Cancun is gearing up for the inaugural Mayan Wind Fest 2024, a world-class water sports extravaganza set to take place in Puerto Cancun from January 18 to 21. Posted on 23 Dec 2023
UKWA Wingfoil Slalom National Championships
7 events contribute to the tour and the title, so you have to be really fast Hugo Dobrijevic is quite literally flying high after being crowned National Champion after winning another title in Wingfoil Slalom racing. Posted on 15 Dec 2023
2023 WingFoil Racing World Cup concludes
59 athletes from 13 different countries take part in the five event season The 2023 WingFoil Racing World Champions Ghio and Spanu were crowned after a season of five events in Abu Dhabi, Lake Garda in Italy, Silvaplana in Switzerland, Cagliari in Sardinia, and finally in Jericoacoara, Brazil. Posted on 11 Dec 2023
Gran Canaria Air Battle overall
Local rider Ancor Sosa conqueres disciplines of Wingfoil Surf-Freestyle & Freefly-Slalom The conditions were perfect in the morning hours at the beach of Las Burras in Gran Canaria (about 20 knots from the northeast), allowing riders to perform breathtaking maneuvers in the wingfoil disciplines of the Global Wingsports Association (GWA). Posted on 10 Dec 2023
2023 WingFoil Racing World Cup Brazil overall
Suardiaz wins Jeri, Spanu wins the Worlds, Ghio wins both Nia Suardiaz and Mathis Ghio have won the WingFoil Racing World Cup Brazil after Jericoacoara delivered another high-wind, high-drama day in paradise. Posted on 10 Dec 2023
C-Tech 2021 America's Cup 728x90 BOTTOMMelges 2023 - Melges 15 FOOTERNorth Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTER