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GWA Wingfoil World Cup Denmark 2023 - Preview

by Ian MacKinnon 30 Aug 08:28 PDT 3-9 September 2023
Malo Guenole - GWA23 Leucate © Lukas K Stiller

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, with just two more stops to come to decide who will wear the crowns.

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 young Spaniard cemented her all-conquering reputation when she won the pure surfing wingfoil wave discipline in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro earlier this month, adding a new string to her bow.

Keen to close gap

But in Hvide Sande, where the GWA Wingfoil World Tour is making its debut, Suardiaz's key rivals, Bowien van der Linden (NED), New Caledonia-based Orane Ceris (FRA) and FreeFly-Slalom (formerly Surf-Slalom) world champion Flora Artzner (FRA), will be hoping to close the gap on the teenager.

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 also made it two-for-two in the Canaries.

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.

Clutch of perfect tens

The biggest challenges came from Francesco Cappuzzo (ITA), Alan Fedit (FRA) and his countryman Bastien Escofet. In Hvide Sande the North Sea swells may encourage the race director to set courses with long pump tracks, which could have a bearing on the outcome.

In the Surf-Freestyle discipline it is difficult to see anyone trumping the 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.

Only the finalists in Fuerteventura, the French pair of Axel Gerard and Malo Guénolé, the current Surf-Freestyle world champion, might have a chance of reining in the young American. Again, possibly lighter winds in Hvide Sande could contribute to an upset in the form books.

More information here

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