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Copa Kitley GWA Wingfoil World Cup Brazil 2023 - Day 2

by Liam Dredge 23 Nov 2023 08:15 PST 21-24 November 2023
Copa Kitley GWA Wingfoil World Cup Brazil 2023 - Day 2 © Svetlana Romantsova

From the first heat until the last, the focus on day two was to wrap up and crown the Men's Surf-Freestyle event winner here in Brazil.

Yesterday saw better swell, with the waves a little cleaner, however, today brought a slightly smaller swell but with stronger wind, and by the end of the day it was Malo Guenole (FRA) who grabbed both hands on the title to finish the Surf-Freestyle 2023 year on a high.

Rivals battle one last time

We've been no strangers to seeing Malo Guenole (FRA) vs Christopher Macdonald (USA) in finals. Once again Cauipe saw the pair battle it out for one last fight. Malo Guenole, who has been faultless all competition, this time managed to get the upper hand and take the title at the last stop in 2023. Beating Chris by less than a single point, these two athletes traded hits right up until the end.

Macdonald fired out the gates, with two huge freestyle maneuvers which included the highest-scoring trick of the heat, a 9.20 frontside 1080. Although Malo didn't score above an 8, (which hasn't happened in all previous heats), his combined score narrowly edged Chris's. His last wave of a 7.50 was the last nail in the coffin.

"Super fun against my good buddy Malo, I was so tired the entire time but I tried my best. I'm really happy with my improvement in the waves, and hopefully I can do better next time". - Chris Macdonald, gracious in defeat.

"My final was pretty stressful, I missed all my tricks but then managed to get my rhythm back. Of course my goal is to win every event, so I'm super stoked to win this one". - Malo Guenole reflects on his final.

Falling at the last hurdle

During the semi-finals, Clement Hamon (FRA) fell short to his teammate Malo Guenole. Hamon's Frontside 1080 still wasn't enough to push himself into his first-ever GWA final as Malo, feeling incredibly comfortable on the water, scored very high in both the freestyle and waves.

During the second semi-final, it was neck and neck between Bastien Escofet (FRA) and Christopher Macdonald (USA). The two were trading blows left and right as the heat went down to the bitter seconds. Escofet, unfortunately, fell short with Chris locking down a 6.77 last-wave score which pushed him over the line.

Escofet then met teammate Hamon for a third-place showdown. Flying the French flag high in Brazil the two riders push each other until the last seconds. Clement started strong, landing two solid freestyle tricks he was then able to focus on the waves. His backmobe came in at 7.93 however, Bastien had other ideas. Having hunted to land this trick in previous heats, Escofet landed a perfect 10-pointer for his backmobe 360, a first-ever in the competition. This trick along with his others meant that Bastien Escofet secured third place.

Chaos quarters

The quarter-finals of the competition had it all. By this point, riders may as well treat every heat like it's the final. With the level being sky-high standout performances have to go to Malo Guenole (FRA) who dismantled Balz Muller (CHE) scoring a whopping 32.56 ending the Swissman's run here in Cauipe.

Bastien Escofet (FRA) also managed to see past talented wave rider Kauli Seadi (BRA) in a close-knit quarter. By this point, Seadi was the last man standing for the Brazilians and unfortunately for them, was unable to pass through the powerful French rider.

French duo takes an early exit

In unlikely early losses, Axel Gerard (FRA) and Alan Fedit (FRA) both took hurtful Round 5 exits. The two French riders, who've been up in the top spots during the majority of all events, had to watch the remainder of the competition from the shore.

Alan Fedit faced defeat by up-and-coming talent, Aleksanda Archer (AUT). Archer was not phased when facing the current World number 3, and his Frontside 7 and early combo combined with two low wave scores were enough to make it into the quarters. Fedit, whose disappointment was noticeably seen will look to now discard this result and remain in the top 3 for the overall World Ranking.

World number 4, Axel Geard will also look at discarding his result here. Gerad lost to Kauli Seadi (BRA) who brought exquisite wave riding with two big scores. A mixed format like this very much plays into the hands of Kauli who is one of the top wave riders in the fleet.

Copa Kitley GWA Wingfoil World Cup Brazil Surf-Freestyle Men's Results

    1. Malo Guenole (FRA)
    2. Christopher Macdonald (USA)
    3. Bastien Escofet (FRA)
    4. Clement Hamon (FRA)

Women are ready

With the Men's Surf-Freestyle wrapped for the event, all focus will now shifts onto the Women's Surf-Freestyle, where tomorrow will see us crown the event winner in this discipline. After patiently waiting on the sidelines for the men to finish, will Nia Suardiaz (ESP) take home yet another event win after confirming the World Title in Tarifa? Or can one of the other athletes shake things up?

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