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Third edition of the Lanzarote Foil Challenge a great success

by Nora Perez Sanchez 3 Dec 2023 09:26 PST 2 December 2023

The third edition of the Lanzarote Foil Challenge was held yesterday on the island of Lanzarote. In an exciting day, riders enjoyed the favourable wind that made them fly on the foil windsurfing board along the coastline, reaching speeds of up to 30 knots.

This edition has been marked by the unstable weather conditions over the last few days, leading the organisers to decide that the regatta would take place over two days, on Thursday 30th November and Saturday 2nd December. In this way, the challenge is accomplished, with over 200 kilometers covered, positioning the Lanzarote Foil Challenge as the world's only ultra-marathon regatta.

The windsurfers competed in the Open Pro (female and male), IQ Foil, Locals, and Kite Foil categories. On Thursday, the scoring race began at 12 am from Marina Rubicón, starting at Faro de Pechiguera and heading up along El Golfo to La Santa. From there, they continued to Famara, where the riders arrived around 2:30 pm.

The German Nico Prien and the French Adrien Mestre finished this first part of the race tied on points, followed by the Swede Hugo Sjöberg, in the Open Pro category. In IQFoil, the Polish Pawel Tarnowski was the first to cross the finish line ahead of his compatriot Michal Polak, while the third position went to the Hungarian Máté Bors.

This Saturday, the regatta resumed from Famara with larger-than-expected waves, further complicating the difficulty of the race. They sailed to La Graciosa, where the Frenchman Adrien Mestre arrived first, followed by the German Nico Prien and Pawel Tarnowski. The fourth leg concluded in Costa Teguise, with Michal Polak in the lead, followed by Tarnowski and Mestre. From there to Marina Rubicón, the finish line of the race, Michal crossed first.

Thus, the standings in the Open Pro category turned out as follows: Adrien Mestre in first place, followed by Nico Prien, and Hugo Sjöberg secured the third position. "We destroyed the record because we are most of time straight line, so it was really fast and funny", said the winner Adrien Mestre.

French Marion Mortefon and Polish Anastasiya Valkevich, competing in the Open Foil category, were the only women to participate in the regatta, successfully completing the race. Marion secured the first position, and Anastasiya claimed the second.

In the IQ Foil category, it was Pawel Tarnowski who emerged as the winner, with Michal Polak and Máté Bors taking the second and third positions, respectively. "It was a super nice experience to race around this beautiful island. We had stronger wind than we expected, which was nice, and we did everything as we planned", said Pawel Tarnowski.

Within the Locals category, it is worth noting the performance of Federico Morales, Rafael Lasso and Rafael Ortega, who completed the race.

The youngest participants in the race Italians Luca Conforti in IQFoil and Diego Gargallo in Open, managed to complete the race, expressing great satisfaction at having achieved the challenge.

The regatta unfolded without incidents and left a positive impression among its participants, who agreed on the spectacular nature and the demanding challenge of this event.

The day ended with the prize-giving ceremony in the Marina Rubicón's captaincy square, attended by Juan Monzón, Sports Councillor of the Cabildo de Lanzarote and María Martín, Marketing and PR Manager of Lanzarote European Sport Destination.

Once again, the Lanzarote Foil Challenge achieved its goal. Organized by the Windsurfing Club Los Charcos, in collaboration with Marina Rubicón and the Canarian Sailing Federation, this sporting challenge reaffirms Lanzarote as one of the premier destinations for windsurfing. Notably, the island has already established itself as the pre-Olympic winter training base for sailors from all over the world.

This regatta has been made possible thanks to the sponsorship of Promotur-Turismo de Canarias and the Cabildo de Lanzarote through the Department of Tourism (SPEL-Turismo de Lanzarote with its European Sports Destination brand) and the Island Sports Service, as well as the Sports Department of the Town Hall of Teguise and the collaboration of the Hotel Dreams Lanzarote Playa Dorada Resort & Spa, Cicar Canary Islands Car, Salinas de Janubio and the Art, Culture and Tourism Centres of the Cabildo de Lanzarote.

The Lanzarote Foil Challenge aspires to become a scoring event within the international windsurfing championship circuit. This is already its third edition, and the organizers will continue working to make this competition a benchmark.

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