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2023 WingFoil Racing World Cup Brazil - Overall

by Andy Rice 10 Dec 2023 05:13 PST 6-9 December 2023
Big knockout battles in big Brazilian breeze - 2023 WingFoil Racing World Cup Brazil © IWSA Media

Nia Suardiaz and Mathis Ghio have won the WingFoil Racing World Cup Brazil after Jericoacoara delivered another high-wind, high-drama day in paradise.

  • Another big breeze day to decide the men's and women's podiums in Jericoacoara
  • Nia Suardiaz won the women's contest
  • Mathis Ghio edged the men's win but...
  • ... the incredible performance of 'Golito' was the highlight of the day
  • Ghio retains his world title
  • Maddalena Spanu wins her first world title

It was also the day when the World Champions 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. Not only did Mathis Ghio win the day in Jeri, the Frenchman has become the World Champion for the second year running.

For Maddalena Spanu, this was the 16-year-old's first time winning the World Championship after two victories in Garda and Cagliari earlier in the season.

This was the windiest WingFoil Racing World Cup ever, with the breeze never dropping below 20 knots and sometimes gusting over 30 across all four days of the competition.

Going into the last day, anyone could still win the overall championship. That's because of a new innovation to the final day format called the Golden Ticket race. While the top nine men and women had already booked their spots in the Medal Series, the rest of the competitors went out for one long distance race. Whoever crossed the line first would win the Golden Ticket into the Medal Series.

The wind was blowing stronger than ever, and the Venezuelan rider Jose Estredo Perez, better known as Golito, was fast out of the blocks. Showing immense speed downwind Golito stretched away and crossed the finish line first, celebrating his promotion to the final 10. First finisher in the women was Italy's Giovanna Ferreri.

Now it was into the knockout rounds with four riders in each heat. Golito took his golden ticket and flew through the Repechage, the Quarter Finals, the Semi Finals and into the four rider Grand Final.

The Venezuelan won the first race against the proven best in the world. Could he go all the way and take the gold medal? Not quite, as Mathis Ghio won the second race in the Final which was enough to seal overall victory for the Frenchman. Italy's Francesco Cappuzzo took the silver and Golito a breathtaking bronze.

In the women, Nia Suardiaz carried her yellow bib advantage into the Grand Final knowing she only needed to win one race. Easier said than done in these super gusty conditions. But the Spanish rider proved unstoppable, winning the race and taking the gold medal. Paula Novotna took silver and Poland's Karolina Kluszczynska fought her way through all the knockout rounds to take a well deserved bronze.

As for Mathis Ghio, the performance gap is certainly closing on the best male rider in the world. But the Frenchman was still the class act of Jeri and he enjoyed a double victory, winning the final event of the season and the overall world championship for the second year running.

As the sun set over Vila Kalango and the air temperature dipped below 30 degrees in the early evening, the riders enjoyed a spectacular display of capoeira dancing before the prize-giving and closing party. Many are staying on a few extra days, reluctant to fly back to colder parts of the world.

As for the future of this fast-growing sport, the standard of competition has risen immensely over the past year. Mathis Ghio reckons the 2022 version of himself wouldn't have made the top 10 of the 2023 showdown in Jeri. As the curtain closes on 2023, let's see what next year will bring for the Wingfoil Racing World Cup 2024.

Results WingFoil Racing World Cup Brazil - Men

    1. Mathis Ghio, FRA - Gold
    2. Francesco Cappuzzo, ITA - Silver
    3. Jose Estredo Perez (Golito), VEN - Bronze

Results WingFoil Racing World Cup Brazil - Women

    1. Nia Suardiaz, ESP - Gold
    2. Paula Novotna, CZE - Silver
    3. Karolina Kluszczynska, POL - Bronze

WingFoil Racing World Cup 2023 - Men

    1. Mathis Ghio, FRA - Gold
    2. Nicolo Spanu, ITA - Silver
    3. Luca Franchi, VEN - Bronze

WingFoil Racing World Cup 2023 - Women

    1. Maddalena Spanu, ITA - Gold
    2. Orane Ceris, FRA - Silver
    3. Karolina Kluszczynska, POL - Bronze

More info and full results available here.

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