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Ancor Sosa, champion of the GWA Wingfoil Qualifying Series at Gran Canaria Air Battle 2023

by Gran Canaria Air Battle 10 Dec 2023 11:59 PST 6-10 December 2023
The Gran Canaria Air Battle concludes the GWA qualifying series © Florian Kiefer

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): Surf-Freestyle and Freefly-Slalom, both counting towards qualifying for the GWA world circuit.

As demonstrated throughout the fifth edition of the Gran Canaria Air Battle Festival, the Canarian rider Ancor Sosa was crowned champion in both classes at Las Burras beach.

"The experience has been incredible; I had a great time competing. This event is a perfect place to train and get to know Canarian athletes. Now, with the qualifying series, it's also an opportunity to compete against the best. Next year, I want to compete in the GWA world circuit; I am ready," declared the rider from Fuerteventura.

In the morning, nine heats were featured in the Wingfoil Surf-Freestyle modality. Alfonso García (Tenerife) and Manuel Morillo (Lanzarote) competed during the small final, and Ancor Sosa (Fuerteventura) and Walid Benhammou (Fuerteventura) in the big final.

The most notable aspect of these heats was Ancor Sosa's attempts to do a back mobe (it refers to a trick where the rider executes a backflip while simultaneously passing the control bar from one hand to the other), with Sosa ultimately becoming the champion of the class after a thrilling final against Benhammou.

During the final heats of the class, the most impressive trick from Sosa was a backflip that surprised the judges and received a very good score. In the end, the third-place position on the podium was held by Manuel Morillo from Lanzarote, who executed good backflips and frontflips despite his young age.

"Ancor performed the most spectacular tricks and was the only one attempting complex maneuvers like the back mobe and some with double rotations like the frontside 7," stated Alejandro Díaz, one of the judges at the event.

Subsequently, Sosa headed to the water again to compete in Wingfoil Freefly-Slalom, the high-speed zigzag races that he masters almost flawlessly. Specifically, he won all three heats held, adding up to a total of 11 victories and one second-place finish. According to the judges, the local rider has been consistent throughout the competition, excelling particularly in wingfoil disciplines.

"Ancor has been consistent in his results, demonstrating that he has good physical and mental preparation to maintain a leading position throughout the championship," commented Guillermo Caldentey, another judge at the competition.

Following the athlete from Fuerteventura, Jeremy Rodríguez (Gran Canaria) ended up in the second place, and Manuel Morillo (Lanzarote) secured the third spot. In fact, it is likely that many of these young athletes will be competing on the GWA world circuit next year. For the event organizer, Manuel Martinez, the event was an achievement, but he expects a bigger event soon.

"This event concludes the series with a lot of participation, but with a desire to expand the event to make it even bigger," said the organizer, Manuel Martínez, president of the sports club Canakite Experiences.

The green and social side of the Gran Canaria Air Battle Festival

Simultaneously, the event engaged athletes and spectators in a beach cleanup, with the collaboration of the City Council of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. Additionally, there were giveaways of equipment from brands like CORE, North Kiteboarding, and Duotone. In addition to the sports brands, Ahembo and SPAR Gran Canaria also stood out as private sponsors.

The Gran Canaria Air Battle Festival, organized by the Canakite Experiences Sports Club with the collaboration of the Royal Canarian Sailing Federation and the institutional sponsorship of the Sports and Tourism departments of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, continues to maintain its essence as an event open to all ages and levels.

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