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2024 Spicare Omaezaki Japan World Cup - The start of windsurfing's biggest wave tour

by International Windsurfing Tour 18 Feb 06:40 PST 19-25 February 2024
2024 Spicare Omaezaki Japan World Cup © International Windsurfing Tour

The biggest Wave Tour in windsurfing's history kicks off this Monday in Japan. A total of 68 World Tour competitors will battle it out in the high winds and big waves of Omaezaki Long Beach, from February 19 to 25.

The Spicare Omaezaki Japan World Cup is the first 5-star event in the 2024 PWA IWT World Wave Tour and is one of the six top ranked events on the tour calendar. The World Wave Tour has recently expanded into a pyramid of 1-5 star ranked events and now comprises over 40 wave events, across six continents, with over 700 competitors.

IWT Wave Tour Director, Simeon Glasson, says, "The sport has never more unified, better structured or more exciting. This is the biggest wave tour in history."

The Spicare Omaezaki event has attracted nine of the top ten male riders from 2023, and two of the top four female riders. They're equally enthusiastic about the new tour.

"It's a great time to be a professional sailor. Windsurfing has never provided such variety and catered for so many different styles" says 2023 world number six, Bernd Roediger (Hawai'i).

Japan, in particular, is expected to provide the exact diversity that many of the riders are wanting in the new, refreshed World Wave Tour,

"It levels the playing field. It's the only event out of all the 5 star ones that is totally balanced. The win could go to anybody, and that's another good reason why it's such a great place to start the tour," Bernd continues.

Last year's world number one, Marcilio Browne (Brazil) is also thrilled with what Japan offers, "There's good opportunity to try a lot of different moves. There can be strong winds and the wave still has room for two or three moves," says Marcilio.

Local hero and last year's winner of the women's event in Japan, Motoko Sato, will face world number two Sarah Hauser (Hawai'i) and world number four Maria Andrés (Spain) in a strong fleet of 12 local and international women.

"I loved it last year. I had so much fun. I love the people, I love the place, I love the food. And they've chosen to run the event in their best season", says an energised Maria.

Japanese World Tour competitors, like Takuma Sugi, Takara Ishii and Hiyata Ishii are also expected to be a serious threat in their home break. They'll face difficult competition from a stacked field of 30 world class men, that includes the likes of Marcilio Browne (World #1 & 2 x World Champion, Brazil), Philip Koster (4 x World Champion, Germany), Antoine Martin (World #3, France), Marc Pare (world #4, Spain), Morgan Noireaux (world #5, Hawai'i), Bernd Roediger (world #6, Hawai'i) and Robby Swift (world #7, UK). They'll also need to overcome the nerves and pressure of competing at home, as noted by 2023 world number two Junior Boy, Hayata (Japan #1 Junior),

"I'm so excited to have this competition in Japan. I've been practising a lot for this competition, but I'm really nervous. My sponsors are coming here to watch and also my mum and dad. That makes me nervous, but it's also so exciting."

More information at event page here

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