Wingfoil World Cup Gran Canaria 2023
Rider level pushed to new heights at GWA Wingfoil World Cup
On the 11-16th July the GWA returned for its 4th world cup event, held in Pozo Izquierdo, a well loved windsurfing location. Pozo has notoriously strong onshore winds with windswell that make for great ramps and allow riders to perform massive freestyle tricks and jumps. The location certainly lived up to its reputation and the riders had strong wind every day of the event.
We will also chat about the ENSIS riders at the event, and catch up with ENSIS team rider Giulio Gasperini.
Team ENSIS Video Highlights Gran Canaria
SURF-FREESTYLE Day 1&6
Athletes are scored for 3 tricks, each trick type can only be scored once, and are allowed 7 trick-attempts. The event opened with the men’s freestyle and straight out the gate the moves were higher and powered up. Day 1 also served as qualification for the first BIG-AIR event so athletes were highly motivated. The ENSIS riders were up to the task performing amazing maneuvers.
Giulio Gasperini won his first heat throwing down some impressive maneuvers. Balz Müller had a very close heat placing second by the finest of margins, but dazzling the crowds as always with his creative and unique wing foiling style. Women’s freestyle was held on the 6th and final day and ENSIS team rider Agata Blach performed exceptionally, finishing strong in 4th place overall.
FREEFLY-SLALOM Day 2&3
The GWA version of wing foil racing, a purely downwind course with pump sections; riders have to completely depower their wings using only the board and hydrofoil to cover the distance until the next mark. The course at Pozo was held fairly deep into the ocean and consisted of 6 legs and 2 long pump sections. Giulio Gasperini put up an impressive fight in very challenging conditions.
The first wing foiling freestyle discipline where height scores more than technique. Jump height was measured with devices worn on the chest. The wind played along perfectly and the riders seemed to be anticipating this event and put on a great show. As a bonus, running parallel to the event was the RED BULL ROCKET award, which was a prize of € 1000,00 given to the rider who achieved the highest possible jump throughout the entirety of the event.
Wing foilers were reaching heights never thought possible, with some riders achieving over 10m jumps. We’ve contacted the GWA to find out if they had to get aviation clearance for the riders beforehand, we haven’t heard back yet.
As a spectator watching the ENSIS riders in this discipline was inspiring, and anyone watching could not help but have respect for the athletes. Our favourite moment was watching Balz’s back loops, the highest we’ve ever seen.
ENSIS riders at Pozo
ENSIS riders performance and interview with Giulio Gasperini
ENSIS team rider Agata Blach performed exceptionally, placing 4th in women’s Freestyle and 3rd place in women’s BIG-AIR, a podium finish with a massive jump of 5.6m!
We caught up with Giulio Gasperini to chat about the event:
It looks like this latest event has had the strongest wind out of any GWA event, what was it like competing at Pozo compared to other venues?
The wind was very powerful, it was a battle against the weather, but I like the challenge and putting myself on the line. In the end I am very happy with the results I’ve achieved.
The first BIG-AIR wing foil discipline event was held, and was great fun to watch. What do you think of this format, and what direction would you like to see it go?
I qualified for the main event, I had a lot of fun doing so. I really like the new format, the riders reached some great heights. In my opinion we can get over 15m, I hope they do this format again soon.
Our favorite trick of yours, Giulio, was in the freestyle event, the huge back loops. What was it like doing your maneuvers with a lot more height?
I was more focused on height than rotations, the wind was extremely violent so my focus was on lowering risk of injury.
What gear were you using for this event?
For the BIG-AIR and Freestyle I used ENSIS TOPSPIN 3.6 and ENSIS SCORE rigid handles 4.0 wings and the ROCK’N’ROLL 37 & 47 boards. For Racing I used the ROCK’N’ROLL 57 for extra buoyancy.
The level of wingfoiling is increasing rapidly, and the ENSIS riders were not dismayed pushing wing foiling to its limits. Giulio competed and performed in all disciplines for 6 harsh days and Balz no matter the conditions had the crowd cheering and entertained.
Huge thank you to all ENSIS riders for their performance and being the most stylish, and radical dancers on the water.
Media by GWA
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