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GWA Wingfoil World Cup France 2022 - Preview

by Jim Gaunt 26 Apr 11:50 BST 26 April - 1 May 2022
GWA Wingfoil World Cup France 2022 © Samuel Cardenas / GWA

It's day one and we are excited to announce an official new record for number of riders registering for an event!

Here at the 25th Mondial du Vent in Leucate, which hosts round one of the world tour season with the GWA Wingfoil World Cup France, we have 80 registered riders to compete across the Surf-Freestyle and Surf-Slalom disciplines!

This first event marks what could be a really important moment in the sport with so much progression taking place over the off season and with some famous riders motivated to make their debut on tour now.

Training at new standards

Although the wind may be light on this first day, several riders arrived early and took advantage of some excellent conditions over the weekend. Two explosive training sessions on Saturday and Sunday saw upcoming youngsters causing a stir amongst the leading riders from the last two seasons. Experienced rider Balz Muller from Austria was definitely feeling the pressure.

"We had two amazing days of wind over the weekend and it feels like a long time since we were riding together. The young riders have improved so quickly and I'm just not sure if we are still on top."

The previous winner of the final event of the 2021 season, the GWA Wingfoil World Cup in Tarifa, which took place in late December, saw Riccardo Zorzi (ITA) claim his first win in the Surf-Freestyle discipline. He already seemed to be handling the weekend's conditions here in France with expertise, throwing down some big moves in the tricky Tramontana conditions.

"I am slightly nervous because the level has gone up massively since the last event, the guys are really pushing what is possible on a wing. But, I am staying positive as I have been training hard in the off season in Mexico with the Slingshot team."

Riders have traveled from far and wide for the GWA WingFoil World Cup in Leucate, for example, New Zealand newcomer, Jeremiah McDonald, (then no relation) the Mcdonalds trio (father, mother and son!) from Hood River and Hawaii's phenomenal watermen, Zane Schweitzer (HAW).

Never before has the GWA seen a whole family trio entered into the competition but the Mcdonalds family are ready to take the competition by storm. Chris Mcdonald, one of the youngest riders at 16 years old is definitely one to keep your eye on.

Women

In the womens' divisions we have a range of both experienced and new competitors to the tour. There are 10 registered female riders and it is all to play for.

Accomplished rider Flora Artzener from France has been making the most out of the windy conditions over the last few days, preparing for the event.

"I competed last year in Leucate in the GWA Wing Foil World Tour and the conditions were amazing. I am really happy to be back here again, reunited with all the riders and we have already had some great conditions to train in."

This morning had an atmosphere of great anticipation for the first rider's briefing of the season. Although the wind is looking light for the moment, after 25 years of Mondial du Vent windsport action, we know this place can transform very quickly, plus we have a stronger wind forecast already in for the end of the week.

Make sure to follow the liveticker on the event page and stay up to date on all social media pages - Instagram, Facebook and YouTube for all daily videos.

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