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Chile World Cup breaks rider numbers record

by International Windsurfing Tour 31 Mar 10:46 BST 1-12 April, 2024
Marcilio Browne - Chile World Cup © jenshogenkamp

The Chile World Cup will be the biggest 5-star international wave event in South America's history, with around 100 competitors expected. The popular event was elevated to a 5-star rating for the first time in 2024, and the world's best competitors are excited for the opportunity to showcase their spectacular aerial wave-riding moves.

IWT Wave Tour Director Simeon Glasson says, "These record-breaking numbers mean we'll have an intense and action-packed competition for the Chile World Cup event. It's the first time Chile has ever hosted a full 5-Star World Cup, and it's off to a banging start as it smashes all previous records."

The Chile World Wave event will run from April 1-12 at Matanzas and includes a heavily stacked field of 54 Men (24 Challenger Men + 26 Pro Advanced Seeds + 4 Wildcards) and 17 Pro Women, as well as significant Masters, Juniors, and Open AM divisions. Contest organizer Felipe Wedeles explains the growth: "So many new people are getting involved in the sport because of the competition. Right from the first invitational event we ran in 2005 to now, everybody gets inspired when they see the top pros ripping." Meanwhile, Simeon adds, "The growth that the 2023 unification of the PWA and IWT tours is bringing is also a major contributor. Along with a new 5-Star global pyramid structure, the sport of windsurfing is seeing a resurgence across a wide range of demographics."

The current forecast shows good wind and waves throughout the 12-day window, with organizers expecting some dazzling performances. Leading the charge will be 2023 Men's World Champion Marcilio Browne and 2023 Women's Runner-Up, Sarah Hauser. "This region has magnificent conditions for windsurfing. We have world-class waves, and the wind is so consistent," says Felipe. An enthusiastic Simeon replies, "The competition will be so exciting. We've never had a 5-Star World Cup in these conditions. We don't know who will shine."

Felipe Wedeles - Chile

  • Role: Contest Organizer / Sponsor & Owner of Hotel Surazo
  • Skill Level: Defending Masters Champion - Chile / Competitive in Pro division
Why is this competition important to Chile?

The competition is super important for Matanzas and the local O'Higgins region. We're working with all the people around tourism to make this region and the coast of this region a major global destination. Our main focus is to promote windsurfing and show our place to the world. This region has magnificent, prime conditions for windsurfing. We have world class waves and the wind is so consistent. For windsurfing in Chile, this event is very important because the vibes are super high after last year. So many new people are getting involved in the sport because of the competition. We have people of all ages. This year we will see a few kids as young as 12 years old riding waves. They got so impressed from watching it last year and now they are trying to get into the waves. We even have new older people who began windsurfing after last year. They go to the river and they learn how to windsurf. They also want to reach the wave riding level someday because of the competition. Even I learned the sport because of seeing windsurfing in magazines. I thought it was fantastic and so I pushed myself to learn it. The level of the Chilean wave riders has risen since we first started this competition in 2005. We have many Chilean guys performing at the top level and we'd love to see a Chilean in the top ten and doing the whole tour. Right from the first invitational event we ran in 2005, everybody gets inspired when they see the top pros ripping. And if you see someone doing it, then you can do it.

Why does Hotel Surazo support this event so strongly?

For us, windsurfing is on the top of our list and is our main tool to work with Hotel Surazo. We've been promoting this event since our first event in 2005. Back then we wanted to see top guys like Francisco Goya and Victor Fernandez in our waves and push the sport. Many of the people who join us at the hotel are here because of windsurfing. For us, windsurfing is the main party and we celebrate it all the time. Windsurfing is the healthiest way to promote the region and the hotel. It brings in good quality people and a good quality tourist who have a specific interest. We don't want discos and pubs. We prefer Hotel Surazo to be more of a sport vibe place, with the service based around that sport. So we focus on windsurfing and also mountain biking because we like that type of tourist that has a strong sports interest.

How has the event grown?

We started with 20 professional competitors at the invitational event in 2005. It's been growing ever since and now we have around 100 competitors and have expanded to include Pro Women, Challengers, Juniors, Amateurs, and Masters divisions.

Follow the live competition scores on LiveHeats. The full Live Broadcast will be streamed on the IWT Wave Tour YouTube channel and the official IWT event page. Follow on social media channels @IWT_Wave_Tour and @PWAworldtour.

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