HomeWingfoilSuardiaz and Macdonald, Wingfoil Big Air World Champions in Gran Canaria

Suardiaz and Macdonald, Wingfoil Big Air World Champions in Gran Canaria

The Spanish rider and the American are crowned in the discipline, a world title that debuted last year in Pozo Izquierdo

With winds exceeding 30 knots, the Salinas de Tenefé saw the world’s best riders soar in the Wingfoil Big Air competition, where jump height counts for 70% and technique for 30%. After enduring grueling elimination rounds that began yesterday under tough conditions, Nia Suardiaz (SPA) and Christopher Macdonald (USA) were crowned world champions in Gran Canaria.

“The finals were spectacular, with an incredibly high level of competition. This is the second world title for the Wingfoil Big Air discipline, which debuted last year in Pozo Izquierdo, where height, trick difficulty, and power are evaluated,” explained Manuel Martínez, president of Club Deportivo Canakite Experiences and event organizer alongside the Royal Canary Sailing Federation.

Attendees at the beach witnessed firsthand the fiercely contested final between two Spaniards, Nia Suardiaz and Mar de Arce, Germany’s Maria Behrens, who resides in Tarifa, and Austria’s Viola Lippitsch.

Although it was a four-rider final, the competition was particularly intense between the two Tarifa-based riders, who put on a pure spectacle from the start. Mar de Arce, the queen of high jumps, scored over 7 points in her flights, while Suardiaz kept attacking relentlessly until she nailed a 360 on her landing after a well-executed rally air.

With a minimal difference of 0.07 points between the Spanish riders, Suardiaz snatched the Big Air title from Mar de Arce, who had won it for the first time last year. After the thrilling final, Maria Behrens (GER) secured the third spot on the podium, delivering some of the best jumps during the championship.

“I’d love to come back next year. This year was better for me than last year; this is a unique event and it’s super special for me to win at home,” expressed the Tarifa-based rider after finishing the last heat.

Following the women’s final, the beach witnessed the men’s category finalists compete in a heat characterized by the high skill level of the riders, who frequently scored over 9 points.

For the first time in competition, a double backflip was landed by Christopher Macdonald (USA), who outperformed his previous jump by a second, earning him victory with scores of 9.47 and 9.77 points respectively. “He makes those doubles look easy,” commented the GWA announcer.

Trailing Macdonald throughout the heat, Malo Guenole (FRA) secured second place with his front flips but needed 9.75 points to surpass Macdonald. His teammate Bastien Escofet (FRA) was just 0.03 points behind, securing a podium place. Benjamin May (GER) finished fourth in the men’s final.

Local rider Ancor Sosa Reaches Quarterfinals

Among the standout riders competing for the Wingfoil Big Air world title was Ancor Sosa from Fuerteventura, who reached the quarterfinals after tough elimination rounds. Representing Spain in the men’s category alongside Sosa, Tarifa’s Xavier Corr also made it to the third round. “We’ll try again next year,” exclaimed Sosa.

The Kitesurfing Competition Begins This Thursday

With improved forecasts starting tomorrow, the competition for the Kitesurf Big Air World Championship will start at the Salinas de Tenefé, featuring the world’s best kitesurfers from over 20 different countries. Among the local riders, Tenerife’s Jeremy Burlando stands out, having secured second place in the first stop of the world circuit in Barcarès, France, potentially claiming the world champion title in the class.

The Qatar Airways GKA Big Air Kite World Championships Gran Canaria 2024 and the GWA Big Air Wingfoil World Championship Gran Canaria 2024 are sponsored by the Tourism and Sports departments of the Cabildo of Gran Canaria, with the collaboration of the Santa Lucía de Tirajana City Council and the Government of the Canary Islands. The event also receives support from private entities such as Ahembo with its 7up brand and Spar Gran Canaria

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