Riders prepare for intense battles in south of France for third straight year. Second stop of GWA Wingfoil World Tour in Surf-Freestyle and FreeFly-Slalom
GWA Wingfoil World World Cup France 2023, 4-10 April
A stellar cast of wingfoil’s leading athletes is set to battle at France’s biggest windsports’ event—the Mondial du Vent—vying for honours at the GWA Wingfoil World Cup in Surf-Freestyle and new FreeFly-Slalom disciplines.
It is the third straight year that Mondial du Vent, staged in Leucate, has hosted the GWA Wingfoil World Tour. The event always attracts a large field of wingfoilers drawn by the reliable and strong Tramontana winds.
With France’s strong pedigree in wingfoiling, which includes top-ranked riders like Malo Guénolé, Titouan Galea and Orane Ceris, many athletes are eager to make their mark in front of home fans.
Legends and young guns
But many others are set to travel from around the world, among them legends from other watersports’ disciplines who have become hooked on wingfoiling, and young guns keen to prove a point.
The men’s Surf-Freestyle has a full roster of 32 riders, including Jose “Gollito” Estredo (VEN), Camille Bouyer, and legendary watermen Balz Müller (SUI) and Francesco Cappuzzo.
Sixteen-year-old Christopher MacDonald (USA), fresh off a Surf-Freestyle win in the opening round in New Zealand, will be looking to press his case as a world title contender. But the line-up of rivals is strong and includes Wesley Brito (CPV), the winner of the maiden wingfoil wave contest in Cape Verde last month.
Women’s starry slate
The men’s FreeFly Slalom has 43 contenders, with all the top-ranked riders slated to race, including Mathis Ghio, Bastien Escofet and Nicola Spanu.
On the women’s side there is a similarly starry slate. Surf-Freestyle world champion Paula Novotna (CZE) makes her first appearance on the GWA Wingfoil World Tour this season. She is also competing in the FreeFly-Slalom class.
But with 15 women in Surf-Freestyle and 20 set to take to the water in FreeFly-Slalom, the Czech will have have her work cut out for her. Spanish teenager Nia Suardiaz earned the second podium spot at the wave contest in Cape Verde and will be a big threat.
The talent on the women’s side goes deep in both disciplines. The Netherlands’ Bowien van der Linden and Fiona Wylde (USA) are up for the fight. No doubt it will be an epic contest.
Leucate has a southern European climate with typical spring temperatures that can vary a lot in early April. The average air temperature can be between 11°C and 18°C at this time of the year. The average water temperature in April is around 15°C, so don’t forget to bring a wetsuit. Sunrise is around 07.00 and sunset around 20.30.
The Tramontana is a strong wind that blows north to north-westerly offshore. It can reach up to 40 knots. The Marin is a light-to-moderate side on-shore sea breeze. The best online wind forecasts are found on Windguru and Windy.
The 2023 Mondial du Vent GWA Wingfoil World Cup is located on the Mediterranean, on France’s southern coast. The GWA chose this spot for the 2023 GWA Wingfoil World Tour due to the consistency of wind—it blows more than 300 days each year. Leucate also boasts ideal, wide, sandy beaches.
The Mondial du Vent is fuelled by the Tramontana, a reliable and strong north-westerly wind that blows side to side off-shore. The 2023 event will be the third successive year the Mondial du Vent has hosted the GWA Wingfoil World Cup.
About Mondial du Vent
Rarely does a competition make it past the two-decade mark. But the Mondial du Vent has surpassed that. The 2022 edition marked the event’s 25th year of hosting windsports’ enthusiasts from around the globe. The Mondial du Vent is France’s largest windsports event.
For the 2023 season, the GWA will stage competitions in the new FreeFly-Slalom and Surf-Freestyle disciplines at the Mondial du Vent.