Champions crowned at Gran Canaria Gloria Windsurf World Cup 2024 – Marino Gil and Sarah-Quita Offringa

The Canarian, who finished second last year, delivered a stellar performance, beating German Julian Salmonn, followed by the Spanish-German Philip Köster. Lina Erpenstein (GER) and local rider Alexia Kiefer completed the podium in the women’s category.

Santa Lucía de Tirajana, July 1, 2024.- The third day of action at Pozo Izquierdo beach saw fierce competition in both the men’s and women’s events. The men’s final was claimed by Canarian Marino Gil, who faced German Julian Salmonn, thus winning the 36th edition of the Gran Canaria Gloria Windsurf World Cup 2024. In the women’s final, Aruban Sarah-Quita Offringa defeated German Lina Erpenstein, meeting expectations after the absence of the Ruano Moreno sisters.

Marino Gil achieved his dream of winning the world title at home, marking his first victory in the PWA World Tour after a spectacular final against German Julian Salmonn. With a score of 28.43 points, Gil sealed his victory with a perfect Pushloop Forward. Meanwhile, the German resident in Tenerife attempted to surpass Gil with a one-foot Backloop and a front 360, but Gil’s narrow lead secured the crown. “It has always been my dream since I was little to win here. I am very happy and extremely grateful to everyone for making this event possible,” stated Marino Gil, who also noted that the conditions were excellent, showcasing the classic “Pozo style.” Gil is now focused on further improvement, aiming to win the world championship by the end of the season.

In the women’s category, Sarah-Quita Offringa claimed the Pozo Izquierdo crown for the first time after a close final. Her performance included a 6.8-point Backloop and a 5.3-point Forward, maneuvers that allowed her to surpass German Lina Erpenstein, who kept the competition thrilling until the last moments with a Forward that nearly won her the title. “I am super happy to have finally won here. I have been training in Pozo for many years, and it is always challenging, either due to the conditions or Daida Moreno always winning.” The Aruban recalled that her first time at Pozo Izquierdo in 2013 ended in last place, making this victory the perfect way to “close the circle.”

Completing the men’s podium was Spanish-German Philip Köster, who narrowly missed the grand final but thrilled spectators with an impressive performance, attempting a triple Forward, a move he has never landed, even in training. Competing against him was Belgian Dieter Van der Eyken, based in Tenerife, who exceeded expectations and finished in a commendable fourth place.

Canarian Alexia Kiefer took the third spot on the podium with a dominant performance in the consolation final, defeating Tenerife’s María Morales. Kiefer’s best maneuvers included a 5.3-point Backloop and a 6.6-point wave ride. However, Morales could not replicate her strong performances from the Under-21 final and the absolute semifinals, settling for fourth place.

Liam Dunkerbeck continues to improve rapidly, falling just short of making it to the final. With a score of 23.24, he was 0.56 points behind Salmonn and less than two-tenths away from the consolation final. Dunkerbeck is now focused on defending his Under-21 title, where he is the main favorite.

It is worth noting that the top 5 men’s positions were dominated by riders with Canarian roots: Gil, Köster, and Dunkerbeck are from Gran Canaria, while Salmonn and Van der Eyken trained in Tenerife. This highlights the strong current state of Canarian windsurfing, justifying the inclusion of three official PWA World Tour events this year (Gran Canaria, Tenerife, and Fuerteventura).

An Injury Ends Stillrich’s Dream

Canarian Alessio Stillrich, one of the standout riders of the championship, suffered a serious injury in his quarterfinal heat while attempting a spectacular Double Forward. He needed assistance to exit the water and was transported by ambulance to the San Roque Maspalomas University Hospital. Although official confirmation is pending, it is suspected that he fractured his left ankle, ending his hopes of continuing his remarkable progress in the championship.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan Ricardo Campello, the 2019 champion, clearly felt the impact of his six-month competition hiatus and failed to advance in any of his heats, narrowly missing out in both the quarterfinals and the repechage round.

After the awards ceremony, the documentary ‘Daida Back to the Ocean’ about Daida Ruano, nominated for the 2024 Goya Awards for its quality and production, was screened. The documentary tells the story of Daida Ruano Moreno, an eighteen-time world windsurfing champion and a revolutionary figure in the international circuit alongside her twin sister Iballa Ruano. The film is a survival story in which the world champion recounts her battle against ovarian cancer.

The Gran Canaria Gloria Windsurf World Cup 2024, endorsed by the Canarian and Spanish Sailing Federations, is sponsored by the Cabildo of Gran Canaria through the Sports and Tourism Departments, the Government of the Canary Islands through Promotur, the Santa Lucía de Tirajana City Council, as well as companies like Gloria Palace Hotels, which also lends its name to the championship; Seven Island Film; Neilpryde; Red Bull; Volkswagen Canarias; Water Speed APP; and Sevend Island Film. The event also has the support of the Canary Islands Technological Institute; Canary Blue; Peña La Vieja Ice Cream; Poema del Mar; Ejove; Bazar Ani; Bahía Grill; Semilleros Sardina; Jaklar, WS, As Acción; Surf, Wind; Windsurf TV; and Daily Dose.

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