Double long-distance victory for Tomasi at the Wingfoil Racing World Cup

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 46 wingfoil racers from 12 countries and 5 continents
  • Shifty, gusty winds of 10 to 20 knots on Silvaplana, 1815 metres above sea level
  • Alessandro Tomasi wins both long distance races
  • Maddalena Spanu holds early lead in women’s fleet

Two long distance races made for a tough opening day for the riders competing on Lake Silvaplana at the WingFoil Racing World Cup Ensis Engadinwing by Dakine 2023. In any surroundings the high-speed rabbit start is spectacular. But against the backdrop of the Swiss Alps, you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful way to start a wingfoil race.

Wingfoil Racing World Cup

With the wind building to 20 knots, those with less experience of Silvaplana went for their smaller wings and smaller foil sets for higher top end speed. Power surely wouldn’t be a problem. Except that when you’re competing at more than 1800 metres above sea level the air is thinner. It might be blowing 20 knots, but the wind strength is less, around 15 to 20 per cent softer than normal. So selecting the right gear was, as ever, crucial to success on the race course.

With the fleet safely out of the rabbit start, it was no surprise to see reigning World Champion Mathis Ghio move into the lead in the early stages. He has been the benchmark, the pace setter, for six months or more in this fast-developing sport.

But the shifting, gusting and lulling breeze on Silvaplana was unkind to the Frenchman as he sailed around the leeward mark in the lead and found himself in a lighter patch of breeze. Behind him Italian Alessandro Tomasi caught a gust that also shifted 30 degrees to the left and lifted him up and around the stranded leader.

Ghio spent the rest of the race trying to play catchup, trying to close the gap on Tomasi. But not by enough. Tomasi held on to beat his rival by less than a second.

Wingfoil Racing World Cup

In the next long distance race, Tomasi again found his way to the front and looked fast and comfortable. So the 20-year-old Italian celebrates day one with a perfect score of two wins from two. Ghio lies in second overall.

In the opening race Francesco Cappuzzo had been in the fight with Tomasi and Ghio but a momentary loss of concentration saw the Italian crashing into the water. “I was close behind Mathis and saw that he had a bad patch of wind and I told myself to relax and just keep it simple,” he said. “But in that moment I relaxed a bit too much and just a slight wrong movement and my board hit the water.”

Once he was down, Cappuzzo struggled to find the power to get up and foiling again. By the time he was back on the foil more than 25 riders had passed him. “I thought about retiring but I decided to carry on and finish the race, even if it was a bad result.”

A 23rd place was no the way he would like to have opened the competition, and a second place in the next long distance race was a clear signal of Cappuzzo’s desire to perform this week. “Mathis has been winning everything this year but Alessandro and I, we are closing the gap, we are getting closer. I’m looking forward to more races to show what we can do.”

Wingfoil Racing World Cup

In the women’s fleet, Spain’s Montse Soler won the opening race, but the next heat went to 16-year-old Maddalena Spanu, the rapidly rising Italian rider. Recent winner of the last World Cup on Lake Garda, Spanu leads the women with Soler in second and Fiona Wylde of the USA in third overall.

So that’s day one done, with another four days of competition to go on spectacular Silvaplana.

More details about the competition at https://wingfoilracing.com/2023worldcupsilvaplana

Text Credits: WingFoil Racing World Cup Ensis Engadinwing
Photo Credits: WingFoil Racing World Cup Ensis Engadinwing
Video Credits: ICARUS Sports

Wingfoil Racing World Cup

To keep up to date with 2023 WingFoil Racing World Cup Ensis ENGADINWING, please visit https://wingfoilracing.com/2023worldcupsilvaplana

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