ENGADINWING 2024 Formula Wing Europeans kicks of to a flying start

  • 55 riders from 14 countries registered to race in Silvaplana
  • The Formula Wing introduces limitations to the equipment each rider is allowed to use at an event
  • Newly crowned Marathon world champions, Bastien Escofect [FRA] and Maddalena Spanu [ITA] claim first bullets of the event in the marathon race

The Ensis Engadinwing 2024 Formula Wing Europeans kicked off today in the breathtaking Lake Silvaplana. The Formula Wing marks a significant milestone in wingfoil racing as it introduces limitations to the equipment each rider is allowed to use at an event. This means a rider can register only 1 board1 mast2 gliders and 3 wings within size categories (6m and larger, between 4.5m and 6m, and less than 4.5m). The riders had to make some tough decisions: should they choose the fastest gear possible, or play it safe with a bigger glider and board combination? This choice could be critical in determining whether they can get up and foil in the lighter winds that Lake Silvaplana is famous for.

Riders putt event limitation stickers on chosen equipment
Riders putt event limitation stickers on chosen equipment

Unbeatable Bastien Escofet

Silvaplana delivered the perfect wind window to complete an epic three lap marathon race. It wasn’t long before a tense battle emerged between Julien Rattotti and his fellow Frenchman Bastien Escofet. The gusty conditions that mountainous venues like these often cook up, made for a nail-biting dual, with Escofet managing to claim the first bullet of the event! A devastating course error in the final lap resulted in Rattotti finishing further back in the fleet allowing for Italy’s Luca Franchi to claim a victorious second place.

A happy Bastien Escofet continues his marathon success
A happy Bastien Escofet continues his marathon success

Still buzzing from the win, Escofet reflects, “It was a great race. It started a bit light, but then got stronger and stronger which was really fun! There was a lot of playing with gusts, which made it some exciting racing.” Catching his breath, Escofet continues, “It’s a bit harder to breathe here, but I still managed to pump. I opted for the larger foil, sacrificing a bit of speed on the reach, but it paid off well for the upwind and downwind stretches. Rattotti had the lead, but I managed to overtake him on the last downwind” he concludes.

Unphased by the cold as the sun shines on Lake Silvaplana
Unphased by the cold as the sun shines on Lake Silvaplana

Acclimatization is key!

When much of what the mountains throw at you is beyond your control, riders must go above and beyond to manage what they can, including a considerable amount of acclimatization for some! With sub-zero temperatures on the forecastRattotti has taken pre-race training to the next level. Leaving no stone unturned, he’s been acclimatizing with post run waterfall dips in the glacier waters above the lake. Meanwhile, Luca Franchi recalls his lungs being put to the test last year when he raced in the high-altitude Swiss lake. “At almost 2000m it definitely takes your breath away.” Since then, he’s been taking endurance training on the bike seriously so he can be ready for the racing, especially the marathon.

Maddalena Spanu sails her way to marathon victory
Maddalena Spanu sails her way to marathon victory

The lightwind ladies give the men a run for their money

Fresh from her Marathon Worlds triumphMaddalena Spanu [ITA] has barely had a moment to catch her breath before clinching another marathon race victory! Well in the mix amongst the men, even knocking on the door of the top 20 overallSpanu shows us that she means business when it comes to these longer distance races. Close behind was her Italian teammate, Marta Monge, who scored an impressive second place despite struggling with a broken ligament in her ankle. “I think the cold water was good for it today,” remarked the young Italian with relief. In preparation for the event, Monge has been training in Lake Garda; “it was very light wind every day, so we had to do a lot of pumping. I think it’s been the perfect training for this event,” she observed. “It was very tricky racing; the gusts were short-lived, so it was hard to stay in them to avoid the holes,” she added. “The conditions weren’t easy” agreed Spanu. “There was little wind and it was quite tricky. In one part of the lake, there were huge windless patches, so I had to pump a lot to avoid falling, but I had a lot of fun.”

Local legend Balz Müller throws some pre-start shapes
Local legend Balz Müller throws some pre-start shapes

Join us tomorrow for the first day of qualifying races on the beautiful lake Silvaplana. You can follow racing live on metasail throughout the week. The final series is scheduled for Saturday 15th June.

Snowy mountains create a magical backdrop for the week ahead
Snowy mountains create a magical backdrop for the week ahead

RESULTS MEN

1. Bastien Escofet – FRA – 0.6 p 

2. Luca Franchi – ITA – 1.4 p

3. Rafferty Read – GBR – 2.0 p

RESULTS WOMEN

1. Maddalena Spanu – ITA – 2.0 p

2. Marta Monge – ITA – 4.0 p

3. Hayley Chan – HKG – 6.0 p

Text Credits: IWSA Media
Photo Credits: IWSA Media/Sailing Energy
Video Credits: WSA Media/ICARUS Sports

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@icarussportsmedia

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