There was a warm welcome on the beach in Rhodes, Greece, on Thursday morning as riders arrived to register for the GWA Wingfoil Race Class European Championships, Greece living up to its hospitality as the people of Rhodes welcomed the GWA crew and athletes with open arms.
Although conditions looked promising, the wind did not hold out long enough on day one for the start of competition. The time was filled with some tow-in action which gave a great show to the crowds on the beach.
During this event, a maximum of 15 eliminations will run throughout the week of competition, allowing three discards. There are 24 men and 6 women registered to compete across Open, Youth and Masters categories.
“The race class is a pure race-oriented format,” explains Alvaro Onieva, Head Protest Judge. “There are no obstacles, pump tracks or similar as we have in the Surf-Slalom discipline.
“All of the equipment used is more technical and designed specifically for speed. The Race class is developing many categories, following the traditional footsteps that would be required in an Olympic category.”
Although this is a European Championship, riders have come from across the world to compete. Although non-Europeans are allowed to participate, they cannot win the official European Champion title.
“I’m from Maui, Hawaii. It’s exciting to be here, it’s my first time travelling to compete internationally,” Bobo Gallagher said.
“I’ve been travelling around Europe for about a month already and it’s been great, though the conditions seem lighter than I am used to in Maui.”
The forecast for the coming days looks very promising, so we will be back on Friday with what we are certain will be an action-packed day.
The skipper’s meeting has been called for 11am Friday, with a first possible start at 11.30am.