Slalom X lands at Pozo Izquierdo

Sarah-Quita Offringa (Aruba) and Pierre Mortefon (France) lead the windsurfing discipline, which is making its world premiere in Gran Canaria

Santa Lucía de Tirajana, July 3, 2024 – A historic day for windsurfing in Pozo Izquierdo. The fifth day of competition at the Gran Canaria Gloria Windsurf World Cup featured the first international Slalom X event in PWA World Cup history. With extreme conditions for the riders, winds between 25 and 35 knots, and a higher tide than usual for this discipline, windsurfers reached speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour.

Aruban rider Sarah-Quita Offringa was the star of this first day, winning all four elimination rounds held so far, putting her on the verge of a double victory after her win in the Waves category. “I am very happy, it has been very exciting to go full speed, but especially because of the added obstacles,” said Offringa.

Closely following her in almost every heat of the day was Marion Mortefon (FRA), who also holds the second position in the overall ranking. Jenna Gibson (GBR) maintains the provisional third place.

Meanwhile, the defending Slalom champion in Pozo Izquierdo, Blanca Alabau (SPA), did not have the best debut in Slalom X, getting disqualified in the first heat for a false start and finishing seventh in the second. However, towards the end of the day, she improved her performance, finishing as the best fourth-place rider in the third and fourth heats.

The favorable conditions in Pozo Izquierdo also allowed for the completion of three elimination rounds in the men’s Slalom X category, led by Pierre Mortefon (FRA), who comfortably won the first two heats. “I had two good heats where I finished first, focusing on speed, although the obstacles characteristic of Slalom X added difficulty. But there are many heats ahead,” Mortefon commented after exiting the water.

Ingmar Daldorf (NED) holds second place, and Benoit Merceur (FRA) is in third. However, the winner of the third heat was Bruno Martini (ITA), who is sure to be a contender to watch in the coming days.

Slalom X: High-Speed finned Windsurfing with Obstacles

Event organizer and windsurfing legend Bjorn Dunkerbeck praised the introduction of Slalom X to the competition, a discipline that undoubtedly adds an attractive element to the event. “It was a great first day, with strong winds and good jumps, and some falls when overcoming the main obstacle of the course. The riders are very happy with the discipline,” added the 42-time windsurfing world champion.

Slalom X is a new modality that combines typical slalom races with obstacles. Riders must complete a zigzag circuit and overcome an obstacle commonly referred to as the “sausage.” This new windsurfing discipline has brought classic fin slalom races back to the forefront, a new class debuted in Pozo Izquierdo by the Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA) due to its ideal conditions.

The Green and Cultural Side of the Windsurf Festival

The largest windsurfing festival also includes various actions to promote environmental awareness among the youth. In fact, a beach cleanup involving event attendees was organized this Wednesday.

Additionally, the documentary Born to Windsurf, starring Bjorn Dunkerbeck, was screened in the morning, with the slogan “when you enter, winning is all that matters.” As a windsurfer, Dunkerbeck has won a total of 42 world titles. At 51 years old, he is living proof that age is not a limiting factor for continued improvement, as he has his sights set on a new world speed record. He encourages the youth to strive for their goals.

Thursday’s schedule includes a guided tour of the Canary Islands Institute of Technology at 5:00 PM, as well as an autograph signing session by the competitors of the Gran Canaria Gloria Windsurf World Cup 2024.

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 Departments of Sports and Tourism, the Government of the Canary Islands through Promotur, the Santa Lucía de Tirajana City Council, and companies such as Gloria Palace Hotels, which also lends its name to the championship; Seven Island Film; Neilpryde; Red Bull; Volkswagen Canarias; Water Speed APP; and Seven Island Film. Collaborations include the Canary Islands Institute of Technology; Canary Blue; Helados Peña La Vieja; 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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