Women’s Surf-Freestyle World Champion crowned in Denmark

Report from day One – Hvide Sande, Denmark

  • Yesterday, we completed the Surf-Freestyle discipline in Hvide Sande
  • Nia Suardiaz became the GWA Wingfoil Surf-Freestyle Women’s World Champion
  • Malo Guénolé secured first place in the men’s Surf-Freestyle discipline


Day one of the competition saw the Surf-Freestyle discipline played out in  tricky conditions (10-14 knots) on Hvide Sande’s white beaches that served up some kickers as the tide pushed back, a perfect playground for the wingfoil athletes.

GWA Wingfoil World Tour

The select women’s fleet of 10 athletes were first on the water. After a brief break when the wind dropped, the race director elected to change the format. With some small surf, one wave and one trick were the counting scores, altering the playing field.

But the usual suspects were able to tailor their game to the new conditions. In the first semi-final former world champion, Bowien van der Linden (NED), booked a place in the final. The Dutchwoman got the better of her old foe, New Caledonia-based Orane Ceris (FRA), who went on to take the third podium spot.

But it was again Nia Suardiaz who took her 5th win in the Surf-Freestyle discipline and claimed her first Surf-Freestyle world championship title with a victory at the GWA Wingfoil World Cup Denmark, fought out amid the stunning backdrop of Hvide Sande’s dunes.

“It feels amazing to become world champion in Surf-Freestyle here. This was my goal since last year. I didn’t get it last year. I was second. I have been training a lot and my focus was way more on getting first. I was a bit nervous before the final, because I knew I’d be world champion if I won. So, I’m super-stoked.” – Suardiaz said.

GWA Wingfoil World Tour


Chris MacDonald’s blistering form this year had put him on course for the Surf-Freestyle world title if he won in Hvide Sande. But his wave riding proved his weakness. He was also pipped by Alan Fedit in the run-off for the third podium place.

GWA Wingfoil World Tour

The deciding heat was a banger between an in-form Guénolé and Bastien Escofet, who had a stellar run to his first world cup final. Escofet’s One-Handed Back Flip for 6.87 and strong wave score ensured both remained close on the scoreboard.

But it was again Malo Guénolé’s wave selection and riding that did the damage, landing the highest score of the day, 8.60. A massive Frontside 7 for 8.33 at the heat’s end put the matter to rest and sealed Escofet’s runner-up spot, though he was delighted with his place.

“I’m pretty stoked because it’s my first Surf-Freestyle win since Taiba [Brazil], when I won in the final last year. It’s also my second win in a row on the GWA tour. This is called Surf-Freestyle. But it’s the first time this year that we’ve had surf. I’ve been surfing since I was young. So, I think I can figure out where the waves are best. – Guénolé said.

GWA Wingfoil World Tour

Read full report here

GWA website.

Words: Ian MacKinnon

Photo: Lukas K Stiller

Jeanneau JY55
Selden Asymetric Rib Technology
NAV at Home
West Systems
Jeanneau JY60
Race Yachts
West Systems