© IWSA media / Robert Hajduk: Making the most of the breeze before it disappeared

© IWSA media / Robert Hajduk: Making the most of the breeze before it disappeared

Limited wind on Garda, but a tense battle to qualify for Bali


07/06/2023 - 20:33

Day three of the Pascucci WingFoil Racing World Cup Campione del Garda 2023 saw the 77 riders get up early again to catch the best of the Pelèr morning breeze.

With the men's fleet now divided into four qualifying groups, there were four winners from the session. The top two from Friday's long-distance race, Mathis Ghio (FRA) and Nicolo Spanu (ITA), each won their groups, along with Julian Jordan (FRA) and Alessandro Tomasi (ITA). So two wins apiece for the strong French and Italian squads.

Karolina Kluszczynska (POL) took the early lead in the women's fleet before Nia Suardiaz (ESP) moved ahead, but the fading breeze meant the race had to be abandoned before the finish. With clouds hovering over the lake for most of the day, the afternoon thermal breeze was never given a chance to establish itself, so no further competition for the day.

With so few races, the value of every result is magnified, and not just for the front runners looking to reach the podium in Campione. Further down the standings there's a battle to claim the last few available places for the ANOC World Beach Games this August in Bali.

New Zealand's Jeremiah Mcdonald was gutted not to be able to get his board across the finish line before the time limit expired. He drops to one place below where he needs to be, if he's to book his ticket to Bali. The New Zealander desperately needs a good conclusion to the competition on Sunday.

An eighth place in today's race is just enough to move Chi Ho Ho from Hong Kong ahead of Mcdonald. "It was really tricky staying on the foil today, really marginal for me," said the former windsurfing star, a double Olympic representative for Hong Kong. "I'm happy I just managed to finish the race and keep myself in with a chance of qualification. I hope we get more races tomorrow because we came from Asia to experience the high level of competition in Europe."

Montse Sole will be representing Spain at the ANOC World Beach Games and she is excited not just for herself but for the opportunity to showcase this fast-developing sport to a broader audience. "I think the Beach Games will be a unique opportunity to present our sport to new people and to bring a lot of visibility to wingfoil racing. I am working hard to be as strong as I can for the event and to put in a good performance in Bali."

It will be yet another early morning start to see if multiple races can be completed on the final day of competition. If the wind comes good, there is a lot to play for at both ends of the fleet.

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