World Cup Series 2023
WingFoil Racing : Maddalena Spanu & Mathis Ghio conquer Sardinia
lundi 23 octobre 2023 –
This was the first time the WingFoil Wingfoil Racing World Cup was trialling a different version of the Medal Series. While the top two from the Opening Series earned an automatic place in the four-rider Final, the other eight riders in the top 10 would have to battle their way through a series of knockout rounds. In each of the Repechage, the Quarter-Final and the Semi-Final, the top two riders would move through to the next level while two would be eliminated.
The odds were stacked against Ernesto de Amicis, but the Italian teenager turned up the heat to charge through Repechage, the Quarter-Final and the Semi-Final to take his place in the men’s Final alongside fellow qualifier Josh Armit from New Zealand and the two French who had already booked their spots at the top table.
Ghio was not to be beaten, the reigning World Champion reasserting his status as top dog after missing out on the gold at the previous event in Switzerland four months earlier. For Julien Ratotti and his double-profile wing, the silver medal was just reward for his best performance on the circuit so far. Happiest of all the celebrants on the beach, however, was the young de Amicis, the new bronze medallist who was overcome with tears of joy as he hugged his family, friends and fellow competitors.
While Armit might have missed the podium, the Olympic iQFOiL campaigner had sailed incredibly well at his first wingfoil Wingfoil racing competition and is one to watch for the future. “It has been a lot of fun this week,” said Armit. “We came a long way from New Zealand to compete here, but it’s great to see that we’ve been competitive and looking forward to coming back for more wingfoil racing in the future.”
Ghio was relieved to have seen out the competition in one quick race. “The conditions today were perfect and I am so happy to win in one race,” he said. “Julien [Ratotti] was going fast this week, he was unbeatable in the long distance, so I knew I had to sail at my best to win here.”
In the women’s competition, Karolina Kluszczynska of Poland fought her way out of the Repechage and as far as the Semi-Final before dropping out of the competition. Fiona Wylde of the USA, winner of the previous event at Wingfoil World Series Silvaplana in June, worked her way through from the Quarter-Final and into the Final alongside Manon Pianazza from France.
Despite Spanu’s final day jitters and admitting to be very nervous before the Final, the Italian teenager was once again in a class of her own, winning the first race of the Final by more than 30 seconds and sealing the gold medal. “It’s unbelievable,” she smiled on the beach, surrounded by family. “I was so nervous today but I knew I was fast. I have been training hard for this, getting up at 6 o’clock every morning of the week for months to be work on my strength and balance. Winning here in Italy, it’s such a good feeling.”
Orane Ceris of France was satisfied with silver and Pianazza took bronze, not bad work for someone who only took up winging two months ago. Then again, the French rider is the Under-21 World Champion on iQFOiL, so her foiling skills are very well honed and she has adapted very quickly and effectively to the particular demands of wingfoiling.
With 20,000 Euros of prize money awarded along with the medals, the riders headed out into the Sardinian evening for some well earned celebrations in the city of Cagliari. Next stop for the circuit takes the riders to the equatorial beach resort of Jericoacoara in the north of Brazil for the final event of the season in December, Wingfoil Racing World Cup Jericoacoara.
written by event reporter Andy Rice
- 1. Mathis Ghio FRA GOLD
- 2. Julien Ratotti FRA SILVER
- 3. Ernesto de Amicis ITA BRONZE
- 1. Maddalena Maria Spanu ITA GOLD
- 2. Orane Ceris FRA SILVER
- 3. Manon Pianazza FRA BRONZE
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