Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival

Day 1: Youth’s take centre stage on the opening day plus interview with 16-year-old Marino Gil

The opening day of the 2019 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival saw the Men’s and Women’s pro fleets, plus the Youth’s, register for the next 9 days of the upcoming contest. With small waves on offer the pro fleets and the Boy’s U17s and U20s were soon released for the day after the skippers’ meeting, but the afternoon still saw a flurry of action with the Girl’s U15s & U17s and the Boy’s U13s & 15s in action.

Girl’s U15s

Alexia Kiefer Quintana (Fanatic / Duotone) and Maria Morales (Goya Windsurfing) were the two standout sailors in the Girl’s U15s. Kiefer Quintana landed super forward loops and showed plenty of aggression on the wave face, while Morales beautifully linked together her waves. The remaining four girls will now battle it out for the last two places in the Winners’ Final.

Girl’s U17s

Four girls - Mar de Arce (Star-Fish / Loftsails), Julia Pasquale (Fanatic / Duotone), Line Thekook (Loftsails) and Inés Élez (Severne) - battled it out in the opening U17s final. In the end, it was a close run contest between de Arce and Pasquale the pair inseparable in the air, but Pasquale dominated in the wave riding department with fluid aggressive snaps earning her a well deserved victory.

Boy’s U13s

Carlos Kiefer Quintana (Fanatic / Duotone) produced a dominant performance in the opening U13s final with his jumping, in particular, separating him from Val Eržen (Flikka / Duotone) and Miguel Becerra (Goya Windsurfing). Kiefer Quintana landed two exceptional forward loops to earn 7.5 points for his best one. 

Boy’s U15s

In the first semifinal of the U15s - Hayata Ishii (RRD / RRD Sails) claimed a narrow victory over Giulio Gasperini (Starboard / Severne). There wasn’t much to separate the two sailors on the wave riding front, but it was in the air that the young Japanese sailor won the heat as he landed an excellent backloop to book his place in the final. Gasperini goes into the repechage alongside Pepe Krause (Quatro / Hot Sails Maui), who seemed frustrated with his performance on the opening day.

In the final heat of the day, top seed Tobias Bjørnaa (Fanatic / Duotone) dominated against Marc Alonso Camara (Ezzy) to deservedly book his place in the final.

Earlier in the day, we caught up with 16-year-old Marino Gil (Goya Windsurfing), who is hoping to make his mark not only in the U20s but also in the main draw:

Hi Marino, how are you feeling about the opening wave event of the season?

MG: “I’m feeling pretty good. This year I’ve been working a lot of my new moves and then just trying to keep focused on the competition. Fingers crossed that this year goes way better than last year, hopefully!”

When you are talking about new moves, which new moves are you talking about?

MG: “I’ve been trying the Klei and landing a few pretty good ones. I’ve also been trying things like one-handed and no-handed goiters and those kind of things. I haven’t been really making the no-hands, but maybe the one-hand for sure. I’ve also been trying some doubles, tweaked pushloops etc.”

You’ve been training with Josep Pons (I-99 / Point-7) over the winter - how’s that been going and do you think it has benefitted your sailing?

MG: “Yeah, I’ve been concentrating on the physical side a lot with Pons and I feel like that’s really helping me on the water because he really knows about the mechanics of the body for windsurfing. His knowledge has really helped me a lot.”

What are your expectations for the event both in the Youths and the main event?

MG: “I hope I am able to manage to win the Junior’s here again, but it’s going to be much harder this year as I am competing in the U20s this time. That’s my goal though. In the main event, I’m just aiming to try and advance through more rounds than last year. In 2018 I made It to joint 17th, but my goal this time around is to try and make it into at least the top 13 or something like that. That’s the goal so I’ll give it my best to reach it.”

Thanks, Marino. Good luck in both the U20s and the main event. 

The forecast for Saturday is slightly better than today with slightly more wind and swell expected. The sailors will meet again tomorrow morning at 10am (GMT+1) for the skippers’ meeting with the action commencing from 10:30am - if conditions are suitable. 

You can stay up to date with all the latest developments from Gran Canaria— including the live stream, elimination ladders, entry list, images and live ticker simply by clicking HERE and scrolling to the bottom of the page.

Result Girl’s U17s - *After One Final

1st Julia Pasquale (Fanatic / Duotone)
2nd Mar de Arce (Sail-Fish / Loftsails)
3rd Inés Élez (Severne)
4th Line Thekook (Loftsails) 

Result Boy’s U13s - *After One Final

1st Carlos Kiefer Quintana (Fanatic / Duotone)
2nd Val Eržen (Flikka / Duotone)
3rd Miguel Becerra (Goya Windsurfing)

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