Gran Canaria Gloria Windsurf World Cup

Event Preview: Elite of the wave sailing world set to descend upon Pozo Izquierdo for third battle of the season, while word’s best slalom sailors prepare to compete in Slalom X for the first time

It’s that time of year again when the crème del a crème of the windsurfing world prepare to descend upon Pozo Izquierdo for another installment of the Gran Canaria Gloria Windsurf World Cup, which takes place between 29th June until 7th July. Over the next nine days you will be treated to some of the best wave sailing and racing on the planet, which will also see Slalom X make its debut for those fin aficionados.

Pozo Izquierdo is internationally famed in the windsurfing world due to its non-stop super strong wind and steep waves. The combination of these two factors creates the perfect playground for the world’s most extreme sailors to defy gravity and perform the biggest stunts on the planet. Meanwhile, with fin slalom returning to the fray this year, the world’s best racers are likely to receive just as much of a mental test as they will physical, such are the hardcoreness of the conditions. The local effects mean that even the slightest breeze can soon be accelerated to nuclear strength, with the wind peaking at around 50-60 knots, which often results in the guys and girls reaching for their smallest equipment, which even then, sometimes isn’t small enough. Expect to see plenty of mind blowing action, painful crashes and 9 days of intense competition. 



For the first time in over two decades, there won’t be a legendary Moreno twin standing on top of the podium come the end of the event with neither Daida Moreno (Bruch Boards / Severne Sails / Maui Ultra Fins) or Iballa Moreno (Severne / Severne Sails / Maui Ultra Fins) lining up for the comp. Daida had a complete stranglehold over her home event - winning in Pozo every year but one since 1998, but announced her retirement after winning the final last season - so this really opens up the draw this year. 

Reigning world champion - Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) - has yet to make an appearance so far this season, but the Aruban will be present in Gran Canaria and she’ll start the event as the favourite for this year’s event title having finished second here last season, while recording numerous podiums over the years. 

However, Offringa, won’t simply have things her own way with several girls charging and progressing. Lina Erpenstein (Severne / Severne Sails) comes into Pozo off of the back of claiming her maiden event victory on the World Tour in Chile earlier this year. The German has an aggressive approach to her sailing and will be looking to continue that winning feeling.

Alexia Kiefer Quintana (Duotone Windsurfing)) may still only be 19, but she’ll have high hopes of challenging for a podium at her home event. Kiefer Quintana burst on to the scene in 2019 when as a then 14-year-old she claimed fifth place in the main event to standout. The young German also comes into her home event having claimed her first podium in Chile, so confidence will be sky high. 

Sol Degrieck (Severne / Severne Sails) continues to sail beyond her comparatively young years - 14 - after bursting on to the scene much like Kiefer Quintana last year. The rising young star is seemingly taking everything in her stride and began this season by securing her second podium finish on the World Tour, but her first at a five-start event, in Chile. Degrieck may still lack experience, but she certainly doesn’t lack talent and there won’t be many who fancy sailing against her. 

Elsewhere, both Maria Behrens (Duotone Windsurfing / Maui Ultra Fins) and Maria Morales (Goya Windsurfing) will be hoping to make strong starts to their campaigns, while Oda Brødholt (Starboard / Severne Sails / Maui Ultra Fins) returns to the wave lineup for the first time since 2019. Pauline Katz (Severne / Severne Sails) will look to kick on from her best result so far - 4th - in Chile - and Marine Hunter (Quatro / KA Sail), who won in Sylt last season, could also be one to watch. After injuring her foot last, Justyna Sniady (North Sails / Maui Ultra Fins) faces a race against time to be fit for the event and it's likely we will hear a last minute decision from her. 

It’s also worth noting that current World No.1 and No.2 - Sarah Hauser (Quatro / Goya Windsurfing) and María Andrés (Duotone Windsurfing) - are both absent from proceedings. 


The level in the men’s fleet looks to be through the roof just ahead of the 2024 Gran Canaria Gloria Windsurf World Cup with an array of jumping and wave riding fireworks being on display, so it promises to be an epic showpiece. 

After the opening two events of the year, Morgan Noireaux (JP / NeilPryde / Black Project Fins), is in uncharted territory as he comes into Pozo leading the world rankings for the first time. Pozo will of course represent a totally different challenge to what the competitors have faced so far this year, but Noireaux will still be aiming to record as good of a result as possible to keep pace in the world title race. 

Just behind Noireaux, is Victor Fernandez (Duotone Windsurfing), who has enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence at the start of this season with back-to-back podiums in Japan and Chile, having not secured a podium the season prior. Of course, Fernandez has boasted an excellent record here in the past, but what has become very evident in recent years is if you can’t pushloop forward then you probably aren’t going to be challenging for the top two. However, the former 3-time world champion knows Pozo inside out and will still be hoping to challenge for the top 5 and beyond.

Last year’s event saw a colossal battle between eventual world champion - Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing) - and local boy - Marino Gil (JP / NeilPryde) - and you never know we might just see a repeat of that match up come the end of the event. Browne has made a solid start to the year and enters Gran Canaria in third place in the overalls and the Brazilian will be hoping to defend his event title. Meanwhile, Gil is just a couple of place further back in fifth place and the hugely popular local will be hoping to go one better this time around. 

Philip Köster (Severne / Severne Sails / Black Project Fins) has a phenomenal record when it comes to Pozo with the 5-time world champion recording 7 victories here in total. Last year the German may have ‘only’ finished 5th, but when you consider that that was with a broken foot, it’s quite incrdible. Given that Köster is fully fit this year, he is a totally different proposition and if he is on top form he will no doubt be incredibly difficult to stop.

Ricardo Campello may not be competing on the whole tour this year, but the current vice-world champion, who so agonisingly missed out on a maiden world title last season, couldn’t resist competing in Pozo. Campello finished fourth here last year and he will be a major threat again, while he could throw a spanner in the works for those in the world title fight - even at this early stage. 

The local hopes of; Liam Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne Sails / Black Project Fins), Alessio Stillrich (Simmer / Simmer Sails), who finished joint 7th here in 2023 and Josep Pons (Point-7 / Black Project Fins) will all be hoping to produce strong showings on their home waters, whilst don’t be surprised to see Moritz Mauch lay down some of the highest wave scores of the contest. 

Elsewhere the likes of Leon Jamaer (Flikka / GUNSAILS), who claimed 6th place here last season, Antoine Martin (Starboard / North Sails), Julian Salmonn (Bruch Boards / GUNSAILS) Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde), Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails) and Arthur Arutkin (Duotone Windsurfing) will all be hoping to make their mark over the coming 9 days. As will the Japanese contingent of Takuma Sugi (Tabou / GA Sails / Black Project Fins), Takara Ishii (RRD / RRD Sails), his brother Hayata Ishii (RRD / RRD Sails). Dieter van der Eyken (Severne / Severne Sails) and Miguel Chapuis will also be hoping to impose themselves on the top 10 and beyond. Dany Bruch (Bruch Boards) also returns to the fleet for the first time since 2019. 

Slalom X

Many of you said you wanted to see high wind, fin vs fin slalom and over the next 9 days that’s exactly what you will be treated to with Slalom X set to make it’s debut on the PWA World Tour. Also, unlike last year the racing won’t be limited to a certain number of days, so if it isn’t wavy, but it’s windy we’ll be able to race until the maximum number of races have been completed. Get ready to watch some brutal racing, which will surely test the mettle of any sailor. You can read more about Slalom X here


Reigning world champion - Blanca Alabau (Starboard / Severne Sails) - comes into the season opener as the defending event champion. The Spaniard, who clinched her first world title last year, spent the majority of last season on the foil, so it will be interesting to see how she adapts when back on the fin. 

Sarah-Quita Offringa pushed Alabau all the way, while competing on the fin last year and will likely be Alabau’s biggest threat. The Aruban only finished outside the top 3 once in 15 eliminations last season and will be looking to pull off a famous Wave and Slalom double over the the next 9 days. 

Elsewhere, Jenna Gibson (Duotone / Duotone Sails) undoubtedly has the pace to challenge for top honours, but it will ultimately boil down to her consistency because she definitely possesses the speed to make herself a nuisance. Meanwhile, Justine Lemeteyer (FMX Racing / S2Maui) and former world champion - Marion Mortefon (Patrik / Patrik Sails / Chopper Fins) - will likely be firmly in the mix with both sailors excelling on the fin. 

Just like Offringa, Oda Brødholt will be competing in both disciplines over the next 9 days, while 14-year-old - Bobbi-Lynn De Jong (Starboard / NeilPryde) is ready to pit herself against the best in the world and it will be interesting to see how she gets on. The Bonairean won both of the opening events on the PWA Youth Slalom World Tour slightly earlier this year. 


It’s been a while since we’ve seen pure fin slalom, but I would imagine that it will be the usual suspects battling for top honours. Reigning world champion - Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne Sails) and Pierre Mortefon (FMX Racing / Phantom Sails / Chopper Fins) - both won their first world titles when it was fin only and both sailors will be well equipped for hardcore slalom conditions - in fact it’s probably their favourite conditions for racing and both would be solid bets for the opening racing event of the season. 

Last year’s vice-world champion, Amado Vrieswijk (Future Fly / Severne Sails) would probably favour to race on the foil even in high winds, but the Bonairean will still be a major threat on the fin. Slalom X is desgined to test the sailors all round qualities and he’s undoubtedly one of the most talented all-rounders, if not the most talented all-rounder on the tour. 

2022 world champion, and last year’s world No.3 - Maciek Rutkowski (NeilPryde) will be sailing under the flag of NeilPryde this season and the Pole will be eager to make a quick start to the season. The Pole led the world title race for the majority of last year before just missing out by 200 points. 

Elsewhere, Jordy Vonk (Duotone / Duotone Sails) will probably licking his lips at the prospect of a fin only high wind slalom event. The flying Dutchman was the only man to win an elimination in Pozo last season on the fin and he’ll be in his element over the next 9 days. As will Taty Frans (Future Fly / Point-7), Bruno Martini (JP / NeilPryde) and Ingmar Daldorf (Tabou / GA Sails), Jimmy Thieme (Patrik / Patrik Sails) and Malte Reuscher (Tabou / GA Sails) - all of whom are massive fin advocates. 

Unfortunately last year's champion here - Enrico Marotti (JP / NeilPryde) - has been ruled out of the event after sustaining a broken arm on Monday.

Other sailors to look out for will include the hugely experienced Cedric Bordes (Severne / Severne Sails), the UK’s Scotty Stallman (Tabou / GA Sails), France’s Alexandre Cousin (Patrik / Patrik Sails) and Germany’s Nico Prien (JP / NeilPryde), who recently became the new president of the PWA.

That’s not all though as both the next generation of wave sailors and the master’s fleets will be competing in Pozo over the coming 9 days as well. 

Looking Ahead

The forecast for the opening weekend of the 2024 Gran Canaria Gloria Windsurf World Cup looks like it will be a windy one, but it may be relatively flat, so slalom could be set to take centre stage. By Monday though, both the wind and waves are expected to increase with a swell of up to 1.6 metres currently predicted. 

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.

Schedule For Day 1: (All Times GMT+1)

- Registration: 10-11am
- Skippers’ Meeting: 12pm

- First Possible Start: 1pm

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