Torremolinos will become the epicentre of water sports between 6 and 8 May when it hosts the first qualifiers for wingfoil's next GWA World Cup, a new sport that developed from windsurfing, surfing, and kiteboarding. The Diputación (Malaga's provincial authority), Torremolinos town hall, the Mancomunidad of western municipalities of the Costa del Sol, The Gallery Surf Club and the Global Wingsports Association (GWA) have come together to organise the event.
The launch of the tournament was held at the Diputación headquarters on Tuesday, where Torremolinos mayor Margarita del Cid highlighted the opportunity the municipality has to open up to different markets, as this is "a very visual and spectacular sport that's making a big impact".
The president of the GWA, Malaga local Álvaro Onieva, praised the help given by institutions to make the event possible, and said that Torremolinos has favourable wind conditions. He added that the prize money will be evenly split between the men and women.
The foilboard used in this discipline is smaller than boards used in other windsports, with surfers also hanging on to a wing to travel on the water at higher speeds. But the real secret hides beneath the water. Foilboards, thanks to a design seen in aeroplanes, are able to achieve lift through a hydrofoil fin, which raises the rider off the surface of the water, something unique to the sport.
The best wingfoil riders will congregate on the Costa Lago beach for the first round of qualifiers for the World Wup. The series will have a further two editions in Spain, in Galicia and in the Canary Islands, before going to Portugal, Brazil, Hawaii and South Africa.
As is usually the case with sporting events that rely on weather conditions, a waiting period is established. Organisers will open a window between 6 and 15 May, during which they can give the green light if conditions are favourable and allow participants to travel to Torremolinos to complete the qualifiers.
Participants include Olympic gold medallist María Alabau, Spanish champions Lucas Roguet and Nía Suardíaz, as well as Gunnar Biniasch and Liam Dunderbeck.