Gloria Gran Canaria PWA Slalom X

Gloria Gran Canaria PWA Slalom X

The island of Gran Canaria has been the home of many of the worlds most talented windsurfers and at the forefront of windsurfing innovation for over 3 decades and this year was no exception.

2024 saw the introduction of a new PWA discipline, Slalom X. Fin slalom racing on steroids!

The concept aimed to provide fin-only slalom action with an extra dimension of difficulty and excitement from the added obstacle jump and chicane. Slalom X certainly provided plenty of excitement for the riders and fans alike.
With wind strengths ranging from 25-40 knots, the action was high-octane and spectacular from the start of every race. The first reach was always a long downwind leg, ending in a gybe close to the spectators and saw blistering speeds, wild crashes and some intense, close-quarters gybing. 
The introduction of an obstacle on the second reach meant that nobody could let their guard down as the riders had to time their runs towards the giant sausage and try to jump at just the right time, since leaving it too late would mean that they would crash into the mark with their noses, and jumping too early could lead to clipping the top of the obstacle with their fins and crashing in the worst possible way. Needless to say, this section of the course was the source of many highs and lows as lead changes happened in almost every round.
The next tricky section was the chicane which was a short, straight downwind leg where the riders could choose the best line in order to round the downwind mark as quickly as possible. It was essential to read the swells and gusts as massive advantages could be gained or lost here.
And finally, the last leg of the race was set a little upwind and though the breaking waves where the wave competition was being held, so the riders had to round the final mark as tight to the buoy as possible and then try to time their runs through the surf to gain maximum speed and try not to be held up by the waves.
Photo finishes were common and made or broke riders's rounds in almost every heat.
Our team put on some amazing performances. 10 rounds were completed in the Men's fleet and 11 in the Women's Fleet.
Sarah Quita Offringa put on an absolutely dominant display from the very beginning, winning 4 of the first 4 rounds. She only made 1 mistake in the entire event, going over early in the 5th elimination and then finished either 1st or 2nd in every heat.
Bobbi-Lynn showed true grit, battling round all of the races on her smallest sail the 4.9 RS:Slalom EVOXV and finishing in 10th place.
Maciek Rutkowski had a great first Slalom X event, narrowly getting knocked down to 3rd place from 2nd due to a photo finish in the last semi-final. He showed amazing form though, sailing consistently throughout the event and posting 2 race wins to his score sheet.
Nico Prien also showed extremely solid form, jumping 3 places during the final round of the event to finish in 7th overall and narrowly missing out on what would have been an emphatic final race win in another photo-finish in elimination 10. Still a 2nd place left him smiling on the beach after an extremely solid event.
Bruno Martini just missed out on the top 10 due to some unlucky mis-haps but showed his blistering speed by posting a race win in elimination 3.
All in all, the first edition of PWA Slalom X was a huge success and we send our heartfelt congratulations to all of our team riders! We can't wait to watch the fin and foil battles in Fuerteventura very soon!!

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