Friday, 16 December 2022 01:41

Three Men on Three Bullets each

© IWSA/ Jeriwingfoilcup: the fleet gets ready to race © IWSA/ Jeriwingfoilcup: the fleet gets ready to race

In the women’s fleet Paula Novotná (CZE) ran away with day one of competition at the Wingfoil Racing World Cup in Jericoacoara. It’s much closer in the men’s fleet with Bastian Escofet (FRA) topping the leaderboard, although only by the skin of his teeth.



  • Sunshine and strong easterly winds of 18 to 22 knots
  • Rabbit start and long distance race gets the competition underway
  • Four back-to-back short course races in the afternoon leaves riders tired but happy
  • Paula Novotná (CZE) dominates the women’s competition
  • Bastian Escofet (FRA) leads the men by less than a point

© IWSA/ Jeriwingfoilcup: Bastian Escofet happy after a big day



 The riders were a little daunted by the prospect of a long-distance race at midday, but once they had launched out of the rabbit start and reaching to the first mark, all fears were forgotten. 

 As well as being a race in its own right, the long-distance competition was a chance for race officer Mirco Babini to organise the 42 men into three equally balanced qualifying groups, while the 13 women would compete in their own group.

© IWSA/ Jeriwingfoilcup: Paula Novotna had a perfect 5 from 5



Paula Novotná (CZE) confirmed her status as favourite in the women’s division, winning all five of her races today, while Orane Ceris (FRA) from New Caledonia notched up a string of second places. “I’m super stoked with today’s racing,” smiled Novotná.

“The conditions were really great. Sometimes the sea weed was a problem but I am learning how to jump the board. I had some crashes but was able to come back from them and still win.”

© IWSA/ Jeriwingfoilcup: Matthias Ghio with his game face



Bastian Escofet (FRA) had proved his potential by winning the long distance race and went on to dominate his qualifying group with three bullets from four races, only faltering in the last heat of the session when he crashed due to catching weed on his foil.

Even more consistent in the short-course racing were two other riders - Mathis Ghio (FRA) and Alessandro Tomasi (ITA) - who dominated their qualifying groups with three wins and a second place. Escofet’s superior performance gives him a narrow lead in the overall rankings, although just 0.4 points ahead of his fellow Frenchman Ghio.

© IWSA/ Jeriwingfoilcup: preparing for battle



Escofet had good speed but said that his Olympic campaigning background was also coming into play on the race track. “I was four years competing on the RS:X windsurfer and so I have a lot of race experience and my tactics were helping when I was close to other riders today. Good speed and tactics were both factors.”

Escofet has also spent many weeks in Jeri enjoying some warm weather training in the venue. The unusual amount of weed in the water is creating its own challenges but Escofet’s time at the venue has enabled him to develop an effective technique for jumping the board and shaking off the unwanted organism from his carbon fibre foil.

© IWSA/ Jeriwingfoilcup: Kylie Bellouvre is third after the first day



Italian and French riders are occupying the top 11 places overall, with Gunnar Biniasch (GER) the next best in 12th overall. Just behind the top Brazilian, Kauli Seadi (BRA) is the 19-year-old single entry from Great Britain. Since finishing some way down the fleet at the last World Cup two months ago in Lake Garda, Rafferty Read (GBR) has upped his game in leaps and bounds. “I came away from Garda wanting to do a bit better here,” he said.

“I came sixth in the long-distance race which was sick! So I was really looking forward to the afternoon, and I was really good on the upwind legs, reaching the top mark in the top three. I was really banging it out but the downwinds were a different story. I was just stacking it every time. Two crashes in every race! It’s like so annoying but I absolutely love it. It’s been a really good fun day.”

© IWSA/ Jeriwingfoilcup: launching off the start



In the evening, as the sun set over Jericoacoara Beach, the competitors relaxed  with some cool drinks and shared their war stories while live music played at Vila Kalango. Friday sees a continuation of the short-course qualifying races and every rider will be looking to improve their performance in this rapidly developing watersport.

Later in the evening there is the temptation of free entry at one of the most stylish nightclubs of Jericoacoara, Nox Restô. Will going late-night clubbing help with  performance on tomorrow’s race course? That’s another question that some will consider, and others will ignore.

Racing continues at 1200 hours local time on Friday 16 December, with the competition reaching its climax on Sunday 18 December.

TOP 3 OVERALL RESULTS (after 5 races, 1 discard)


1. Bastian Escofet (FRA), 3.3 points

2. Mathis Ghio (FRA), 3.7 points

3. Alessandro Tomasi (ITA), 4.0 points


1. Paula Novotná (CZE), 4.0 points

2. Ceris Orane (FRA), 8.0 points

3. Kylie Bellouvre (FRA), 11.0 points


For full results and more details, go to

Last modified on Friday, 16 December 2022 01:59
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