FQS – New Freestyle Qualifying Series

The PWA and EFPT have been working on a qualifying series for freestyle windsurfing, called FQS. The final agreement is not completely finalised yet and the contracts need to get signed. We contacted PWA Tour manager Rich Page to get more details about the new qualifying series.

The EFPT (European Freestyle Pro Tour) and potentially some new international events, will become the official qualification series for the PWA Freestyle World Tour. This series shall be known as the “FQS” Freestyle Qualifying Series and shall include the EFPT. So, to qualify for events on the 2019 PWA Freestyle World Tour, any windsurfer outside of the top 20 in the 2018 PWA Freestyle Ranking will need to have achieved a sufficient ranking on the FQS.

In addition for 2019 the PWA Freestyle World Tour fleet will be reduced to a 32-man maximum size.

Interview with Rich Page about the FQS

Continentseven: What does the launch of the FQS mean for the PWA tour and how long have you been working on this step?

Rich Page: This will make freestyle a far more structured discipline, with a clear path of progression for aspiring athletes. It will also open up destinations outside of Europe to EFPT style events as part of the FQS. More importantly, we hope that this will serve as a blueprint to create similar structures in the other disciplines, something that we have been trying to do for some time, but so far EFPT has been the only organisation that shared our vision. We are in discussions with IWT to see if something similar can be achieved in wave sailing, but that is still quite early days, but our attempts to do something similar with IFCA in slalom have not really gone anywhere as they have a different vision about what is needed in the sport, especially with regards to the youth and junior categories. Because of that we are now looking for potential event organisers for qualifier level Slalom events so that we can fill that gap with a much needed mid level structure in Slalom too.

By working with the EFPT to create the FQS, we will create a clearly defined path into PWA competition for freestylers and will be able to accurately identify and grade sailors ability, making the whole process of getting into competition far more structured and less frustrating for anyone with the talent to compete at the top. It will also allow us to reduce the fleet at PWA events to 32, reducing costs at events, and meaning we can run in a 2 man format, which is far better for spectators both on the beach and on the live stream.

Why did you decide to work together with the EFPT?

We have been discussing the idea with the EFPT, for some time but it is only now coming to fruition. The EFPT has an existing tour of events which are both credible and well run, as well as many years of experience in freestyle. That made them the only sensible choice and a far better option that trying to start another lower level tour within the PWA

What does this cooperation mean for freestyle windsurfing in general?

This will make freestyle a far more structured discipline, with a clear path of progression for aspiring athletes. It will also open up destinations outside of Europe to EFPT style events as part of the FQS. More importantly, we hope that this will serve as a blueprint to create similar structures in the other disciplines, something that we have been trying to do for some time, but so far EFPT has been the only organisation that shared our vision. We are in discussions with IWT to see if something similar can be achieved in wave sailing, but that is still quite early days, but our attempts to do something similar with IFCA in slalom have not really gone anywhere as they have a different vision about what is needed in the sport, especially with regards to the youth and junior categories.

Will the PWA have now more influence on the EFPT events or will the events stay independent?

We are working closely on all aspects of the cooperation, but in general we do not see any problems with how the EFPT events are run, and their regular head judge is an experienced PWA judge, so we have good faith in the contest formats. Should that change then we would of course insist that events were run at the required standard, but we have complete confidence in how they are running the events currently.

Thanks for the interview!

It’s great to see this changes and a cooperation between the tours. We are sure all riders will benefit from the new structure. Upcoming freestylers will have more chances and the PWA top fleet gets even more quality and value due to the reduction of the fleet. Let’s hope this structure will stay for a few years to see the progress. It also would be great to see more low level events for women to increase the women’s fleet.

 

PWA Calendar 2018

PWA provisional tour calendar 2018

EFPT Calendar 2018

IWT Calendar 2018

IWT 2018 start
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2018-06-18T00:05:54+00:00April 16th, 2018|

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