The PWA announces further event cancellations for 2021, but the Slalom events in Israel & Croatia will take place
We are excited to be gearing up for the first return of PWA World Cup Slalom in 18 months in Israel in a few weeks, but unfortunately the news elsewhere on the tour is not as positive. Efforts to combat the pandemic have made great steps forward as vaccination programs have been rolled out, but these programs have not taken effect as fast as had been hoped and there are still considerable restrictions in place, as well as a lot of uncertainty about when those restriction can be reliably expected to be removed. Every event is different and the exact reasons that decide whether an event can go ahead or not vary, but in each case, COVID-19 has been the cause of those issues. The decision to cancel an event is not one that the PWA takes itself, but that has been taken locally by either the local event organizer, local or national authorities whose permission is required for the event, or by sponsors or other bodies funding events, based on the circumstances they find themselves in. As we have got further and further into the year, the time left for the impact of the COVID pandemic to be reduced has become less and less and, now, unfortunately, we have to announce the cancellation of several events due to COVID-19 restrictions. PWA World Tour
All three of the Canaries events have had to be cancelled due to ongoing uncertainty about restrictions, and increased costs created by the pandemic, meaning that there will not be events at Pozo, Fuerteventura or Tenerife for the second year running. The ongoing construction work at the beach at Pozo also created significant difficulties.
The new slalom event planned for Sri Lanka has now been postponed until 2022 also, after the local tourism authorities, who are heavily supporting the event, decided that they would have to postpone due to increasing COVID levels in the country.
The biennial PWA Tour visit to New Caledonia has also been cancelled for 2021 due to substantial travel restrictions that remain in place with no projected easing in good time for the event to go ahead.
The Croatia slalom event will go ahead, and we are currently studying options to potentially upgrade the event from a 2 star event to a full counting 5 star World Cup, in light of other cancellations and to provide more top level competition for the riders, the fans and the industry. We will bring you more news as this situation develops.
The remaining events on the calendar in Jinha Beach/South Korea, Klitmoller/Denmark and Sylt/Germany are all still in planning and we have high hopes that they can go ahead.
The PWA confirms their first event in 2021 – The World Cup Slalom is back
The PWA is pleased to announce the confirmation of the first World Cup Slalom event to take place since the start of the pandemic. The 2021 Tiberias PWA World Cup will take place in Israel from the 21st to 25th June at the city of Tiberias, on the Western shores of the Sea of Galilee. Unfortunately the political situation doesn’t look so positive in Israel. Violence between Israelis and Palestinians is happening at the moment. The confrontation actually escalates into rocket firing, airstrikes and death.
The Tiberias PWA World Cup will truly be an event of firsts. As well as being the first event of the new slalom format and the first slalom event with the new equal prize money structure, it is the first PWA slalom world cup to take place in Israel and the first to showcase the PWA’s new media service, delivering a range of content from live streaming, to daily online highlights and even including the first in what will be a new series of TV shows on the PWA tour. Perhaps more than anything though, as the first, full blown PWA world cup to take place since New Caledonia in 2019. It will be a welcome return of top level PWA windsurfing competition and all eyes of the windsurfing world will undoubtedly be turned on Tiberias towards the end of June.
As the most prominent athlete in the Israeli windsurfing scene, Arnon Dagan (ISR-1) played an integral part in bringing the event to Israel, alongside the local event organizers – Comtecgroup and Target-Market.
Since I was 13 years old, I always looked up to the sailors of the PWA. I Could never imagine that the PWA will hold an event in Israel one day. In the past 15 years I have been trying to bring the tour to Israel and now finally its happening! Israel has incredible spots for windsurfing, from Eilat in the South, to Haifa in the North. The lake of Galilee in Tveria is one of the most consistent places in the world for wind in the summer. I can’t wait to welcome my friends and windsurfing superstars and see them flying on the water. It is an amazing development for the sport of windsurfing in Israel and everyone here is super excited. Arnon Dagan
PWA President, Jimmy Diaz (ISV-11) was equally enthusiastic.
The past 14 months have been incredibly tough for all the riders on the PWA tour and organising events in these unprecedented times has created unique challenges. To be able to realise any events right now is a great achievement, but to have one in such a great and historic location, with such great conditions, is a huge boost to our sport and to the PWA Tour. We are grateful to both the city of Tberias, Comtecgroup, Target-Market and Arnon for their efforts in making this a reality and we are all looking forward to being back on the start line. Jimmy Diaz
The PWA announced their updated tour calendar today
9 pro events and one youth event are still on on the calendar: 3 Wave, 2 Freestyle, 1 youth wave, 2 Slalom only & 5 Slalom/Foil competitions. The events in France, Spain/Costa Brava & Portugal are cancelled.
PWA: “Since we published our tentative schedule just under a month ago, the progress towards the lifting of COVID restrictions has not progressed as quickly as we might have hoped. Although the long term outlook is still positive, we have been monitoring the situation closely with our event partners and there are a few changes.
Unfortunately, due to the ongoing uncertainty of current circumstances, the events in France, Costa Brava and Portugal have had to be cancelled for the 2021 season. In each case, local authorities have not been able to give any indication of if or when the ban on events might be lifted, and permission granted for the events to go ahead. That uncertainty has also led to commercial support being deferred to the 2022 season and has prevented other financial support from being confirmed in time for proper event planning to continue. Although postponing to later in 2021 has been considered, no viable options were available, making it impossible for the events to continue this year. The cancellations are purely due to the pandemic though, meaning that work done to realize the events in the 2021 season will not be lost, with all events expected to return in 2022.
On a more positive note, the Slalom World Cup at Tiberias in Israel, has been moved to 21st to 25th June which will give the event even be greater assurance of great conditions. Many of the required permissions for the event to take place are already in place and we expect to be able to fully confirm the event in the near future.”
The PWA World Tour announced their provisional PWA World Tour Calendar 2021 on February 22, 2021.
The first event could happen in France in May. 13 events are announced in total: 10 racing events (6 are confirmed), 3 wave events (2 are confirmed), 1 youth only wave event and 2 freestyle events (both are confirmed).
It looks like racing (including slalom and foil) is the dominating discipline nowadays. With events in Israel and Sri Lanka two new destinations are added. The event in Viana do Castelo in Portugal returns to the calendar after two years abstinence. New Caledonia, Noumea could host the Slalom finals again like in 2019.
PWA: As you can all imagine, the enormous levels of uncertainty, surrounding travel and large scale events, have had a significant impact on the PWA and the PWA Tour. Despite huge efforts on the part of our event organizers, 2020 saw only 2 events take place, with the very successful 1 Star Slalom World Tour event in Croatia, and enormously popular Youth Wave World Cup in Klitmoller both managing to avoid the worst of the pandemic and go ahead as planned. Despite the challenges, we have been working hard with our event partners to ensure that top flight windsurfing does not disappear and that we can get back on the water, to compete, as soon as possible. To that end, we are pleased to release a tentative schedule of events that we are working to bring you for 2021. Due to the pandemic, it is still possible that anything could change, and events may be rescheduled to different dates, switch to different disciplines, or change in status from World Cup or Grand Slam to something lower. In the worst cases, it may be that we are forced to cancel events.
Provisional PWA World Tour Calendar 2021:
France – Marignane (May 2021)– cancelled
- Israel (21st – 25th June ) Slalom World Cup 5* – confirmed
Spain – Catalonia/Costa Brava (8th – 13th June)– cancelled Portugal – Viana do Castelo (21th – 26th June) Slalom World Cup 5*– cancelled
- Croatia (2nd – 7th July) Slalom World Tour 2* (eventually 5* event upgrade)
Spain – Gran Canaria/Pozo Izquierdo (9th – 17th July) Wave World Cup 5*– cancelled Sri Lanka (20th – 25th July) Slalom World Cup 5*– postponed until 2022 Spain – Fuerteventura/Sotavento (29th July – 7th August) Grand Slam 6* (Slalom & Freestyle)– cancelled Spain – Tenerife/El Cabezo (August – TBC) Wave World Cup 5*– cancelled
- South Korea – Ulsan/Jinha Beach (5th – 10th September) Slalom World Cup 5*
- Denmark – Cold Hawaii/Klitmoller (12th – 18th September) Wave Youth World Cup
- Germany – Sylt/Brandenburger Strand (24th September – 3rd October) Grand Slam 7* (Slalom, Wave & Freestyle)
New Caledonia – Noumea (November – TBC) Slalom World Cup 5*– cancelled