Only 32 men will compete at the this years PWA Gran Canaria Wind&Waves festival. The men’s fleet got reduced from 48 sailors to 32. 26 sailor are already registered and have a fixed place, the other sailors, like Martin ten Hoeve, Moritz Mauch, Antoine Martin, Eleazar Alonso, Alessio Stillrich or Christopher Friijs must compete against each other in a qualification round.


We have asked PWA tour manager Rich Page about the decision to reduce the fleet.


Continentseven: Why did you decide to reduce the men’s fleet from 48 to 32?
Rich Page: This was a decision that stemmed from the wave sailors themselves. There were 2 main reasons for the change which are a result of the fact that with 32 man heats can be run with just 2 sailors on the water (to do this with 48 would have required too much time).

  1. The 2 man format means that we require less judges at the event which reduces costs for organisers and helps to secure new events, especially in faraway places where flight costs can be prohibitive
  2. Secondly, with just 2 sailors on the water it is possible for the live stream cameras to follow both competitors all the time, meaning that all of the action can be seen by the audience and that far less is missed by the cameras.

Although the 32 man fleet will mean that less competitors get a chance to compete, 48 Man fleets were rarely full and there were a lot of “walk in” competitors who probably had no real right to take part and were devaluing the competition and wasting valuable time for the serious competitors. The 32 man system also incorporates a small trials competition which replaces a part of the wildcard process meaning that only truly deserving sailors can get a place and we believe that any genuinely capable and committed sailor will get sufficient chance to earn their place.


Continentseven: Did you get a lot of protest e-mails from upset riders?
Rich Page: Not really, I think one or 2 maybe.


Continentseven: Will the PWA stay with the top 32 fleet at the other PWA events, too? If not, why not.
Rich Page: This will be the usual format from now on although it is still possible that we will open the fleet up to 48 in events with special circumstances.



26 riders have registered