Press release by Richard Page, PWA Tour Manager, 10 January 2023.
The PWA and IWT unite in a groundbreaking move that will create the greatest wave sailing tour in the 50 year history of the sport.
The PWA and IWT are proud to announce that together they will crown the 2023 Wave World Champions. The new 5 Star Rider Rankings will unify the worlds’ best wave riding and jumping events under one umbrella – from Local 1 Star events, to National 2 Star events, all the way up the pyramid with international 3 and 4 Star World Cup events, with the richest, biggest and most spectacular 5 Star World Cup events at the very top of the pyramid, culminating in the stunning and iconic Grand Final Aloha Classic in Hawai’i where we will crown the new Wave World Champions. This is huge.
The 40 event strong global calendar will be formally announced in the coming weeks. The apex World Cup events are expected to include the iconic waves of Cabo Verde in the eastern Atlantic, the shallow reef power of Cloudbreak in Fiji, the freight train left hander of Topocalma in Chile, the longest rideable wave in the world at Pacasmayo in Peru, and of course the historic heartland of wave riding innovation at Ho’okipa Beach park in Hawai’i for the Aloha Classic Grand Final. Balancing those wave riding events will be the world’s most iconic wave jumping locations that start with wild Omaezaki in the south east of Japan, on to the legendary home of champions in mighty Pozo Izquierdo, Gran Canaria and the blue water magic of Tenerife, both in the Canary Islands, and of course the biggest windsurfing event on earth on the island of Sylt on the stormy North Sea coast of Germany.
This new global 5 Star pyramid structure is nothing short of a revolution in the sport of Windsurfing. For the first time the grass roots base is directly connected to the very top of the pyramid with a cohesive unified global sports structure. Celebrating and uniting all the passionate event organisers, athletes and fans around the world, all the rider communities on the planet, with over 40 wave events across 25 countries. The new single and unified Rider Rankings allow any rider to earn ranking points at any of these events. Modest points at the smaller events, bigger points at the bigger events. Catering to all levels and generating a continuous Rider Ranking points system that links local riders all the way up the ladder to the world champions. Similar to the PGA or ATP, this is global sport at its best.
Since its inception in 1996, the PWA has run over 250 pro level events around the globe, from Fiji to Denmark, Brazil to Germany and many more. The PWA awards the Professional Windsurfing World Titles as authorized by World Sailing. The PWA are the sailors who represent the sport at the highest level of competition, governed by the athletes and the windsurfing industry, for the athletes, to develop competition formats, generate media interest and drive the sport forwards.
Founded in 2010, the IWT has grown to become the global organisation for Riders, running over 35 wave riding events across the world in 2023 from Local, National, to International competition with the worlds most iconic waves. The IWT partner with the Duke Kahanamoku Foundation in Hawai’i to celebrate our surfing origins and the spirit of aloha. The IWT aligns with the surfing world. We are wind-SURFERS.
Together the PWA and IWT seek out the best locations, with the best wave riding conditions on earth, for the best quality wave riding competitions. Our ultimate purpose is to DISCOVER, SUPPORT, CHALLENGE and CROWN the worlds’ best wave riders. We’re taking the sport and its champions to a new digital generation.
CROWNING THE WORLD CHAMPIONS
Pro Men riders will count their best 3 event results plus the Grand Final Aloha Classic in Hawai’i (total 4 best results) to decide the overall Rider Rankings and OP World Titles.
Pro Women riders will count their best 2 event results plus the Grand Final Aloha Classic in Hawai’i (total 3 best results) to decide the overall Rider Rankings and W World Titles.
The 5 star World Cup events will be streamed live across the world to the global fan base.
With the windsurfing world finally fully united and strong, we can now all pull together and build the best wave tour that the world has ever known.
Follow the action @pwaworldtour and @iwt_wave_tour
Note for the fans: The PWA Youth, and the IWT Youth, IWT Masters and IWT Open Am divisions will continue to thrive as they have before, with an even bigger base of competition feeding up to the international events. More news on these divisions when we announce the unified calendar in coming weeks.
ABOUT THE PWA
The Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA) represents excellence in windsurfing. Its current and past members constitute the very best windsurfers in the World. The PWA are the sailors who represent the sport at the highest level of competition. The PWA drives the sport forwards, organizes and sanctions professional World Cup events, develops competition formats and enhances media delivery. The PWA is sanctioned as the Official Organising Body of Professional Windsurfing.
ABOUT THE IWT
The IWT is the global organisation for Riders. It runs the The IWT Wave Tour (now unified with the PWA), The Grand Final Aloha Classic, and the IWT Big Wave Challenge. For details of each please go to our website. The IWT also creates world class entertainment content, including the feature movie by Director Jace Panebianco, ‘RIDERS of the Liquid Plains’.