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Massive changes for 2020 PWA racing  – read what and why!

PWA – “Racing 2020 – As most of you are aware, there has been a huge amount of discussion and development of PWA Racing Disciplines in recent months, which will revolutionise racing at the highest level of windsurfing competition.


For the first time, 2020 will see a fully integrated foil and fin discipline as PWA slalom will take to foils as well as planning hulls to maximise the opportunities to race that foil generates, in the lightest wind whilst maintaining the excitement and close racing of the slalom format across the widest wind ranges possible.

With a format that can offer racing in conditions from 5 knots upwards, the days of waiting for wind will be almost eradicated, with consistent action for spectators, organisers and sponsors as well as reliable content on the lives stream to give the on line audience confidence to return on a regular basis.

Events will have credible results with little to no likelihood of just squeezing in one race during the event period, and the overall season results will create true overall champions based on more events with solid winners.

Course Racing

The development of upwind racing on the PWA Tour in recent years will not be discarded, with a dedicated course racing discipline available, featuring foil in isolation for events looking for the ultimate in tactical racing on upwind / downwind courses.

Event organisers interested in putting on either Slalom or Course Racing events should contact the PWA for further details.

Rules and Equipment


The Slalom discipline will run on the same basic format and rules as existing Slalom, using downwind courses and the same elimination formats. Courses may be enhanced to create a wider gybing area, utilising 2 buoys, to increase separation at the marks but, in general, the courses will be downwind slalom style courses on both fin and foil.

Racing will still be run on the “no rules” principle, with sailors only being penalised for dangerous sailing, but clearer and firmer guidelines will be given to sailors and the race committee as to what shall be considered dangerous sailing.

The decision of whether to race on foil or fin has been looked at in length and opinions have been split between making it a fixed choice for each race, meaning all sailors must be on fin or foil as specified by the race committee, or making it the riders choice which type of equipment to try to race on.

In order to allow continued evolution within the discipline, but maximise safety, it has been decided that races may be specified to be either foil, fin or open for sailors to choose. However, sailors should expect that at the beginning of the season, all races are likely to be fixed to either foil or fin, to allow the format to be further evaluated before running any open races where sailors can choose whether to race on foil or fin, with the 2 types of equipment potentially being mixed on the course.

The PWA Management Board, in consultation with the sailor committees, will continue to assess the possibilities here and may make changes to the rules in this respect if they are felt to be in the best interests of competition.

When racing on foils, the wind minimum shall be a hard 5 knots, meaning that if the wind drops below 5 knots, the Race Director must abandon the race. In reality this means racing in conditions with a minimum of about 5 – 8 knots. The wind minimum for races on fins, shall remain at 7 knots. If “open” races are run where sailors may choose whether to race on fin or foil, the wind minimum will be 5 knots and, any sailors taking fins, and unable to plane in winds over 5 knots will have no grounds to complain.

Competitors will register 7 sails (max 10 square metres) and 4 boards for slalom in 2020. This may include any mixture of 7 sails, but boards may only include 1 foil board (up to 91cm wide) and 3 slalom boards (up to 85cm wide).

Each competitor may register 2 foil sets, comprising 1 mast, 2 fuselage, and 2 sets of wings (2x front and 2x back)

Competitors may use foils on any board they have registered for races on foil, but may only use fins on boards up to 85cm wide.

Course Racing

Focussing purely on full fleet, upwind and downwind racing, on foils, course racing will continue to fulfil the demand for more traditional racing, albeit with the cutting edge aspect of hydrofoil technology.

Competitors will register one board (max 100cm width) for course racing, and 3 sails (max 10 square metres), and 2 foil sets as specified above.

Registration Deadlines

As the new formats and maximum width for Course Racing have been changed from previously published regulations, the deadline for submitting registration information for foil boards (Slalom and Course Racing) will be 1st March.

For sails, which will no longer be separated between foil and slalom sails, with all registered sails being permitted for either discipline, the deadline for registration will be moved back to January 15th. The deadline for brands to register foils will be January 31st.

If you have any questions regarding the future formats, please contact the PWA at [email protected].

Kind regards


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