The Professional Windsurfers Association is pleased to announce that the PWA World Tour will become the latest sporting arena to introduce equal amounts for prize winners in the men’s and women’s fleets at its events. Building on the achievements of events like the Gran Canaria PWA World Cup, which has provided fully equal prize money for both divisions since 2018, all events will now enjoy a prize money structure that equally respects the outstanding pool of talent and professionalism that exists in the women’s divisions, alongside the men’s divisions.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone, including the PWA, with almost all events being forced to cancel in 2020, it has provided an unusual opportunity for review, analysis and change. Earlier in the year, the PWA announced that the points allocation of the annual constructors ranking would be upgraded to grant equal points to female riders, offering greater value to manufacturers for supporting women on their team. Now the final steps have been taken to bring prize money amounts in line too.
The new structure will mean that all competitors at events who earn prize money will receive the same amount for their finishing position, regardless of gender. This has been achieved by reducing the depth of places to which the men’s division are awarded prizes and reallocating those funds to the women’s division. Although fewer of the men’s division will receive prize money, those that do will not receive any significant reduction to the amounts currently awarded.
In the Men’s division, prizes will be awarded to the top 16, reduced from top 20 (or 24 depending on discipline). In the Women’s division, prizes will be awarded to the top 8 for fleets of 12 or over, and top 6 for fleets of 8 – 12 competitors. In each case the amounts awarded for each position will be the same for men and women. The differences of the depth of the fleet to which each division receives prize money is proportionate to overall fleet sizes.
These changes will usher in a new era of equality in windsurfing and, combined with other adjustments to equipment rules, will help to further boost the already growing participation in the women’s divisions.
Jimmy Diaz, PWA President
“We are very happy to finally be able to make these changes, but it would be wrong to say I am proud of them as such, as equality should be a fundamental right, not a privilege. The PWA strives to ensure equal opportunities for anyone, regardless of race or gender, based purely on merit and ability, and with these changes, we are able to make that claim more fully.”
Sarah-Quita Offringa – 2019 Wave World Champion, Multiple Freestyle and Slalom World Champion
“Its amazing that we get this news and that this is how the year is going to start for us, it’s a big step for women in windsurfing, I thinks it’s awesome that PWA has moved in this direction as well. I want to thank Daida and Iballa Moreno who kicked this off in the Canary Islands a couple of years ago at the Pozo event and its about time this happened.
I think that for the next generation its huge that they can step into competing in the PWA and know that they are equal, because we put the same effort into the sport, we do the same amount of hours, travel the same, take the same risks, so in the end I think it’s very important that we made this step. I’m really looking forward to how this is going to help get more women into the sport”
Iballa Moreno – Multiple Wave World Champion
“I’m pretty stoked to see the PWA making new rules concerning the prize money for the women, it’s a really good step forward, and I’m really happy to be able to live this moment because its something we’ve been fighting for for many years!
We’ve been doing it in Gran Canaria now for the last 3 years, and I am happy to see that the whole tour now will have something equal too.”
Delphine Cousin-Questel – 2019 Foil World Champion, Multiple Slalom World Champion
“I have an amazing feeling because we are fighting for years for more equality in our sport, and now it’s a big step forwards for the women. Now we just have to continue to work, especially with the industry, to arrive with full equality. It will for sure bring more women on the tour and help a lot of girls to become more professional. I’m really, really happy about that. For 2021, I cannot wait to be on the starting line again!”