The Professional Windsurfers Association is pleased to announce that the PWA World Tour will become the sports arena to introduce equal amounts for award winners in the men's and women's fleets at its events. Based on the results of events such as the Gran Canaria PWA World Cup, that provided completely equal cash prizes for both divisions from the 2018, all events will now enjoy a cash prize structure that equally respects the exceptional pool of talents and professionalism that exists in the women's divisions, next to the male divisions.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for all, included for the PWA, with almost all events forced to be erased in the 2020, provided an unusual opportunity for review, analysis and change. At the beginning of the year, the PWA announced that the allocation of points in the annual manufacturer ranking would be updated to ensure the same score for riders, offering greater value to manufacturers to support women in their team. Now the last steps have been taken to align even the amounts of cash prizes.
The new structure will allow all competitors at events to earn cash prizes of the same amount based on their final position, regardless of gender. This was achieved by reducing the number of positions to which prizes are awarded in the men's division and by reallocation of these funds to the women's division. Although fewer men will receive a cash prize, those who receive it will not receive any significant reduction compared to the amounts currently allocated.
In the men's division, prizes will be awarded to the first 16, reduced by the first 20 (or 24 depending on the discipline). In the women's division, prizes will be awarded to the first 8 for fleets of 12 or more and at the first 6 for fleets of 8-12 competitors. In any case, the amounts allocated for each position will be the same for men and women. The difference in fleet participation of which each division receives the cash premium is proportional to the overall size of the fleet.
These changes will usher in a new era of equality in windsurfing and, combined with other adjustments to the rules of the equipment, will further strengthen the already increasing participation in women's divisions.
Jimmy Diaz, president pwa
"We are very happy to finally be able to make these changes, but it would be wrong to say i'm proud of it as such, because equality should be a fundamental right, not a privilege. The PWA is committed to ensuring equal opportunities for anyone, regardless of race or gender, based solely on the merit and capabilities, and with these changes, we can support that statement more fully “.
Sarah-Quita Offringa – Wave World Champion 2019, more’ time Freestyle And Slalom World Champion
“It's amazing that we get this news and that's how the year starts for us., it's a big step for women in windsurfing, I think it's great that the PWA has also moved in this direction. I want to thank Daida and Iballa Moreno who started the Canary Islands a couple of years ago at the Pozo event and it's time for that to happen. I think for the next generation it's amazing that they can compete in the PWA and know that they're the same, because we put the same commitment into sport, we do the same amount of hours in the water, we travel just as much, we take the same risks, so in the end I think it's very important that we took this step. I can't wait to see how this will help bring more women into the sport “
Iballa Moreno – Multiple Wave World Champion
“I'm pretty excited to see the PWA setting new rules regarding the cash prize for women, it's a really nice step forward and I'm really happy to be able to live this moment because it's something we've been fighting for for many years. We have been doing this in Gran Canaria for 3 years and i'm glad to see that even the whole tour will now have something equal “.
Delphine Cousin-Questel – Foil World Champion 2019, several times slalom world champion
“I have an incredible feeling because we have been fighting for years for greater equality in our sport, and now it's a big step forward for women. Now all we have to do is keep working, especially with the industry, to get to full parity. Surely this’ will bring more women on tour and help many girls become more professional. I'm really out of it., really happy. For the 2021, i can't wait to be back on the starting line! “
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