PWA World Tour: the professional windsurfing circuit introduced equal prize money for men and women | Photo: Carter/PWA

The Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA) announced the introduction of equal prize money at its events in 2021.

The official windsurfing circuit sanctioned by World Sailing will award an identical prize money structure for both fleets across all disciplines.

"The Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancelation of almost all competitions, but it allowed us to reflect, analyze and review and change," the PWA World Tour notes.

"Earlier in the year, we announced the upgrade of the annual constructors ranking' points allocation to grant equal points to female riders.

"The goal was to offer greater value to windsurf manufacturers who support women on their teams."

As a result, all athletes will earn the same prize money for identical finishing positions, regardless of gender.

To make this a reality, the PWA World Tour reduced the depth of places to which the men's division are awarded prizes and reallocated those funds to the women's division.

There will be fewer male competitors receiving a check, but those who get it will not earn less than what is currently awarded.

The New Equal Prize Money System

In the men's division, prize money will be awarded to the top 16 windsurfers.

In the women's division, prize money will be awarded to the top 8 for fleets of 12 athletes and to the top 6 for fleets of 8-12 windsurfers.

The differences in the fleet's depth to which each division receives prize money are proportionate to the size of the overall fleets.

"It's a new era of equality in windsurfing which, combined with other adjustments to equipment rules, will further boost the already growing participation in the women's divisions," adds the PWA.

The groundbreaking move follows the decision taken in 2018 at the Gran Canaria PWA World Cup to award equal prize money for the first time in a windsurfing event.

"I am proud and happy of finally being able to make these changes. Equality should be a fundamental right - not a privilege," states Jimmy Diaz, president of the PWA.

"We must ensure equal opportunities for anyone, regardless of race or gender, based purely on merit and ability."

The athletes are obviously ecstatic with the new decision.

"It's a huge step for women's windsurfing and the next generation," expresses Sarah-Quita Offringa, the 2019 PWA Women's Wave world champion.

"I want to thank Iballa and Daida Moreno for kicking things off in the Canary Islands in 2018. We do the same amount of hours, take the same risks, and travel the same."

"I'm stoked to see the PWA taking a step forward, and I'm thrilled to be able to live this moment," concluded multiple world windsurfing champion Iballa Moreno.

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