Windsurfing makes historic move toward equal prize money

July 10, 2018 | Windsurfing
Daida and Iballa: fighting for equal prize money in windsurfing | Photo: Carter/PWA

For the first time in its history, the Gran Canaria Windsurf World Cup will award equal prize money to men and women at Pozo Izquierdo.

The 30th anniversary of the windsurfing competition held in the Canary Islands will be a special one to all the female athletes involved in the waves discipline.

"As women windsurfers, we have been dreaming about this moment for the last 21 years. We run the same risks, train hard and even worse, with lower salaries and opportunities," Daida Moreno, organizer, and competitor, told Continent Seven.

The veteran sailor, who's in charge of the Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival for seven years, says they found the 20,000 euros needed to balance the prize money.

"Some people think that women, as they cannot sail as powerful as men, should not get the same prize money. Of course, women have physical restrictions compared to men, but when competing on a higher level, they sail better than many men."

Iballa Moreno: flying high above Pozo Izquierdo | Photo: Carter/PWA

Moreno revealed that the authorities of Gran Canaria working on legislation to enforce equal prize money in all sports, using windsurfing as a positive reference.

"There is a whole movement that needs to be changed from salaries in sponsorships to free gear or equal opportunities to became better windsurfers. Women have a few physical restrictions compared to men, but when competing on a higher level, they can sail better than many men."

Daida Ruano Moreno hopes to see the event grow into a super grand slam contest, with an extra discipline and better prize purses.

Of all water boardsports, windsurfing becomes the first to have an event delivering equal prize to male and female athletes.