The first week of April saw stop number two of the PWA IWT Wave Tour and it was continued success for Team Duotone! Victor Fernandez went 3rd again in Chile to back up his 3rd place in Japan and now sits 2nd in the overall ranking. Chile marked a 34th PWA wave podium finish for Victor - a true legend of his generation. But it was Young Blood, Alexia Kiefer who stole the show. The 18-year-old secured her maiden podium, narrowly missing out on the event win, finishing in 2nd place.

Matanzas, is famous for its perfect left handers peeling off the point and it truly delivered World Class conditions!

Young Blood, Alexia Kiefer was one of the standout riders from the whole event, consistently picking the biggest set waves and tearing them to pieces. She narrowly missed out on the victory, leading all the way through the final until a buzzer beater from Lina Erpenstein edged her out into 2nd place.

Victor Fernandez also stood out from the moment he stepped on the water and all the years spent in Matanzas from 2003 to 2018 clearly paid off as he looked right at home, picking perfect wave after perfect wave. His 3rd place finish was his 34th podium of his career - and puts him in 2nd place in the World Rankings after 2 events.


Maria Behrens, Maria Andres and Lisa Wermeister all showed moments of brilliance throughout the event to finish 7th, 9th and 9th respectively. Maria Behrens dominated her quarterfinal but couldn't quite find the timing with the lip in the semi-final in over mast high conditions. Maria Andres stormed her repechage and looked like a real threat for the event win. Unfortunately illness overtook her in the latter stages of the event and hampered her chances of progressing out of the quarterfinals. Young Blood, Lisa Wermeister continues to be one to watch - despite being the lowest seed in her opening round she took down both the seeded riders to advance straight to round 3. In the quarter finals, only 0.3 points stopped her from advancing.

Lucas Meldrum, 2023 British Champion, entered the Challengers competition in a bid for a wildcard entry to the main fleet. He looked impressive all the way through but couldn't quite find the waves he wanted in the final and ultimately finished 3rd, only 0.74 points away from entering the main draw. With his university studies now finished, we know this is still only the start for the young Brit.

With Alexia and Victor both finishing on the podium, we caught up with both of them to get their perspective on the event:

»⁠I have no words to describe this feeling. It's the first time I come to Chile and the first time ever I'm on the podium! I still can not believe it.«

— Alexia Kiefer Quintana

Alexia, congratulations on your first Pro Podium! How does it feel?

⁠I have no words to describe this feeling. It's the first time I come to Chile and the first time ever I'm on the podium! I still can not believe it. I am very happy and grateful and I can't wait to return next year.


What equipment have you been riding this event?

I was using my 4.2 and 4.5 Super_Hero Sails and my 76 Grip 4 SLS. The wind was strong on the outside but lighter on the shore. Therefore, this board with more liters than I usually use was perfect to pass the waves. .

You’re known for coming from a world class jumping spot in Pozo, Gran Canaria, yet your level in wave riding is incredible - how have you trained this part of your riding?

Last year I went to Pacasmayo, Peru, for the first time, where I participated in the competition and had the opportunity to surf big waves for the first time. I spent almost three weeks there and was able to train almost every day. In Gran Canaria we have these types of conditions very occasionally, therefore, I do not usually train this type of riding. This time in Chile I again had the opportunity to compete and train in these types of conditions to little by little learn and improve my riding in big waves.


What tricks / jumps / manoeuvres are you currently working on?

At this moment I am training my jumps (forward and backloop) for the next competition in Pozo Izquierdo.

What’s the plan for the rest of the year?

This year for the first time I would like to complete the tour and do at least four competitions in order to achieve the best possible position in the ranking.

Good luck Alexia! You can find out more about our Young Blood superstar here.

»It is one of my favourite locations in the world and I felt comfortable sailing here before and during the competition. The level was through the roof so I still have to push myself on every heat as if it was a final from the first round till the final.«

— Victor Fernandez

Congratulations on back to back podiums! How did you train for Chile and what did you change between Chile and Japan to adapt to the polar opposite conditions?

Thanks. I went to Cape Verde twice this winter to prepare for Chile. Cape Verde is most of the time starboard tack, but it is side side off shore down the line, powerful fast waves so it was good to adapt myself to those conditions as I knew Chile was similar, just colder and port tack.


What equipment were you riding in Chile and how was this different from Japan?

I used the same gear I have been using in Cape Verde and Japan here in Chile. Super_Hero SLS 4.7 up to 5.3 and my Grip 4 D/LAB 93 board. I sail all winter in this combo, our big gear is incredible.

You first went to Chile in more than 20 years ago. How was it to finally have a World Cup here and do you think all the years travelling over there gave you an advantage in the competition?

My first trip to Chile was in 2003, last one in 2018 and I use to come almost every year since 2003 so I sailed so many spots here and specially the area of Matanzas. It is one of my favourite locations in the world and I felt comfortable sailing here before and during the competition. The level was through the roof so I still have to push myself on every heat as if it was a final from the first round till the final.


You have been in the top 3 on the PWA for over 20 years - now ranked no.2 in 2024 - what motivates you to keep pushing after all this time?

I am really happy to start with 2 x 3rd places in 2024 and being in the top 3 overall. I am very motivated, and specially having this new events on tour is refreshing. I feel fortunate to be in this position after a long time competing on tour, I think experience counts and specially in events of just wave riding. I remember when I was younger watching the older riders still doing good at events of wave riding cause they know so good the spots from sailing it so many times.

What’s the plan for between now and Pozo?

I am going to Maui for the Duotone photoshoot after Chile. Then I will come back to Almerimar in May and I will prepare for Pozo at home, also I might go to Cadiz or Gran Canaria on good forecast so I can get ready for the next World Cup. I really look forward to compete in Pozo and push myself there.

Good luck Victor!