WHAT, WHERE AND WHEN?
The 2021 iQFOiL European Championships will take place in Marseille, France, in the same waters where it will make its Olympic debut at Paris 2024. Racing starts on the Saturday 23 October and will conclude on Thursday 28 October.
There’s plenty of British interest in this new Olympic discipline. World Championship medallists Matt Barton, Islay Watson and Saskia Sills are all in attendance, backed by a host of British teammates. In the men’s fleet Barton is joined by Andy Brown, Tokyo 2020 representative Tom Squires and U21 world champion Finn Hawkins as well as the British Sailing Team’s Henry Bloodworth, James Hatcher and Sam Sills. In the female fleet you will see BST team members Alysia Gibson, Jenna Gibson and also 2021 Youth World Championships representative Lucy Kenyon.
A full start list can be found at https://iqfoilclass.org/europeans2021/entry-list/
WHAT’S THE LOWDOWN?
It’s another chance for the Brits to show the world the strides forward they’ve made in the new Olympic windsurfing class. This is the first major event for the class that has not been on a lake, bringing a whole new set of challenges for the competitors. Mastering Marseille’s tricky conditions will be difficult but will also provide a crucial learning curve for those targeting Paris 2024. Also, there’s some really strong RS:X windsurfers creeping into the start lists, like Olympic medallists Thomas Goyard (FRA) and Zofia Noceti-Klapecka (POL), so there is interest to see how they handle the transfer.
WHAT THEY SAY
“I’m excited for the start of the iQFOiL European Championships in Marseille, it’s been a long season but will be great to check in one final time before we move into winter training. The forecast is looking very light for the regatta so will be a real test if we are fast across all the conditions as well as test the new formats and rules recently introduced.” – Matt Barton
“The forecast looks like we are going to get some tricky conditions, conditions we haven’t really raced in before at an international event, but it’s exciting as you don’t really know what’s going to happen. My other events have gone well so there’s a little bit of pressure to continue that, but it’s a totally new venue and the fleet is getting stronger all the time so you can’t expect to medal all the time, but I think I’m sailing really well at the moment.” – Islay Watson
HOW TO FOLLOW
The BST’s social channels will keep you up to date as always, but you can find a lot of the event information on the iQFOiL Euros website – https://iqfoilclass.org/europeans2021/
You can find the full results here.