Britain’s windsurfers are back in action this week taking on the world’s best in Torbole, Italy, on the waters of Lake Garda.
Following a summer of training and competing in Japan with the Olympic Games Test Event and World Cup Series Enoshima, the British contingent head back to Europe to go for glory in the RS:X World Championships.
As Britain’s Test Event representatives, both Emma Wilson (pictured above) and Tom Squires (pictured below) finished just off the podium in fourth and are looking to take the lessons learned in to the Worlds.
Backing up his fourth in the Olympic Test Event, Squires finished fifth at the World Cup Series Enoshima regatta a week later, and the 26-year-old from Oxford is looking to use that experience to push for the podium.
“Coming off a great summer’s racing in Japan I feel my sailing has been improving fast. I think I’m more prepared than ever to try and be in contention for a medal. I still have weak areas in my sailing that I’ll be addressing this winter, but fingers crossed I can keep it together and have a great regatta.”
Wilson not only has her Japanese adventures to build on, but a hat-trick of medals from the 2019 Europeans in April where she won gold in the U21 fleet, silver in the European fleet and bronze overall.
Reflecting on her time in Japan Wilson, 20, from Christchurch, Dorset, said: “I think after every event I look back and a few places here and there cost me a medal. I think it’s just the little things to keep trying to improve each race.”
Looking ahead to the Worlds Wilson said: “I’m looking forward to racing. It’s going to be tricky with everyone here, I think the biggest entry in a very long time, but it should be fun. I’m looking forward to see what I can do. I’ve been here for a week now and we have had the classic Garda offshore in morning and onshore in afternoon.”
Another Briton with a 2019 European medal is Andy Brown (pictured below) who has fond memories of Lake Garda when he took bronze in the U19 World Championships in 2017.
“I’m aiming to improve on my 31st at the 2018 World Championships and take that up to a top 15 level,” said Brown, 20, from Glasgow, Scotland. “I got bronze in the U21 section for the Europeans and to be U21 world champion would be amazing, but if I achieve my top 15 overall goal I think being U21 world champion would come hand in hand.”
There is more British medal hunger in the Women’s fleet with Launceston’s Saskia Sills, 23, aiming to kick on after a land mark performance in her last competitive outing.
“The last regatta I had was the World Cup Series Marseille in June where I took a first senior medal, and racing is what I enjoy the most about sailing, so I’m excited to get going at the Worlds.
“We had a coaches regatta in Japan which personally I feel went very well. I feel like I made big improvements in conditions that I recognised as potential weaknesses and I have been working on in training, so I’m happy to see some hard work start to pay off.”
Also competing in Torbole will be Kieran Martin and Matt Barton in the Men’s fleet with Alysia Gibson, 2018 Youth Worlds champion Islay Watson and Beijing 2008 bronze medallist Bryony Shaw taking on the Women’s fleet.
Shaw, 36, from Weymouth, Dorset, said: “I am really happy to be able to enjoy Lake Garda and to prepare for our 2019 World Championships. The venue is spectacular and offers a variety of conditions this time of the year. I am looking forward to this big test, my effort will be as focussed and determined as ever.”
Full results from the event can be found here.