Sills sets windfoiling bar high

Written by 9th March 2020 Featured-post, Paris 2024, Team news

Britain’s Sam Sills took the top spot at Andalusian Olympic Week in his first competitive outing in the newest Olympic discipline of windfoiling.

Sills dominated the regatta winning 13 of the 15 races in the Open Foil class.

The only riders to beat Sills in a race were Ramón Pastor, the 2019 European champion, and Fernando Martínez del Cerro who finished second and third respectively.

Sam Sills in action. © Douglas Machado

Sills has spent the winter in Vilamoura, Portugal, as part of a British Sailing Team training group led by foiling expert Sam Ross.

The British Sailing Team’s windfoil programme was launched following the announcement in November 2019 that the long-serving RS:X would be replaced at Paris 2024 by the Starboard iQFoil.

Sills celebrates victory. © Douglas Machado

“It’s really exciting to win this regatta,” said Sills, from Launceston, Cornwall. “It was my first foil racing championship and I didn’t really know what to expect. I was quite nervous because of the high speed, plus there were a few top sailors there. I’ve been putting in a lot of hard work over the winter and its cool to come away with the win.

“It’s brilliant to be pushing this new discipline ahead of the 2024 Olympic cycle. The British Sailing Team has been really supportive investing in foiling training camps over the winter which has allowed us to develop a solid team and push ourselves in a safe environment.

“There’s a true buzz in the atmosphere at the moment – suddenly Olympic windsurfing is aligned with the rest of the windsurfing industry, kite foiling, Americas Cup and Sail GP. I’m really excited for the future of the sport and the journey ahead.”

After some time spent training in Tarifa, Sills will rejoin the British Sailing Team training group for the next block in Vilamoura in preparation for the World Championships later this year.