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Christchurch windsurfer Emma Wilson claims iQFoil European Championships silver as format foils bid for gold

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BRITISH Olympic medallist Emma Wilson put together an impressive week of racing to win silver at the 2022 iQFoil European Championships in Torbole, Italy.

In her first major outing in the new Olympic windsurfing discipline, Christchurch’s Wilson proved her talent in the new foiling windsurfer, having stepped onto the equipment in September.

Less than a year from her bronze medal-winning performance at Tokyo 2020, Wilson was dominant throughout the contest during the new racing format, which sees athletes compete all week to win a place in the winner-takes-all medal race.

Wilson in action at the 2022 iQFoil European Championships
Wilson in action at the 2022 iQFoil European Championships

She had a 20-point lead before the medal race but, ultimately, Wilson was beaten when it counted by France’s Hélène Noesmoen, the current world champion.

Wilson (22) said: “It was a pretty good week for me. I put together a really good series over 20 races which I’m very proud of. Unfortunately, I finished second in the final race, which means I finish second overall as the points from the races before don’t count.

“I’m happy because I only started sailing the iQFoil in September, but obviously, it stings a lot losing the gold right at the end. I’ll be back.”

Narrowly missing out on joining her teammate on the podium was 2021 European silver medallist Islay Watson who finished fourth, while Saskia Sills was also threatening the top spots before injury on the penultimate day curtailed her chances.

Wilson (left) grabbed silver despite leading the competition all week (picture: RYA)
Wilson (left) grabbed silver despite leading the competition all week (picture: RYA)

Wilson secured a bronze medal in her Olympic debut in Tokyo in August 2021. She was the youngest member of the UK sailing team and raced superbly, coming in the top two on seven out of 13 races.

Going into the final day in second place, Wilson needed to beat China’s Lu Yunxiu by two positions to lift gold. However, France’s Charline Picon made the best start out of the leading trio, holding on to her advantage to take silver.

Wilson’s first taste of a world title was at just 12 when she took the U15 Techno 293 World Championship. After moving to the Olympic class, Wilson’s success continued with the RS:X Youth Worlds title in 2014.

Although she never medalled, Wilson’s mother, Penny, is a former three-time windsurfing world champion who represented Great Britain at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics.

Full results can be found at iqeuropeans2022.sailti.com/en/default/races/race-resultsall

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