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Christchurch windsurfer Emma Wilson finishes as top British woman in iQFOiL at Lanzarote

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CHRISTCHURCH windsurfer and Tokyo 2020 medallist Emma Wilson finished as the highest placed British woman in her first international iQFOiL event.

Former Ballard School pupil Wilson, 22, had a string of top-two finishes, including two impressive wins in the marathon format, but ultimately missed out on a medal at the iQFOiL in Lanzarote.

In the first significant event of the year for the Olympic classes, the competitors contended with different formats from the traditional RS:X, taking on course racing, slalom and the gruelling marathon disciplines.

Emma Wilson in action at the iQFOiL International Games in Lanzarote (photo: Sailing Energy)
Emma Wilson in action at the iQFOiL International Games in Lanzarote (photo: Sailing Energy)

Tokyo 2020 was the final Olympic Games to feature traditional RS:X windsurfing event, with the organisers switching to foiling for Paris 2024.

Foiling refers to the use of hydrofoils attached to the hull of fast boats, which provides additional lift at planing speeds, often enough to lift the hull out of the water.

With the squads still getting used to equipment, formats and new coach Nick Dempsey, the games were seen as an event which could help shape the year ahead for the British Sailing Team.

Wilson, who finished in fifth, said: “I’m pretty happy with how it went. I had good speed in most conditions and had a lot of fun doing the different formats. We did slalom, a marathon and course racing on one day, which was pretty wacky but a lot of fun. The final day, I had a bit of a nightmare as basically where you finish in the final race is where you finish overall, so I finished in fifth.

“The conditions were extreme, and I’ve never sailed in those conditions on the foil. But now I know what to work on. I’m excited to get back to it and see how much I can improve.”

Wilson won bronze in her Olympic debut after coming in the top two on seven out of 13 races.

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