Lanzarote’s world renowned Marina Rubicón will host the World Championship of the iQFOiL, the new Olympic windsurfing class. Not only are the world titles at stake but country qualifying placed for the Olympic Games are on offer, and for some nations it is a selection trials for their Olympic spot.
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Credit: @SailingEnergy / @iQFOiL Class Rider: Sam Sills - GBR 60
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, 25 January 2024
Lanzarote’s Marina Rubicón is ready to host the first of the Olympic Sailing World Championships to be held in 2024. Following the celebration of the seventh round of the iQFOiL Games last December, tomorrow, Friday 26th January, the iQFOiL World Championship officially starts, with the first of the three days given over to initial registration and measurements. Racing then runs from Monday 29 to Saturday 3 February.
In fact most of the fleet which will compete in this World Championships has been based in Lanzarote for most of the winter.
Class manager Gonzalo, explains, “For several years now we have had an iQFOiL Games event here and it is a venue of choice for sailors to come and train during the winter season. It is a pleasure for us now to be able to have the World Championship in this Olympic year on such a location which is as good as the one we have here in Lanzarote and it has an excellent infrastructure, not only on the water but also on land."
Naturally with so much at stake at this event in the build up to the Olympics all of the big names are here competing in this pinnacle event for the class, which makes its Olympic debut this year in Marseille. More than 200 windsurfers from more than 45 countries from all continents will compete at this key World Championship, with a country place at stake for each category in the case of European nations and many countries using the results of this event to choose their representative in the Olympic event.
Among the 120 competitors in the men's category are the Dutchman Luuc van Oppzealnd -who is the reigning World Champion-, the German Sebastian Koerdel -runner-up-, the Italian Nicolo Renna and the Frenchman Nico Goyard, who are among the favourites for the title this year.
In the women's división which has 98 entries it seems that the powerful Israeli team could once again dominate the fleet, with up to five representatives within the world top ten.
France is one of the countries for which this World Championships is a selection event for their Olympic team and 2021 world champion and three times European champion Helene Noesmoen will be a top contender.
For the Spanish women's squad, this World Championships and the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca by Iberostar are observation regattas.
Speaking to the class, the Andalusian Pilar Lamadrid recognizes the status of this World Championships "This is the last major event before the Olympic Games," she says. “There are many countries that still have their selection open, so the level is going to be very high. I think it's a good opportunity to see what we can now do after all the training we did this winter. This event also marks the start of the Olympic year, so it’s a great check in to see how we are doing. Personally, it's also special because, although I'm from Cadiz, it's competing in Spain."
Great Britain's Emma Wilson – world bronze medallist – is also in the mix.
The iQFOiL World Championships are organized by the iQFOiL Class / Marina Rubicón and has the collaboration of the Royal Canarian Sailing Federation, as well as the institutional support of the Tourism area of the Cabildo de Lanzarote through the sports product European Sports Destination (managed by SPEL-Turismo Lanzarote), Promotur Turismo de Canarias, the City Council of Yaiza and the private entities Dinghycoach, Naviera Armas and Cabrera Medina (Cicar).