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Lanzarote closes the iQFOiL season on a high note

Sharon Kantor and current world champion Luuc Van Opzeeland win the event, a great warm-up for the World Championship which will be held in January as part of the Lanzarote International Regatta.

Credit: Sailing Energy

Marina Rubicón (Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain), 15 December 2023

The Lanzarote iQFOiL Games finished on a high note in perfect conditions. Winds of between 12 and 15 knots blew for the Medal Series which featured the ten best male and female windsurfers to decide the titles. And the championship honours went to Sharon Kantor and the current world champion of the class, the Dutchman Luuc Van Opzeeland. 

The event which is an important regatta on the Olympic windsurfing circuit was organised by Marina Rubicón for the second time this season. Just as the first event in January was a great success, so too was this one, once again highlighting the unique potential as it delivers great conditions and an excellent infrastructure.  

The week has seen perfect conditions of wind, sun and waves and the Lanzarote iQFOiL Games has delivered contests across all disciplines - slalom, race course and a demanding marathon in a unique environment between the islands of Lanzarote and Lobos.

Luuc Van Opzeeland, winner of the Lanzarote iQFOiL Games. 

After the quarter-finals and a semi-final in which the second and third overall placed Frenchman Nicolas Goyard and the Italian Nicolo Renna were eliminated, the Grand Final pitted the leader Luuc Van Opzeeland, Brit Finn Hawkins and the Dane Johan Søe.

The flying Dutchman who has led since the second day of the championship dominated the final showdown. He took the lead at the first buoy and held off his rivals to win ahead of Hawkins, who was second, and Søe who took third place and won the U21 category.

"It was an amazing day," said the Dutchman. "The last day is always tricky, today I pushed a lot, I had a great start and then an amazing layline. I was up there and then I just brought it home. It's been a good week with good waves during the week."

Unbeatable Sharon Kantor wins 

There were no surprises in the women's division of iQFOiL. Of the three sailors who reached the Medal Series Britain's Emma Wilson was unable to fight for the medals after finishing fourth in the semi-final.

So, leader Sharon Kantor, who went straight through to the Grand Final was up against Tamar Steinberg and Katy Spychakov, who started the day from the quarter-finals and semi-final respectively, battled it out in a thrilling three-way duel. 

Kantor once again gave her best and sealed the Canary Islands event with a final partial victory, a result that made her the new winner with a total of nine victories and another three podiums in the 16 events that took place.

Kantor, who never dropped out of first place in the overall standings since the first day of the championship, said after returning to land "I felt very good, the conditions were very good and the Final was very interesting. I am very happy to have won. My plan now is to stay a few days and then come back to prepare for the World Championship, which I'm really looking forward to."

Sharon Kantor and Tamar Steinberg also won first and second place in the U21 category.

The prize-giving ceremony, which took place at 17h00 local time, was attended by Juan Monzón, Sports Councillor of the Cabildo Insular de Lanzarote; Ángel Lago, Sports Councillor of Yaiza Town Council, and Daniel Medina, Tourism Councillor; María Martín on behalf of Lanzarote Tourism; Rafael Bonilla, President of the Royal Canarian Sailing Federation; and Rafael Lasso, CEO of Marina Rubicón.

The action continues at the Lanzarote Sailing Center

With the Lanzarote iQFOiL Games over, Marina Rubicón is already preparing for its next two big events, the iQFOiL Worlds at the end of January and the 49er and 49erFX in March, both of which are part of the Lanzarote International Regatta. Until then, the Olympic activity continues relentlessly at the Lanzarote Sailing Center, where a large group of teams and crews from different countries around the world have set their training base for Paris 2024.

The event was organised by Marina Rubicón with the collaboration of the Royal Canarian Sailing Federation, as well as the institutional support of Promotur Turismo de Canarias, the Tourism Department of the Cabildo de Lanzarote through the sports product European Sports Destination (managed by SPEL-Turismo Lanzarote), the Yaiza Town Hall and the private entities Dinghycoach, Naviera Armas and Cabrera Medina (Cicar).

Podium Women. Lanzarote iQFOiL Games

1. Sharon Kantor

2. Tamar Steinberg

3. Katy Spychakov

... 72 entries

Podium Men. Lanzarote iQFOiL Games

1. Luuc Van Opzeeland

2. Finn Hawkins

3. Johan Søe

... 88 entries

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