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The fight for the iQFOiL world title starts tomorrow in Lanzarote

On the beautiful Canary Island of Lanzarote everything is ready for Monday’s start of the iQFOiL World Championships, the first major world championship of an Olympic class to be held in Europe in this 2024 Olympics season. More than 200 athletes from 43 countries on five continents will compete over six days of competition culminating in the title deciding Grand Final on Saturday, February 3 followed by the prize-giving

Story by: Helena Paz

Credit: @SailingEnergy / @iQFOiLClass

Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain 28 January 2024

After three days of registration and equipment checks and an official training race contested this Sunday, the battles for the iQFOiL 2024 –the Olympic windsurfing class- world titles begin tomorrow, Monday, from 12:00 local time off Lanzarote’s Marina Rubicón. 

The world class venue has shown considerable commitment to this pinnacle event, with more than 100 people working on it from the race committee, measurers, mark boats, press and general staff all cooperating to make it a success.

Ahead is six intense days of competition across Course Race, Slalom or Marathon formats. The championship is run over two phases: a qualifier followed by gold and silver fleet racing. Then, only the top ten from the gold fleet progress to the thrilling final day next Saturday, when the quarter-finals, semi-finals lead into a Grand Final with only the top three competing for the world titles over one winner takes all race. This is always an exciting, fitting finale for this spectacular high speed flying windsurfing class. 

As well as the importance and value of the World Championship titles at stake, a country place for each category is available to the European nations, with Denmark as the favourite in this fight. 

And for several nations it is an Olympic selection event, among them the powerful Israeli women's squad that has many strong candidates vying for the single place in Marseille. Both for Israeli men and women, this Worlds is going to decide who is going to be in the Olympics.

Their head coach Shahar Zubari explains: "There is quite a lot of pressure, but currently it's a positive one, even though it’s the most important competition of the campaign.

As a former athlete I know how it feels to work as a part of a team with your biggest rivals, and I'm proud of all the team for their support for each other while being competitive. Now all we have to do is to achieve what we know we can achieve, and finish on the podium."

Some nations have their country spot secured and their athlete selected six months before the Olympic Games. This is the case for GBR with Emma Wilson and Sam Sills already selected for Marseille’s race course. 

Wilson, who won bronze at the last World Championships in The Hague, said: “I’m looking forward to the World Championships. Everyone will be pushing hard, as for most they are in their country's selection process, so I expect a lot of tight racing. Since the last World Championships I've also been pushing hard and I've spent the last few months in Lanzarote preparing for it. It's going to be fun!"

The Regatta Committee will be led by the experienced Ewa Jodlowska, who was previously an RS:X official at the Tokyo and Rio Olympics. The Polish official takes charge for the fourth time more as PRO in a World Championships, as many times as World Championships have been held since the start of the class. 

The website will be updated daily with news, photos and videos from each day. In addition, from February 1 to 3, the races will be broadcast live on the Youtube channel of the iQFOiL class.

The Lanzarote International Regatta is organized by 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).


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