Eyes Turn to Torbole
The eyes of the windsurfing world will be on Torbole, Italy, which will host the 2019 RS:X Windsurfing World Championships from the 22nd to the 28th September. It is the pinnacle event in the 2019 calendar for the RS:X Class and represents the second opportunity for sailors to qualify their country for Tokyo, the 2020 Olympic Games.
With a bumper entry list, and the top ten countries for the men and top eleven countries for the women already qualified from the 2018 World Championships, the battles over the next week will not only be at the head of the fleet for the World titles on offer, but up and down the full length and breadth of the fleet. There are another 8 spaces on offer for the men and 9 for the women this week.
In the mens fleet, in addition to the country qualification fight, there will also be battles amongst compatriots from the same nation. One such will battle will be within the Dutch team where two time Olympic Champion Dorian van Rijsselberghe will be racing along his friend and team member Kiran Badloe. Badloe, having coming second to van Rijsselberghe at the 2018 World Championships, did manage to come out on top at the 2019 European Championships.
The Dutch pair will be hard to keep off the podium but there is a strong chasing pack in the form of a gaggle of Polish, French, Italian and British sailors.
In the womens fleet, the last 12 months has shown a see-saw of power between Lilian de Geus (NED) and a trio of Chinese sailors. Mixed into the podiums has seen the consistent reigning Olympic Champion in France’ Charline Picon as well as the upcoming youngster from Britain in Emma Wilson. Both have seen some promising results and their trajectories show that they are key ones to watch for the podium by the time the medal races have been completed.
Text: RS:X Class