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Emma Wilson Interview
Emma Wilson from Great Britain has been a rising star of the RS:X fleet having won the RS:X event at the Youth World Championships in 2016 and 2017. Breaking into the senior fleet scene has been almost seamless for Emma where at the 2018 RS:X World Championships she qualified Great Britain for the Tokyo Olympics and came fourth overall.
Emma has since come third overall at the 2018 and 2019 European Championships as well as earning another fourth place at the 2020 World Championships. Is this the year where she reaches higher up the podium??
You have had some excellent regattas leading up to Tokyo 2020ne, with some podium finishes against the top in the world – what have you been working on to get to the top of the podium over the past year?
Yeah over the winter we had quite a few regattas so I was trying learn as much as I could from each race and then in may and June I have spent it at home in weymouth training hard, putting the little things together. It’s been really good hard enjoyable training and now I’m looking forward to getting to Japan!
How have you been preparing for the conditions in Tokyo?
I spent most of my winter away in Vilamoura and Cadiz in big waves which we are likely to see in Japan and obviously it was much nicer temperature there than in England in the winter.
How has COVID affected your training plans and preparation for Tokyo? Do you think the UK lockdown compared to other countries has been a disadvantage?
At the start it was pretty hard because we didn’t even know if the Olympics would happen but then as things started to become clearer, my coach (Barrie) and I put a plan together. I spent all last summer in Weymouth where it is a great place to get time on the water and enjoy all different water sports.
Who do you consider to be your biggest rivals in the fleet and who would you say could be the surprise sailor in the fleet?
I think the top 10 / top 15 are all really really good sailors, you can see in the results, every event we are all so close. So I think it will be a tight battle, for sure it will be exciting. The Chinese could be the surprise sailor because I’m still not sure who has been selected to represent them and we haven’t seen them compete for over 18 months…..
What would be a happy outcome for you from Tokyo 2020ne?
To really enjoy the experience and have given it everything.
As an Olympic first timer – what support have you got within the team to help you prepare for the Olympics
In the British team it is full of experience, my coach has competed and coached at seven Olympics I think, and then obviously there are people like Hannah mills and Giles in the team that you can pick up little nuggets of information, that’s really cool and can really help me.
Thanks Emma, we wish you all the very best for the Olympics!
Interview and text by RS:X Class Photos by Joao Costa Ferreira – Osga Photo
We talked to Kiran Badloe from the Netherlands about his thoughts about the upcoming Olympic Games. With less than a month to go to the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, RS:X athletes are starting to arrive and prepare for the years biggest regatta. Kiran has had one of the toughest selection processes ever, having to beat friend and competitor (and double Olympic gold medallist) Dorian van Rijsselberghe over three different world championships, the overall selection coming down to the last leg of the final medal race in Sorrento, AUS in February 2020.
How have your preparations been affected by the COVID delay and how do you think this will influence the Games results for you and for all athletes?
I think all athletes have been affected by Covid and the delay of the Olympic Games. We planned our build up to the Games years in advance and if I’m speaking for myself I was in the middle of that build up when we got the news that the Games were not happening. Also the uncertainty of the Olympics happening a year later is difficult to deal with in other to plan your training sessions and intensities. But I think for us the most difficult thing is that we have new equipment for the games of 2024 and the guys that are going to Tokyo have a year less to prepare for that one. With new equipment this is going to be our biggest challenge.
Do you feel any pressure from home country in following a double Olympic champions footsteps?
I do notice that people have high expectations of me. Although it’s mostly people that don’t know the sailing sport that well. Everyone who is familiar with our sport, knows that anything can happen and that results of the past are no guarantee for the Games. All I can do is prepare as well as I can and deal with all the conditions and situations that we get given during the event. If I deal with it better than the others, I have a chance. But it’s also very possible that they deal with it better than I do.
What training have you done to prepare for Tokyo conditions?
We are not sure yet what conditions to expect in Tokyo during the Games. So I’ve tried to prepare in all the conditions as well as I can. I know that my high wind abilities are quite good, so I have tried to maintain them and also focus on some of the weaker areas of my sailing.
How has the Dutch Sailing Federation reacted to the changes in sport and training and how have they supported you?
My Federation have been a fan of the change in the equipment for 2024. Although we have been dominant in the RS:X in the past, it’s a healthy change for the sport. It attracts more kids to windsurfing and has the possibility to grow the sport into a well known sport world wide.
With regards to COVID our federation has been very supportive to facilitate us to the best of their abilities where some of the logistics became challenging. In Holland it’s impossible to do proper training in the winter and with all the borders being shut we had to improvise and be flexible in order to get the hours in.
Do you think the heat and humidity will be a medal winning influence?
I definitely think humidity will play a big role. Nowadays a big part of our repertoire is physical ability. There are going to be races that the guy that wins is the guy that can pump the most. The heat and humidity play a big factor in your physical state. If you are prepared for it and able to deal with it better than your competitors, you have a physical advantage assuming that we’re all equally as fit.
Who do you think your closest rivals are and in what sailing conditions?
I honestly think everybody is a rival at this point. The level has gone up so much in the last year. All the guys that are consistently in the top 10 have the ability to win races in certain conditions. I think my strongest point is that I’m all round enough to be able to sail in the front group across the whole range.
What is a happy outcome for you from Tokyo?
In order for me to look back at the Games and be happy I must sail “the week of my life”. I want to finish the event knowing I did not make any mistakes along the way. If I still made some mistakes and I managed to win, I’m also a very happy man. But knowing I’ve made mistakes and collected points and because of that not reach a potential place, I would not be too happy with myself. Also, if I’ve done everything right, made no mistakes and I would finish 2nd, I have to accept that somebody is better. It would sting, but over time I would be able to be happy about that result.
Thanks Kiran, the RS:X Class wishes you all the best of luck for Tokyo 2020 and a safe regatta!
Interview and text by RS:X Class Photos by Osga Photo – Joao Costa Ferreira
2021 ‘Gotas de Oro’ RS:X Windsurfing World Championships were held in Puerto Sherry, Cadiz, Spain between 21-27 April 2021.
Lilian de Geus (NED) and Kiran Badloe (NED) successfully defended their titles and became again, second time in row, the RS:X World Champions. In the Women fleet Katy Spychakov (ISR) finished the Worlds on second and Charline Picon (FRA) on thrid place.
Mattia Camboni (ITA) and Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) took the second and third places in the Men’s fleet. Congratulations to all winners!
However, this time the event was a bit different and historical because it was a very last World Championships for RS:X Class. On 2024 the Olympic windsurfing will be represented by iQFOiL equipment.
Still there are Tokyo Olympic Games to be sailed on this summer with the RS:X, so we are wishing a very best luck to all RS:X Olympic sailors!
Gongratulations to Thailand and Singapore who’s sailors Natthapong Phonoppharat (THA) and Amanda Ng Ling Kai (SGP) won the qualifying event in Mussanah, Oman and ensured the Olympic tickets to their countries!
13 Men and 3 Women from 7 countries participated at the 2021 Mussanah Open Championships, which was also the Olympic qualifying event for Asian continent.
Congratulations to all countries qualified to Tokyo Olympic Games, which will take place in Enoshima, Japan between 23 July – 8 August 2021.
Dear Team Leaders,
Today we were able to have our first discussion with both the IOC and Tokyo 2020 in the same meeting. Tokyo 2020 are preparing a formal proposal to meet their government’s requirements and address the concerns that have been raised; we hope to see that by the end of the week. No final decisions have been made yet, but we expect the following will be contained in the proposal:
There will be no entry to Japan or training possible in May (from Enoshima, Zushi or anywhere else)
Entry to Japan won’t occur before late June
The Venue Soft Opening (start of training) date will be a date accessible for all teams, so while some teams might enter Japan earlier due to flight schedules or quarantine rules the FOP will be open for training to all teams on the same date
Each person entering Japan will have to do a number of days of isolation quarantine in an approved hotel
For at least the first 14 days in Japan
Each person will be in a government approved hotel
There will be very strict controls on each person; any time they leave their room they will need permission and will be supervised
Transport will be scheduled in advance
Catering will be managed with doping risks to be addressed
Each person will undergo multiple COVID-19 tests that will determine if they can leave the restricted controls
Fitness and recover services are being considered but expectations should be set low (if you have items you can use at the venue, you should consider those)
The Freight Support Plan will continue as originally published
Any teams that haven’t shipped containers already should reconsider when they ship as there could be a delay between grounding and unloading
Tokyo 2020 is considering how they can support those with containers already shipped who face additional costs
Tokyo 2020 is considering how they can support those with accommodation booked that they won’t be able to use or get refunded. We recommend you make sure you NOC are aware of your concerns and risks, as this is likely to impact warm up camps for other sports too.
The costs and administration procedures for the proposal will likely take a while longer to become clear.
Based on the time line that Tokyo 2020 are considering and the likely entry requirements, it is my expectation that multiple trips to Japan will be impractical and may be prohibited entirely.
We recognise this information maybe not be to the liking of some teams at it will negatively impact athlete preparations. At this stage the priorities are still focussed on having safety procedures in place to enable the Olympic Sailing Competition to be conducted and World Sailing will put rules in place to ensure the training and competition are conducted fairly for all teams once we have the decisions from the Japanese government.
I expect another update later this week and we are considering a further Team Leaders Town Hall next week.
Michael Downing WS Olympic Manager
The Tokyo Olympic Games qualifing event for Asian continent was moved from Abu Dhabi, UAE to Al Mussanah, Oman and will be held between 1-8 April 2021.
After the 2021 SOF regatta in Hyeres, France was cancelled (where 2021 RS:X Windsurfing World Championships were scheduled too), the Class was looking an alternative venue for the Class World Championships.
We received many offers and we are very grateful for all those who tried to help us out. However, the decision was made and therefore the 2021 “Gotas de Oro” RS:X Windsurfing World Championships will be held in Puerto Sherry, El Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz, Spain, between 21-27 April 2021.
Thank you for Federacion Andaluza de Vela and the sponsors to host the RS:X Class Worlds on this year!
Executive Committee International RS:X Windsurfing Class Association
Dear Asian MNAs and NOCs,
World Sailing have been informed that the host club in Abu Dhabi is no longer able to deliver the 2021 ASAF Asian Sailing Championships from 14 to 21 February 2021 and ASAF have accepted the host club’s recommendation to postpone the championships.
World Sailing are supporting ASAF and the Class Associations as they seek alternate dates from UAE SARF and ADSYC before the middle of March 2021. If a suitable arrangement can be made in the coming few days, we shall share the new dates with you as soon as they are confirmed.
ASAF are therefore suggesting that personnel consider not to travel to Abu Dhabi or ship their equipment at this time.
World Sailing recognises this will be an inconvenience for many participants, officials and volunteers and we are working as closely as we can with ASAF and the Class to minimise the impacts of the postponement.
It is World Sailing’s very strong desire to have Olympic qualification decided on the water via racing and we continue our activities to achieve this as best we can in these difficult and rapidly changing times.
It is our hope to have further information confirmed so we can share it with you in the first half of next week.