Please select your home edition
Edition app (top)

Long awaited return to RS:X action for Wilson and Squires

by British Sailing Team 16 Nov 2020 14:00 GMT 24-28 November 2020
Emma Wilson - Princess Sofia Trophy © Lloyd Images

Team GB selected windsurfers Emma Wilson and Tom Squires will return to RS:X action this week at the European Championships in Vilamoura, Portugal, from 22-28 November following an eight-month break in major competition for the class.

The last major regatta for the British duo was back in February when they took on the RS:X World Championships in Sorrento, Australia, before COVID-19 impacted competition across the globe.

Wilson and Squires are aiming to get back into the racing groove as they look to make an impact at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, in what will be both their debut at a Games and the final outing for the class before it moves to foiling.

For 21-year-old Wilson, who will be joined on the Euros start line by team-mate Alysia Gibson, it is a chance to continue learning her craft and to check in on her rivals after such a long time apart.

"My goals for the event are just to try and perform as well as possible throughout the week and keep learning ahead of Tokyo," said Wilson, from Christchurch, Dorset. "I think it will be a fun and interesting competition with everyone coming back together after a long summer in their own countries, so I'm looking forward to it."

Just like her competition, Wilson trained at home, but she got to see the best of British solidarity as friends and training partners came together to keep on water time at a high level.

"Training has been going pretty well. I spent all summer in Weymouth enjoying my windsurfing, doing both some foiling and some RS:X. It's a bit of an Olympic balancing act at the moment.

"We had a really nice group of people who came and helped out with some RS:X training which was really fun, and I am really grateful for, because with the foiling now on the cards for Paris 2024 not many people want to sail the RS:X."

Competition will be tough with world and Olympic medallists like the Netherland's Lilian De Geus and France's Charline Picon in attendance, but Wilson is excited just to get a bit of action under her belt.

"I've been in Vilamoura now since the start of October training with a nice international group and I'm looking forward to the Europeans, fingers crossed it happens and we can finish this weird year with a regatta."

In the men's fleet, Tom Squires is ready to do battle after a long lay-off, but not before a quick reality check.

"I haven't raced in eight months and no idea what to expect," said the 27-year-old from Oxford. "I've just done a week of racing with the Spanish and Israeli teams, who have yet to choose their Olympic representatives so their teams are super strong at the moment and pushing for every metre.

"It was a shock to the system and the body but hopefully put me into that gritty racing mindset."

Despite the shock Squires is looking to put in to practice some real positives from his summer training after reflecting on his enforced racing hiatus.

"My sailing over the last few months has been more open minded. Normally you get in the best shape you can before each competition. Then there's another competition. Then another.

"To take a step back and come away from a summer with an actual outcome of weeks and weeks of specific training feels really good."

Racing begins in Vilamoura on Tuesday 24 November and culminates in medal racing on Saturday 28 November.

All results from the event can be found here.

Related Articles

Hunt for GB mixed offshore pairs commences
Interest has been growing in mixed doublehanded offshore racing since 2019 The RYA has launched its search to find sailors to represent Great Britain at the 2021 Offshore Mixed Doubles European and World Championships. Posted on 22 Jan
BST response to UK Sport funding announcement
£352 million investment in Olympic and Paralympic sport The British Sailing Team welcomes Friday's announcement from UK Sport outlining a £352 million investment in Olympic and Paralympic sport. Posted on 19 Dec 2020
Emma Wilson vows to come back stronger
After RS:X Euros heartbreak Team GB windsurfer Emma Wilson has vowed to bounce back after falling out of contention for a medal at the RS:X European Championships in the final race. Posted on 29 Nov 2020
Kite foilers scoop UK Sport elite sport award
In recognition of their success over the past two years The British Sailing Team's kite foil racers have won a prestigious UK Sport award in recognition of their success over the past two years. Posted on 18 Nov 2020
Winners crowned at RYA Match Racing Nationals
A windy event at Queen Mary Sailing Club The last Friday of October was chosen as the new start day for the RYA National Match Racing Championship Grand Final. An event typically dogged by light winds, that would not be an issue this year. Posted on 3 Nov 2020
Windfoilers wow at first ever iQFoil Worlds
Britain's elite windsurfers proved their strength in depth with an impressive show Less than a year since the iQFoil was announced as the equipment of choice for windfoiling's debut at the Paris 2024 Olympics, a 19-strong British contingent headed to Italy's Lake Garda to see how they shaped up against the rest of the world. Posted on 26 Oct 2020
Brits set for the iQFOiL International Games
Britain's windfoilers will look to assert their dominance Britain's windfoilers will look to assert their dominance in the biggest regatta so far for Olympic sailing's newest discipline when they take on the iQFOiL International Games in Campione, Lake Garda, this week. Posted on 20 Oct 2020
Hanson scoops Laser Euro title
As Beckett has to settle for silver in Poland Team GB's Elliot Hanson dedicated his Laser class European Championship victory to teammates Michael Beckett and Lorenzo Chiavarini - as all three filled the podium in a historic result for Britain. Posted on 14 Oct 2020
Hanson going for gold in Poland
At the Laser European Championships Team GB sailor Elliot Hanson says he will aim to end 2020 on a high with a gold medal at the Laser European Championships. Posted on 7 Oct 2020
Gimson and Burnet "motivated" after Euros fourth
Nacra 17 world champions say they will push harder this winter Nacra 17 world champions John Gimson and Anna Burnet said they will "push harder" this winter after missing the podium at the European Championships by one point. Posted on 5 Oct 2020