Please select your home edition
Edition
YY.com 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

Scott seals Finn European silver
His first event back following a six-month break Defending Finn class Olympic champion Giles Scott scooped a silver medal at the European Championships today in his first event back following a six-month break. Posted on 17 Apr
Crunch time for Finn champ Scott
Reigning Olympic champion had his campaign on hold for six months Giles Scott says the Finn European Championships will provide a crucial performance benchmark as he returns to the Olympic circuit fresh from the America's Cup. Posted on 12 Apr
Masterman joins campaign for women's sport
Teaming up with a host of sports stars for the 'Unlocked' programme The British Sailing Team's Alice Masterman has joined forces with more than 30 British elite female athletes to tackle diversity in sport head on as part of a unique programme created by the Women's Sport Trust. Posted on 7 Apr
Seabright & Taylor claim mixed 470 Worlds bronze
Notching up five top-five finishes on their way to securing their podium spot Amy Seabright and James Taylor won bronze in the first ever mixed 470 World Championships - as Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre narrowly missed out on a podium spot following an epic comeback in the women's fleet. Posted on 14 Mar
Mills and McIntyre set for world title defence
As they prepare to compete for the first time in more than a year Team GB sailors Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre will launch their bid to retain their 470 World Championship title next week as they prepare to compete for the first time in more than a year. Posted on 5 Mar
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