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2021 iQFOIL European Championships in Marseille, France - Day 2

by iQFOIL European Championships / Club La Pelle 25 Oct 09:23 BST 22-28 October 2021
2021 iQFOIL European Championships day 2 © Pierick Jeannoutot

Everyone believed it when at 2:44 pm the CP Terre removed the AP Flag, allowing the 68 women and 141 men to set off on the water to their respective racing areas. Once everyone was in the area, the two committees, who were waiting for several hours, were quick to launch the first start on a slalom-type course.

Unfortunately, there was not much hope anymore, as only two starts in the men's race circle and two in the women's race were ultimately launched. The westerly wind of 7-8 knots did not last very long, falling to 3 knots at the end of the course, making it impossible to validate the men's race. In the end, only one race was validated for the first group of women, the second having suffered the same fate as in the men's round. Due to the lack of wind, the race committees had to resolve to sending everyone back to land at 4:43 p.m.

That morning, we had the pleasure of chatting with Thomas Goyard, silver medalist in RS: X at the Tokyo Olympics last August, about his transition to the new Olympic series, iQFoil:

"It is not necessarily obvious, but in my case it is a little easier because I have also been sailing for 4-5 years on foil, especially in the World Cup. With Kiran Badloe (the Dutch gold medalist at the Tokyo Olympics) and two or three other runners, we are a bit of a pioneer. So probably, we will get out of this fairly easily, but there is still a lot of work to do. It remains a new series and another way of racing.

It is therefore not obvious, despite a good background with this double practice since 2016, the transition since the discipline has become Olympic has brought an incredible increase in the level of competitors in one year. It will probably take me a good year to reach the best level. It's a hell of a challenge so I still have a lot of work to do.

As for my goal in this championship, it is primarily to have fun, experience, discover the fleet and a lot of competitors that I do not know. There are a lot of new faces, young people from different windsurfing backgrounds. And then in terms of pure result, if I do a top 10 I would be very happy. After that it's not my style to aim for numerical results, it's more about doing my best, sailing clean, doing things right.

Regarding the change of series, there are several big advantages with the switch to IQFoil. First of all in the media, in terms of image it is much more impressive. It goes fast, there are a lot of twists and turns. And for riders it's a lot more fun to sail, there's a lot more adrenaline, it's more fun.

The only small downside for me is that on a day like yesterday we could have run in RS: X and we couldn't in iQFoil. But we can't have it all, unfortunately. In return, there is a hell of a dynamic, a great craze so that's a real plus!"

See you today at 12 pm to, hopefully, validate the first races.

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