- 04 September 2014 | Windsurfing
The Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships will crown the best RS:X windsurfers and will deliver tickets for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, between 8th-21st September.
Up to 178 RS:X windsurfers from 49 nations are ready for the most important event of the season. The ISAF Sailing World Championships play a decisive role in the Rio 2016 qualification race.
Sailors will aim for one of 18 Men's RS:X and 13 Women's spots as 50% of the total places are to be awarded in Santander, Spain.
Female racers Charline Picon, Zofia Klepacka and Maja Dziarnowska have been regular podium finishers whilst the same can be said about Piotr Myszka, Przemyslaw Miarczynski, Pierre le Coq and Julien Bontemps in the Men's fleet.
"It's always a problem because there is one guy who can go the Olympics. There is a really good spirit in the French team, and I don't think we're looking at each other, that's not a good idea. I'm really focused on my race," explains Le Coq.
Poland will have five competitors in the Men's RS:X fleet. Myszka took gold at the 2011 RS:X Worlds and has finished on the podium at six successive regattas during his Santander build-up.
Miarczynski won bronze at London 2012 and is one of the steadiest RS:X racers on the planet with a string of good results stemming from 2006. Both sailors will be joined by younger compatriots Pawel Tarnowski, Marcin Urbanowicz and Piotr Nowacki.
Dorian van Rijsselberge has slowly eased his way back into RS:X competition since his London 2012 gold medal exploits. The Dutchman took gold at the Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta 2014, in a highly competitive field, and he will be bidding to pick up his second world title in Santander.
Further contenders for the RS:X honours will come in the shape of 2013 world champion Nick Dempsey, Byron Kokkalanis, Ricardo Santos and Israeli sailors Nimrod Mashich and Shahar Zubari.
In the Women's racing, Charline Picon comes into Santander full of confidence with one thing on her mind.
"For Santander the qualification for the country is not my first goal. My first goal is to win. I haven't won the world title. I've finished third two times, and now I want to push hard and finish as the world champion," underlines Picon.
Flavia Tartaglini, Laura Linares, Tuuli Petaja, Blanca Manchon and a strong Chinese contingent will also battle for the critical spots.