RS:X Windsurfing: chasing spots for Rio 2016 | Photo: Santander 2014

Nineteen male and 13 female windsurfers have secured spots in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, after the conclusion of the Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships, in Spain.

In the Men's medal race, Thomas Goyard showed impressive speed, took the bullet and the bronze medal, an outstanding achievement for the young Frenchman. Julien Bontemps finished behind his compatriot and sealed his second RS:X world title. Przemyslaw Miarczynski kept the silver medal.

Charline Picon, from France, tasted an early gold medal in the Women's RS:X, as leaderboards took shape in wonderful conditions in Santander. She was followed by Marina Alabau and Maayan Davidovich.

The remaining places in both divisions shall be qualified from the 2015 Class World Championship, and in a series of Continental Qualification Events sanctioned by ISAF, to finish by June 1st, 2016 at the latest.


Carrying your rig: a risky technique | Photo: PWA/Carter

After rigging your windsurfing sail, it's time to take it to the water, but in medium-to-strong wind conditions you should definitely master the art of sail transportation, otherwise someone can get hurt.

Carrying your rig can be uncomfortable, especially if wind gusts try to blow your windsurfing sail away. Additionally, it will drain your energy before touching the water.

So, whether getting ready to carry your rig, leaving it unattended on the beach or near the water's edge, you've got to be sure it is lying in the mast-to-wind position.


Windsurfing: learning self-rescue techniques is critical

When the windsurfing equipment fails far away from the shore, you must be able to return to firm land with what you've got. Learn how to self-rescue on a windsurfer.

Fortunately, problems with windsurfing sails, masts, booms and boards are quite rare. But if something goes wrong, do you know how to get back to the beach?

If you're close enough to the coastline, activate the International Distress Signal. Clench your fists and repeatedly raise and lower your arms at either side of your body, while kneeling or sitting on your board.