Dutch windsurfers secure gold at 2019 RS:X European Championships

April 17, 2019 | Windsurfing
Kiran Badloe: your 2019 RS:X European champion | Photo: RS:X

The 2019 RS:X Windsurfing European and Youth European Championships & Open Trophy closed with four scintillating medal races held in near perfect conditions in Mallorca, Spain.

For the 333 competitors coming from 41 different nations and covering six continents taking part in the final race of the event, it was a short postponement ashore before a perfect 12-15 knots filled in for the medal races.

As the breeze built, the race officers decided to use the reaching start courses which allowed the competitors to blast off the start to the first mark - a spectacular sight to watch as the top ten sailors hit the line at full planing speed.

De Geus Has Her Eyes on Tokyo 2020

De Geus added the European title to the world championship title she won at the Hempel Sailing World Championships held at Aarhus, Denmark in 2018.

Emma Wilson was the second European after Charline Picon capsized at the start and failed to recover during the race.

Picon finished nineth in the race and ends the regatta fourth overall and third European.

De Geus is now both the world and European champion, and after her disappointment from Rio 2016, she has her eyes firmly on Tokyo.

"I feel like I've grown into this regatta, I had a slow start, and my starts were poor early on, but I got better as I got into the event. I didn't have any first places, so it was nice to go out and win the medal race," said Lilian de Geus.

"The race was fun, the start was a little messy, but I enjoyed the reaching start which is a good addition. I am just continuing what I'm doing and having fun and hope I can get a medal in Tokyo."

Wilson Prevails

For Wilson, who retained her Under 21 title, it was a chance to go one better from last year where she took bronze at the 2018 European championships.

"That was a pretty fun medal race, planning the whole race and it wasn't too gusty or shifty which was nice after the conditions this week," said Wilson.

"I could only go up in the rankings so had nothing to lose. I knew I was pretty quick so just had to sail smart."

Rounding out the Under 21 podium was Katy Spychakov and Noy Drihan, both from Israel.

2019 RS:X Europeans: tight races in Mallorca, Spain | Photo: RS:X

Badloe Handles the Pressure

Kiran Badloe was guaranteed a medal coming into today - he just needed to figure out which color he was going to go home with.

The only competitor that could stop him getting the gold was Dorian van Rijsselberge, and even then Badloe would need to finish six places behind van Rijsselberge - an unlikely scenario.

It was however van Rijsselberge who did all he could do by taking the medal race win.

"We had a super nice breeze, and I really enjoyed the reaching start. It was a good week for us. Kieran is going super fast at the moment so I will need to keep up," added Dorian van Rijsselberge.

"I was rusty coming into this week, its come back slowly over the week and the planing conditions helped as I am one of the bigger guys here, so it's nice to come away with a medal."

"It's really nice to see Kiran win these championships and I am really proud to see him develop - I need to work hard though to beat him."

Thomas Goyard got better throughout the week and overtook compatriot Louis Giard in the final days of the event and during the medal race did enough to secure the bronze medal.

"I didn't realize I would get a medal this week. It was a tough competition with difficult winds this week, so I am stoked to make it to the podium," stated Goyard.

"I am feeling stronger and working hard on my fitness, so hopefully, I can overtake the Dutch sailors at the Worlds in Torbole."

Gazit Claims Gold for Israel

In the Youth Women, it was Heloise Macquaert who was sadly the biggest loser from the race as she dropped from first to third after coming ninth in the medal race.

It was Naama Gazit who clawed her way into first with an impressive third place in the medal race to secure the Youth women European title.

Linoy Geva finished second in the medal race and second overall with Macquaert in third overall.

"I had a good start in the race which settled my nerves as I was really nervous going into the race. I had to keep close to the French girl [Macquaert] to win. I had a good week as I like strong winds so this week really suited me," concluded Gazit.

The youth women Under 17 title went to Manon Pianazza as she finished strongly to end her regatta with a 4th place in medal race. Pianazza just edged out Sharon Kantor who finishes second in the Under 17 fleet.

A Relentless Pianazza

In the Youth Men title race, it was Frenchman Fabien Pianazza who took the title by just a single point from Italy's Nicolo Renna.

Renna did everything he could do by winning the medal race and was reliant on having a board between himself and Pianazza to take the title.

However, Pianazza was relentless in his desire for the title and pushed all the way around the race course to take second in the medal race and claim the Youth men European title.

Yun Pouliquen from France stands on the third step of the podium after a consistent week where Vardimon Tomer, having started so strongly on the first day, faded to just off the podium in fourth place.

In the Under 17 fleet, Daniel Basik Tashtash had already secured the title going into today's racing - Tashtash accrediting himself well with a fifth place finish in the medal race and whopping 170 point lead over the second placed Under 17 sailor, Ioannis Karvouniaris from Greece.

The sailors move on to Hyeres next in two weeks before a little break.

With the world championships in Torbole, Italy, competitors will be looking to get some training in on Lake Garda where the next round of Olympic qualification spots will be offered up for the taking.

2019 RS:X European Championships: foils are here to stay | Photo: RS:X

2019 RS:X Europeans and Youth Europeans | Top 3

Men
1. Kiran Badloe (NED)
2. Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED)
3. Thomas Goyard (FRA)

Women
1. Lilian De Geus (NED)
2. Emma Wilson (GBR)
3. Charline Picon (FRA)

Under 21 Men
1. Yoav Cohen (ISR)
2. Luca Di Tomassi (ITA)
3. Andy Brown (GBR)

Under 21 Women
1. Emma Wilson (GBR)
2. Katy SPychakov (ISR)
3. Noy Drihan (ISR)

Youth Men
1. Fabien Pianazza (FRA)
2. Nicolo Renna (ITA)
3. Yun Pouliquen (FRA)

Youth Women
1. Naama Gazit (ISR)
2. Linoy Geva (ISR)
3. Heloise MacQuaert (FRA)

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