Marina Rubicón will host the iQFoil World Championship from January 26th, with Spain’s Pilar Lamadrid a strong contender for the title and an Olympic berth
The iQFoil class makes its debut as an official Olympic discipline at the Paris 2024 Games and by way of prelude, Lanzarote will host the iQFoil World Championship from January 26th – February 4th in what will be the most important international competition and final qualifying stage before the Olympic Games. Lanzarote offers the last chance to secure one of the twenty-four coveted spots in both the men’s and women’s categories. The event is organised by Puerto Marina Rubicón in conjunction with the Canary Islands Sailing Federation.
A total of 150 hopefuls, with equal numbers of men and women, from 55 countries will vie for victory, with Spain’s reigning champion, Pilar Lamadrid, a strong contender to win the title on the island of volcanoes and her ticket to Paris 2024. Lamadrid, from Seville, is currently ranked number two in the world and regularly trains in the waters of Playa Blanca alongside sailors from all over the world. According to Rafael Lasso, the director of the southern marina, over 350 sailors have chosen Lanzarote as their training base.
At the time of going to press, 29 competitors from 19 countries had pre-registered for the championship, France with three entries and the United Kingdom with five in the men’s class, pending confirmation of the Spanish entries. The women’s class features 25 sailors from 18 countries, including the Spanish champion. There is a strong British presence with four competitors. France, Germany, Israel, and Norway each have two representatives.
“Since 2021, Marina Rubicón has established itself as the world’s premier training ground for Winter Olympic sailing classes,” says Lasso. “In fact, eight Olympic classes (80% of the total) train in the waters off southern Lanzarote, and 21 out of the 30 medallists from the Tokyo 2020 Games hailed from here.”
“We are immensely proud of this achievement,” adds Lasso, “as it is the competitors themselves who have requested that the World Championships be held in Lanzarote rather than in the Southern Hemisphere during the winter (coinciding with the Olympic year).”
“This marks the fourth consecutive year that we have hosted international iQFoil competitions. Approximately 620 sailors have trained here during the winter, with an average stay of about ninety days, generating a remarkable revenue of around €8 million,” concludes Lasso.