Lanzarote's bilingual magazine

Pilar Lamadrid heading for Paris 2024

At the time of going to press, and after finishing fifth in the iQ-Foil World Championship in Marina Rubicón, Andalusian Pilar Lamadrid has her sights set on the Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Seville’s Pilar Lamadrid has all the credentials to compete in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. She came fifth in the World Championships in Lanzarote, ahead of her closest Spanish teammate in nineteenth place. The last race is the Princess Sofía Trophy (Palma de Mallorca) in April, and winning looks like a mere formality.
A member of Club Puerto Sherry, she describes Marina Rubicón as her “second home, where I train several times a year, and love it. It has a spectacular course and sailing conditions, remarkably stable wind and unbeatable weather.
“The iQ-Foil competition will be at the end of July in Marseille. It’s the Mediterranean and completely different from my usual training grounds in the Bay of Cádiz and the south of Lanzarote in Atlantic waters. But I have trained and competed there before, so conditions are familiar, giving me hopes for a podium finish. I think it’s doable!”
The iQ-Foil is a new windsurfing class making its debut as an Olympic sport in Paris 2024. Lamadrid tells us, “I only started two years ago but had to learn to compete at a high level from the get-go. At first, it’s hard, but once you get the handling technique, navigation and strategy, it’s really similar to windsurfing. What’s needed is a competitive mindset, determination, adrenaline, and sharp focus when rounding the buoys.
“You’re literally flying along all the time on the iQ-Foil.” She continues. “Imagine going from seven knots of wind up to twenty knots (40 km/h). That’s quite some speed in the water. My record is fifty-five knots, and the guys go up to sixty. The difference comes from the weight, which is very important for handling, and the strength in your legs. It’s all about achieving foil lift; this is where extra ballast comes in, a bit more than a wet suit. Although international regulations have imposed a 9-kilo limit.”
Lamadrid is sponsored by Puerto Sherry and ‘Ellas son de aquí’, but it was only two years ago that competing “stopped costing me money.” Television barely gives these sports any coverage. But now you can broadcast by streaming on different platforms, using drones and on-board cameras to offer more spectacular shots. Also, channels like YouTube make races more accessible and easier to follow. “With sailing enthusiasts alone there’d be a huge following, and I’m sure many more people would get hooked.”


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