Sailing: Olympic sailing selects the Canary Islands

Sailing: Olympic sailing selects the Canary Islands

Lanzarote reinforces its position as a winter destination for sports training worldwide with the third edition of the Lanzarote International Regatta and the first race of the iQFOiL World Circuit 2023.

The Canary Islands are once again the destination of choice for training for Olympic sailing events with over 500 skippers, instructors and physiques from 36 different countries converging on Lanzarote. The unique features of the Canary Islands, along with its world-class facilities, have made Lanzarote a world-famous location. So much so that once again this year, the Marina Rubicon port started the race to Paris 2024, with the start of the second edition of the Lanzarote World Circuit iQFOiL (January 23-28), and the third edition of the Lanzarote International Regatta (February 9-17), in which he participated 49er, 49erFX, 470, iQFOiL and Nacra 17 classes.

For the Managing Director of Canary Islands Tourism, José Juan Lorenzo, it is important to promote this type of tourism: “At this time of the year it is difficult to find the necessary conditions and specific infrastructures elsewhere than in the Canary Islands. Which our islands offer. For years we have been implementing a strategy Determined to attract long-stay tourists, and sports tourists play a priority role.It is gratifying to see the development of the project, begun thanks to the window of opportunity opened by COVID-19, and consolidated in such a short time.On Lanzarote, there are currently more than 500 People who, on the one hand, participate in competitions, but also spend the winter there. “If we calculate the average daily expenditure of about 120 euros per person for an average of 60 days, this is It means that we are reaping more than 3 million euros in economic benefits.”

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In addition, these events in Lanzarote have not been successful in their programs since then, “The car we have completed has commenced at our entrance during the season and we have prepared minutes for 2023,” said Nicolas Goyard, vainqueur of the iQFOiL Games of Lanzarote. The last year. For the Frenchman, “the island offers incredible weather conditions that allow you to sail almost every day and thus accumulate hours on the water.” An opinion shared by the current world champion German Sebastian Kordl, for whom Playa Blanca, where the regattas were held, “is an ideal place to take advantage of these weather conditions and constant winds. »

Training base for Paris 2024

For almost ten years, the island of Lanzarote has hosted athletes from all over the world in various disciplines. Today, it has also established itself as a training base for Olympic sailors, especially after the first edition of the Lanzarote International Regatta. Teams usually train from October to April on the island. In fact, out of the 30 medals awarded at Tokyo 2020 in sailing, 21 have been awarded to teams training in Lanzarote. That is why we have upgraded the Lanzarote Sailing Center training base with a training schedule for each class,” says CEO Marina Rubicon. This is a base that the skipper describes as a great place for sailing and surfing. “These athletes have chosen this place for the third year because they consider it an ideal place to train. They decide where the competitions are held, and Lanzarote is one of those places,” says Ronnie Meir, Head of iQFOiL Class. According to New Zealander Oscar Gann, “It’s been a long drive from New Zealand, but it’s definitely worth coming early. It was an early start to the season, an epic training base and we will definitely be back. It’s also a great venue for the World Championships, so we can’t wait to be there. ”

Lanzarote is “heaven and the wind machine” according to Italian iQFOiL World Champion Marta Magetti. “It’s my second time in the Canary Islands and I’m loving it,” says Louise Wanser, the 470 world champion. “I’m from Hamburg and it’s very cold there at the moment. Here, we’re in hot and sunny conditions, and it’s incredible.” According to 49th-time world champion Bart Lambreux and Floris van de Werken, “On Lanzarote you have it all: calm waters, swell, light winds, strong winds… lots of different conditions and amazing marine life. You see turtles or flying fish. We live precious moments there all the time.”

The competition: Spain dominates the 470 and the UK on 49er and 49erFX.

Spaniards Jordi Zammar and Nora Borgmann clearly dominated the competition in the new Olympic sport for Paris 2024, the mixed 470, taking home the gold medal. Silvia Mas and Nico Rodriguez won the silver medal after four days of racing in complex conditions of strong winds and rough waves. World champions, Swedes Anton Dahlberg and Lovisa Carlsson, completed their 470th podium finish at the Lanzarote International Regatta.

In the women’s 49erFX category, Brits Freya Black and Saskia Tidey were tough to beat. Italians Gana Germani and Giorgia Bertuzzi won the silver, and Steve Rubel and Maggie Shea the bronze. Their teammates James Peters and Finn Steert were very consistent and accurate throughout the competition which led them to victory. In second place were New Zealanders Logan Dunning-Beck and Oscar Jan, followed by young Austrians Keanu Breitner and Jacob Flachberger.

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In Nacra17, Frenchmen Pelle Besson and Noa Ancien won gold at the International Regatta in Lanzarote, followed by Argentines Mathieu Magdalani and Eugenia Bosco, then New Zealanders Mika Wilkinson and Erica Dawson.

The women’s iQFOil events were dominated by the Israeli team with Shahar Tibi taking first place, Sharon Kantor second and Maya Morris third. In the men’s iQFOil fleet, France’s Adrien Mestre won the gold medal, ahead of Dutchman Luc van Opzeland and Britain’s Sam Sales.

Canary Islands, a favorite sports destination

The natural conditions of the Canary Islands make the archipelago an ideal place for professional training and the practice of many sports. Elite athletes choose the archipelago every year. In addition to the skipper, cyclists, triathletes, swimmers, volleyball players, surfers and runners from all over the world choose the Canary Islands as their training base. Likewise, national or high-level teams, such as INEOS Grenadiers or Jumbo-Visma in cycling, are preparing for the main competitions of the season on the slopes of the archipelago. In the Canary Islands, you can quickly go from sea level to more than 2,000 meters above sea level very easily due to the terrain generated by the volcanic origin of the islands. Altitude training, with lower barometric pressure, improves athletic performance, and Teide (3715m) is a favorite among cyclists.

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