wra USA looking to future as iQFoil squad takes shape after iQFoil European Championships


iQFoil European Championships

USA looking to future as iQFoil squad takes shape

The iQFoil European Championships concluded on October 28 in Marseille, France, the future sailing venue of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. It was the first international event for three USA iQFoil athletes since the equipment’s official Olympic designation earlier this year and a wonderful opportunity for the group to check in with the broader fleet early in the Paris 2024 campaign quad.

“The title of this event was the Europeans, but it was more like a world championship,” said Coach Phil Muller. “We had athletes competing from the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. The level of competition was extremely high with veterans from the [past Olympic class windsurfing equipment] RS:X and PWA classes along with experienced foilers competing on a series of new courses and race formats.”

Alex Temko, the US’s upcoming male iQFoil representative at the inaugural Jr. Pan Am Games to be held in Cali, Colombia November 26 – December 5, said “the European Championships were great fun and a great learning experience. I learned a lot about the Olympic venue and got to see the level of the fleet.”

On his takeaways and lessons he’s taking to the Jr. Pan Am Games, Temko said “I worked on switching from a racing mode to a relax-and-recovery mode, I practiced my high-performance tactics, and had plenty of opportunities to lock in my full speed on the reaches. Overall, this was the perfect training for the Jr. Pan-American Games and I feel even faster than before.”

Men’s iQFoil Silver Fleet Results

This was Fiona Wylde’s (Hood River, OR) first international iQFoil event, three-time Stand Up Paddleboard World Champion and recent addition to the iQFoil fleet. “I have really enjoyed being here and learning as much as I can,” said Wylde. “Foil Windsurf racing is new to me, so I am proud of the way I sailed for the amount of experience I have and am really motivated to improve. Onwards and upwards!”

Women’s iQFoil Results

On the squad’s goals going into Europeans and what’s ahead with the event now wrapped, Coach Muller said “On one hand we set out on a fact-finding mission to discover new techniques and learn best practices from our friends and competitors. On the other hand, this was a key event for our team. We had an amazing group including a three-time SUP World Champion (Wylde) and a Youth Champion (Temko). This group of athletes worked very hard this week and are extremely focused forward on what’s ahead and aware of the mountain we’re about to climb.”

Joining the iQFoil squad this week in an observer and mentor capacity was Tokyo 2020 Men’s RS.X Olympian, Pedro Pascual, who is embarking on his iQFoil campaign for Paris 2024: “This week was great. I was able to learn on shore and on the water from the best in the world on the new Olympic discipline. I now know where the level is and am looking forward to start grinding this winter to become competitive as soon as possible.”

Next up for the iQFoil athletes is training in Clearwater, FL followed by the iQFoil Gulf Coast Championshipsalso in Clearwater and the US Open Sailing Series beginning January of 2022.