World sailing : Olympic Champion excited for sailors coming to The Hague

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Co-tournament director of the Allianz Youth Sailing World Championships is Dorian van Rijsselberghe, who won Olympic gold on the RS:X windsurfing board at London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Van Rijsselberghe looks back at his own participation in the Youth Worlds with great fondness. “What applied to me, and I think to many participants in this tournament, was that at the Youth Sailing World Championships you were introduced to the best sailors from other countries for the first time. You are naturally very curious about how good your peers from other countries are. To be able to sail against them and to see who is really the best, that is what I really liked.”

The variety of conditions in Scheveningen are likely to offer a very diverse test of racing for the sailors at the Youth Worlds. It’s going to demand all-round ability, according to van Rijsselberghe. “The Hague, Scheveningen is a beautiful place where our Dutch Olympic team trains very often. This is really one of the best places where you can develop into a really good sailor. I have also experienced that myself. The facilities are great and the water is beautiful.”

Even for a serial winner like the double Olympic Champion, fun comes first and foremost when taking part in high-level competition. “For both the participants and the spectators: enjoy it! This is a wonderful experience with lasting memories. But if I have to highlight something: it is fascinating to see what happens on the beach and in the harbour before the future champions join the battle on the water.”

Van Rijsselberghe believes this will be a regatta to remember. His measure of success? “When everyone goes home full of excitement. The tournament is a success for me if the kids gain new and unforgettable experiences, make friends and will proudly tell those stories for a long time to come