The first major Olympic windsurfing event of the year which attracted with 150 participants from 35 countries the Lanzarote iQFOil Games came to an exciting conclusion today in the Canary Islands. Spain’s Pilar Lamadrid, number 1 in the world ranking, claimed her first victory of the season and her second Lanzarote title in a row in the Canary Islands. Poland’s Pawel Tarnowski won the men’s event after a heart-breaking Final.
The Lanzarote iQFOil Games finished Saturday with a heart-stopping Final and fantastic sailing conditions. Winds were 15-20 knots, and the shifty breeze only added excitement and intrigue as to how each foiling windsurfer would play their cards on the fantastic Lanzarote’s race courses.
Video: FINALS | Lanzarote iQFOiL International Games 2023
The Medal Series saw the top 10 classified racing to go through to an all-or-nothing Final in which only the best three Men & Females compete for the respective titles. An intense physically and mentally demanding showdown, Pilar Lamadrid (ESP) and Pawel Tarnowski (POL) emerged victorious to be proclaimed winners of the Lanzarote iQFOil Games 2023.
For second year in a row, and one year out from Paris 2024, the event which is hosted from the Marina Rubicón was a complete success, with all the races and formats – slalom, marathon and course racing – completed over the six days of racing on Lanzarote, a venue many sailors now call “the wind machine”
Pilar Lamadrid wins again in Lanzarote
After a great Semifinal, Pilar Lamadrid and the Israeli Shahar Tibi have managed to advance to the Final to meet the provisional leader, Sharon Kantor (ISR), automatically pre-qualified yesterday.
After a good start, Lamadrid passed the first mark of the course in the lead, a position she never lost to cross the finish line first and claim victory at the Lanzarote iQFOIL Games.
The number 1 in the world ranking said: “I can’t believe it! We have had such a tough week! I have been in a real, real, real battle with Sharon, who has done an amazing job. It is great to win this championship for the second time! Lanzarote is amazing, as we have seeing all this week: full of wind, we could do all the races we need it… It is amazing!”
Israel takes the second and third places of the podium, with Shahar Tibi in second place while U21 Sharon Kantor, second and first throughout the championship, takes bronze.
Drama in the men’s Final, won by Polish Pawel Tarnowski
After the quarterfinals and the semifinal, Pawel Tarnowski and the current iQFOil European champion, Frenchman Nicolas Goyard, managed to be in the Final, where they met British Sam Sills, who had clearly dominated the entire championship, winning more than half of the races he has played these days.
The scoring system sees everything to play for in the Final, any unforeseen event is expensive. Emotions run high and the pressure is intense until the line. There are often big upsets. And that is what we have seen today 20 meters from the finish line!
Sam Sills and Pawel Tarnowski were close as the raced at high speed towards the finish, with the Polish leading as the Briton was dangerously approaching him. Just then, with 20 meters to go, Tarnowski crashed and a second later Sills also crashed, while Frenchman Nico Goyard continued towards them in third. But Tarnowski managed to get up and across the line to win!
“It has been a great one! To be honest I have never had a race like this, even training”, explained the new Lanzarote iQFOil Games champion, Pawel Tarnowski. “When I was pushing just before the finish line I could hear Sam approaching and I said to myself ‘only 15 more meters and I win’. And then I crash and I thought ‘I am already last’. But then I saw Sam in the water as well. It was completely crazy! I just did my best to stand up again and crossing the finish line first. Fortunately, I made it and I am super happy.”
“It has been a great competition,” he continued saying. “Sam has done great, huge congratulations to him. He was very solid this week, as Nico.”
The Polish windsurfer wins for the first time at of the iQFOil Games and he had some words for his supporters: “I want to dedicate this victory to my wife, who is expecting our first baby. I love you so much!”
There was an amazing gesture of sportsmanship from France’s Nicolas Goyard (#3) who reduced his speed to ensure the deserving Sam Sills’ took second spot.
This international event organized by Marina Rubicón with the support of the Royal Canarian Sailing Federation is possible thanks to the institutional sponsorship of Promotur Turismo de Canarias with the financing of the REACTEU Fund and Tourism of the Cabildo de Lanzarote through the sports product European Sports Destination (managed by SPEL-Turismo Lanzarote), as well as the public collaboration of the Yaiza City Council and the private entities Dinghycoach, Naviera Armas & Cabrera Medina (Cicar).
Top 3. iQFOil Women.
- Pilar Lamadrid (ESP)
- Shahar Tibi (ISR)
- Sharon Kantor (ISR)
Top 3. iQFOil Men.
- Pawel Tarnowski (POL)
- Sam Sills (GBR)
- Nicolas Goyard (FRA)
For the full rankings, please click here.
Photo Credits: Sailing Energy