Behind the scenes of the iQFOiL European Championship
When arriving at the event site of the iQfoil Youth/Junior European Championships in Bol there was a lot of excited, hopeful and maybe some nervous faces. The vibes at the event site was youthful. The young foilers have high hopes for the future and keep proving that anything is possible!
We have a lot to learn from our athletes. What I noticed about the athletes early on was that they dared to be a 100% themselves, and this alone makes them way to cool for this world. In a world with so much judgment it was really refreshing to witness an environment where no one judged each other, but rather embraced each others differences.
Another thing I noticed about the athletes was that they where always helping each other out. It seemed like no matter if it was their competitor or teammate, the athletes where always helping each other. You could see them helping each other in and out from the water, giving each other tips and cheering each other on. It seemed like they really wanted the best for each other.
I also admire that the athletes where always having fun! No matter if it was super windy or if they where waiting for the wind onshore, the athletes seemed to always make the best of it. On the water between the races you could witness some foil freestyle action, and on shore you could see them making friends.
I think that the key to success is to be a part of an environment where the athletes dare to be themselves without judgment, where they help each other, want the best for each other, and at the same time are having fun. This rare environment exist in the iQfoil Youth/Junior Class, and its so inspiring to see and to be a part of.
Even tough it’s a European Championship it’s not always just about the medals. It was amazing to see so many athletes evolving and learning so much during the week. A regatta like this is a very good opportunity to learn about racing but is also a very good opportunity to learn from other windsurfers. A lot of athletes stay at home because they think that they are not good enough to participate in an European Championship, but if you only dare to dive into it you will realise that its not dangerous, you will learn a lot and you will definitely have a lot of fun! I think that diving in to it is the very best way. No one arrives at a competition like this and becomes the best straight away, you learn more and more every event and it will bring you closer and closer to the top. I will definitely recommend everyone who have the basic foiling skills to join in on the events, don’t miss out on a learning opportunity like this!!
It’s also super cool to see al the friendships that where made during the week. It’s unbelievably valuable to have friends who can relate to what you do. Having windsurfing friends can bring you a lot of joy, you learn a lot form each other and you always have people supporting you both on shore and on the water.
In the iQFOiL Youth/Junior Class the athletes have created an environment where the athletes dare to be themselves without judgment, where they help each other, want the best for each other, and at the same time are having fun. I think that having an environment like this around you really helps you on your way to success, and its super inspiring to see and to be a part of. Even tough it’s a European Championship it’s not always just about the medals, its probably one of the best learning opportunities out there!! It was amazing too see the progress that the athletes made during the week learning from each other. I would definitely advice everyone with basic foiling skills to join the fun!