The World Sailing Council overwhelmingly accepted the iQFOiL Youth & Junior Class Application. This will entitle the Class to ﬁve (5) ofﬁcial world title, which will be distributed between the Youth (U19) and Junior (U17) age groups.
iQFOiL Youth & Junior is a One Design Class which allows youth and junior sailors to compete using a very similar package and racing similar formats to the senior Olympic discipline, allowing them to develop the skills and techniques that they will serve them well in their future Olympic campaigns.
Starboard is delighted to announce the iQFOiL Youth & Junior Class’ acquisition of official World Sailing status. This marks a big leap in Windsurﬁng for young windsurfers, as they can learn to foil, compete and progress through their youth careers (all the way up to U19 World Championships) on the one board.
The first U19 World Championships is set to take place in July 2021 and will enable young iQ Foilers to compete for one of the ﬁve ofﬁcial world titles that are up for grabs.
“Starboard’s goal is always to grow windsurﬁng and sailing, while getting everyone on board for ocean protection activism. By creating a clear pathway with aspirational equipment, we invite sailing clubs around the world to get on board to initiate or expand their windsurﬁng programs. Together with World Sailing and classes like Kitefoiling, Techno, Optimist and Laser, we can get more people into our sport and increase the retention rate in sailing. My Optimist friends in Norway are excited about the potential of the iQFoil junior class as their next level of sailing, and I am excited to see integration within the sailing community, 54 years after Jim Drake and Hoyle Schweitzer gave birth to our sport. FYI, we use the iQFoil 85 with the optional center box / ﬁn to teach entry level windsurfers at our HQ test center.” Svein Rasmussen, founder of Starboard.”
“The iQFoil Junior equipment is so attractive that it will make loads of kids jump into windsurﬁng as we have seen with America’s Cup Stars windsurf foiling on the iQFOiL Senior equipment in their free time. Young sailors can have their ﬁrst foiling experience at a much younger age and at a much more affordable package than what they were used to. I think we will see a great growth in our beautiful windsurﬁng sport. Exciting times for the iQFOiL Youth&Junior Class!“ iQFoil Class Manager and former PWA Foil World Champion, Gonzalo Costa Hoevel.
Executive Committee International iQFOiL Youth & Junior Class Association
The Next Generation of foilers is already on the starting line. The first iQFOil Junior and Youth events took place in Norway, Thailand, Holland and Spain.
After the big success of the first international iQFOiL regatta on lake Silvaplana, many countries hosted nationals in the weeks that followed. We are delighted to see the first signs of our junior campaign taking root. Already 4 events took place over the last few weeks and more are coming up with one common denominator: happy kids coming off the water with big smiles. Seeing how the young sailors embrace foiling with excitement and no fear is the best proof of concept we could wish for.
In the following report, you can find closer information about the recent junior and youth events in Norway, Thailand, Spain and the Netherlands.
Norway hosted its first iQFOil youth contest with big success. 17 young racers most coming from a RS:X or Techno background showed remarkable progression while they competed at their first iQFOil regatta in only 8 degrees Celsius.
“The course was spectacularly set right in the middle of the Cityscape of Arendal, which also made it particularly easy to follow for parents onshore. A gusty northerly breeze from 6 to 22 knots was challenging but equally rewarding as the iQFOil Juniors sailed 4 upwind races. It was remarkable to see that the last race took only a third of the time of the first. Many of the kids had never even been airborne before the event and experiencing their learning curve first hand was amazing.”
The first Thai iQFOil Junior event took place from the 26-27th of September in Jombtien, Pattaya. 15 riders registered for the iQFOil Junior Division and despite very light winds on the first day, they managed to complete the first race. On the second day, the first race was the windiest of the event with still only 6-9 knots which were still enough to allow almost everybody to foil all the time, at the same time. The weight of the riders was between 48 and 65 kgs definitely helping the cause of racing in those extremely light conditions and despite the super light wind in total 3 races were completed over the weekend.
Since Starboard is based in Thailand our R&D manager Remi Vila was able to oversee and help guide the first iQFOil Youth Event in Thailand. Having delivered the equipment to the Youth and Juniors at the sailing club in Pattaya only 10 days prior to the event what was striking once more was the learning curve and speed in which the kids started flying, all of them airborne from day one.
Remi Vila reports: “During the 10 days before the event, I was able to visit the club twice to further give them the best advice on the trim of their equipment so that they could learn how to get the best out of it. They were all very attentive to the shim in the foil box and shim on the tail wing to understand all the benefits of this for light to strong winds. During the event the atmosphere was great, foiling managed to prove once more how easy and attractive it is also for the young generation. Thanks to foiling, Windsurfers will be able to enjoy a lot more days on the water, especially on the light wind locations around the world like here in Thailand. ” – Remi Vila Starboard R&D Manager
First one up was Holland at the beginning of September. 15 youngsters from the Netherlands, Belgium and France took part and were offered an introduction into iQfoil racing from the iQFOiL Academy Team.
The young sailors also got a big surprise by being able to get some tips and go foiling with the freshly crowned iQfoil European Champion Kiran Badloe and his coach Aaron Mcintosh. 16 Races were completed over the weekend in all different formats (slalom, course racing and long-distance/marathon).
‘I love it because it feels like flying. It’s just more special than the old way of windsurfing this is the new and the old is, well, old. It’s just not as relevant anymore. In about 6 years I might be able to go to the Youth Olympics so that’s what I’m working towards right now. After that, I want to go to the Olympics.” – 12-year-old Fin Brull who finished first in the U13 category
“We hope that other clubs will join us by setting up their own iQfoil youth (junior/youth) programs in order to be able to set up national youth (junior/youth) competitions. That’s how we can discover new talents: new Kirans and Lilians” – Marco Boone, host of the event at WSV Almere Centraal
Before the Spanish foil Championships in Cadiz took place, the iQfoil Academy team hosted a 2-day clinic to initiate and prepare the juniors and youth for the upcoming event. After the initial 2 days of coaching, the racing began, a lot of fun and exciting races. Almost half of the participants of the championships were either youth or juniors (35 out of the 77 participants) !
“It’s amazing how foiling is taking off everywhere. I was amazed by the big numbers here in Cadiz. The young kids have already an impressive level, they make it look like they have been foiling for years already. They learn very quickly, they love it and it is very hard to get them off the water! Spain is on the right path!” – Gonzalo Costa Hoevel, iQFOiL Class Manager
After a successful first iQFOiL European Championship, the iQFOiL team is in the Netherlands for an iQFOiL Junior and Youth clinic.
It is time for all of the junior and youth racers to shine on the iQFOiL equipment. This weekend, youngsters below 19 years had the chance to experience the iQFOiL class equipment first hand.
15 youngsters from the Netherlands, Belgium and France took part in this weekend event which offered an introduction into this. new class as well as top-class coaching.
The Junior and Youth iQFOiL equipment is specially designed for young riders to be able to get the same level of enjoyment our of foiling while battling it out on the racecourse.
The iQFOiL Junior Board is slightly smaller than the senior board while relying on the same ideology as the senior board while the Junior rig is a super light version of the senior rig with fewer battens. It also rigs on an RDM mast making the sail extremely easy to handle.
Apart from some great coaching from world-class sailors, this event also included a small race which was won by Hidde van der Meer from the Netherlands.1st U13: Fin Brull (NED)1st U17: Joachim Defives (FRA)1st U19: Hidde van der Meer (NED)1st Lady: Anne Steenbrink (NED)