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Watson in third as iQFOiL Euros gets up and running

by British Sailing Team 25 Oct 2021 12:23 PDT 23-28 October 2021
Islay Watson at the 2021 iQFOIL European Championships © Richard Aspland / British Sailing Team

Today was the first full day of racing for both the men's and women's fleets at the iQFOiL Europeans in Marseille. The men completed four slalom races and the women six.

The day saw a 6-7 knot NW wind gusting 10 knots which dropped and swung more westerly, up to 10 knots gusting 12 as the sun went down.

A string of third places and a first puts Islay Watson third in the women's fleet of 68 sailors while U21 World Champion Finn Hawkins leads the men's British contingent in seventh overall and first U21 in the 141 strong fleet. Two race wins helps Matt Barton to 12th. Both Henry Bloodworth (20th) and James Hatcher (24th) claim maiden international race wins while Andy Brown in 31st, Tokyo 2020 windsurfer Tom Squires sits 48th and Sam Sills is 51st.

In the women's fleet Saskia Sills notched two race wins and sits in 16th with Alice Read closely behind in 19th. Alysia Gibson is in 30th, Jennie Roberts sits 36th and Jenna Gibson 47th.

Another sunny day is expected tomorrow with a wind range of 10-14 knots with the potential for a long day of racing for the competitors.

Quotes:

Matt Barton:
"It was a good enough day. Two firsts and a discard. A little situation with the discard. I tried to avoid someone and ended up falling off the foil and I didn't foil again for the rest of the race, which was a bit of a shame, but overall, a good day across the board. I didn't pick up anything too bad going into the split fleets tomorrow, so a good day."

Jenna Gibson:
"It was really tricky out there, there was lots of holes. It was just good to finally get some racing in. I had a third and a fourth and then I just didn't foil so got some low places."

James Hatcher:
"I got a two-one in the first two races which was really exciting for me as that was my first ever international race win. Had a pair of not-so-great results after that but overall happy with the day."

Islay Watson:
"It went pretty well. I had a solid day. A lot of firsts and seconds, unfortunately one OCS, but pretty happy. It's good just to be out on the water after a lot of waiting around."

More event information and full results on the iQFOiL Euros website, iqfoilclass.org/europeans2021

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