MARSEILLE, FRANCE (October 29, 2021) – The iQFoil European Championships concluded on October 28 in Marseille, France, the future sailing venue of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. It was the first international event for three USA iQFoil athletes since the equipment’s official Olympic designation earlier this year and a wonderful opportunity for the group to check in with the broader fleet early in the Paris 2024 campaign quad.
“The title of this event was the Europeans, but it was more like a world championship,” said Coach Phil Muller. “We had athletes competing from the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. The level of competition was extremely high with veterans from the [past Olympic class windsurfing equipment] RS:X and PWA classes along with experienced foilers competing on a series of new courses and race formats.”
Alex Temko, the US’s upcoming male iQFoil representative at the inaugural Jr. Pan Am Games to be held in Cali, Colombia November 26 – December 5, said “the European Championships were great fun and a great learning experience. I learned a lot about the Olympic venue and got to see the level of the fleet.”
On his takeaways and lessons he’s taking to the Jr. Pan Am Games, Temko said “I worked on switching from a racing mode to a relax-and-recovery mode, I practiced my high-performance tactics, and had plenty of opportunities to lock in my full speed on the reaches. Overall, this was the perfect training for the Jr. Pan-American Games and I feel even faster than before.”
This was Fiona Wylde’s (Hood River, OR) first international iQFoil event, three-time Stand Up Paddleboard World Champion and recent addition to the iQFoil fleet. “I have really enjoyed being here and learning as much as I can,” said Wylde. “Foil Windsurf racing is new to me, so I am proud of the way I sailed for the amount of experience I have and am really motivated to improve. Onwards and upwards!”
On the squad’s goals going into Europeans and what’s ahead with the event now wrapped, Coach Muller said “On one hand we set out on a fact-finding mission to discover new techniques and learn best practices from our friends and competitors. On the other hand, this was a key event for our team. We had an amazing group including a three-time SUP World Champion (Wylde) and a Youth Champion (Temko). This group of athletes worked very hard this week and are extremely focused forward on what’s ahead and aware of the mountain we’re about to climb.”
Joining the iQFoil squad this week in an observer and mentor capacity was Tokyo 2020 Men’s RS.X Olympian, Pedro Pascual, who is embarking on his iQFoil campaign for Paris 2024: “This week was great. I was able to learn on shore and on the water from the best in the world on the new Olympic discipline. I now know where the level is and am looking forward to start grinding this winter to become competitive as soon as possible.”
MARSEILLE, FRANCE (October 22, 2021) – Three US athletes are on the ground in Marseille, France, the sailing venue for the Paris 2024 Olympics, for the 2021 iQFoil European Championships. Racing begins Saturday, October 23 and continues through Thursday, October 28.
Competing for the United States:
- Alexander Temko (Clearwater, Florida), competing in the Under 21 division
- Fiona Wylde (Hood River, Oregon), competing in the Open division
- Xavier Ferlet (Santa Clarita, California), competing in the Open division
This group of talented sailors is coached by former US Sailing Team Windsurf athlete and recipient of the 2020 US Sailing Developmental Coach of the Year award, Phil Muller. “The Mistral [cold and dry strong wind in southern France] was in full force today and pumping 4’ swell with chop on top,” said Muller after the team’s practice day. “We have six days of racing scheduled and the USA is here at the 2024 Olympic venue to learn and compete with the best in this new Olympic class.”
Temko, Wylde, and Ferlet bring a range of experience to Marseille. Alex Temko is scheduled to compete on Team USA at the inaugural Jr. Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia this November 26 through December 5, after winning the domestic qualifiers at the San Francisco edition of the West Marine US Open Sailing Series. Fiona Wylde, three-time Stand Up Paddleboard World Champion, has devoted her efforts to the foiling windsurfer and brings a unique set of skills from her success in other board sports. Xavier Ferlet put up an impressive set of scores at four of the six West Marine US Open Sailing Series events across Florida and California and has extensive experience sailing overseas.
- Tokyo 2020 Men’s RS:X silver medalist, Thomas Goyard (FRA)
- Mattia Camboni (ITA), 5th place, Tokyo 2020 Games, Men’s RS:X
- Tom Squires (GBR), 7th place, Tokyo 2020 Games, Men’s RS:X
- Angel Granda Roque (ESP), 10th place, Tokyo 2020 Games, Men’s RS:X
- Marta Maggetti (ITA), 4th place, Tokyo 2020 Games, Women’s RS: X
- Zofia Noceti-Klepacka (POL) 9th place, Tokyo 2020 Games, Women’s RS: X