The 2019 RS:X Windsurfing European and Youth European Championships & Open Trophy closed with four scintillating medal races held in near perfect conditions in Mallorca, Spain. After four days of intense competition where the wind gods tested and teased the competitors, medal race day saw a steady 12-15 knot wind and full planing conditions.
For the 333 competitors coming from 41 different nations and covering six continents, this was a perfect way to close out the regatta which, for a European event, showcased the depth of talent in the RS:X Class as well as growth in windsurfing with more countries taking part than ever before.
In the Senior fleet, gold medals turned orange as the Dutch duo of Kiran Badloe and Lilian de Geus won the men's and women's event respectively. De Geus added the European title to the World Championship title she won at the Hempel Sailing World Championships held at Aarhus, Denmark in 2018. De Geus is now only missing the Olympic title which is her focus for 2020. For Badloe, it was a welcome reversal of fortune over double Olympic champion, Dorian van Rijsselberge, who beat Badloe to the world title in 2018. Both Badloe and de Geus mastered tricky conditions to win their European titles.
Behind Badloe, van Rijsselberge took silver and Thomas Goyard from France improved all week long to take the bronze medal. Women's medallists were Emma Wilson from Great Britain who took silver and Olympic champion from France, Charlene Picon taking the bronze medal after a disappointing medal race for the Frenchwoman.
Israeli Naama Gazit took the Youth women's title after a close tussle with Linoy Geva (Israel) and Heloise Macquaert (France) all week long. The gold medal for Gazit being decided at the medal race where Macquaert had a poor race and dropped from being a gold medal contender to having to settle for bronze.
Fabien Pianazza from France scored a narrow one point victory in the Youth men fleet, just beating Italian Nicolo Renna into silver. Renna had been on a charge towards the end of the week and blitzed the medal race win but Pianazza finished in second in the medal race to keep his grip on the gold medal.
The RS:X Windsurfing Europeans and Youth Europeans were an excellent showcase of how much windsurfing has grown in the last 6 years. The BIC Techno, with the support of the International Windsurfing Association (IWA), continues to grow and feed the RS:X Class who work hard to make sure that sailors continue to participate and enjoy the sport. The RS:X Class are also supported by the IWA in making sure that the sport as a whole is in good health.