Olympic year has come upon us, and with everyone in full swing for the run up, it is well known that the World Championship in Olympic year is the toughest event in the 4 year cycle. We catch up with the charismatic Tom Squires who gives us his personal reflections from his time at this years RS:X World Championships in Eilat.
The RS:X World Championships is that one event a year to perform at your best, with the top 80 RSX Windsurfers in the World all on the quest for the world title. I have just returned from this year’s which was held in Eilat, Israel. Here are my personal reflections from the most physically and mentally challenging event on my calendar.
I headed out to Israel two weeks before The Worlds in order to get too grips with the flukey wind from the mountains of Egypt, and February’s predominantly lighter winds conditions that we were promised by all the locals. However, as always the wind blew almost every day up to the first day of the regatta. I was going well in the 11knot+ conditions, understanding the wind and going fast, but the weather changed and the promised unstable light winds came. Every day showed crazy and unusual wind and like every World Championships made things a lot less straightforward.
‘Its never normally like this’ – To quote locals after the wind shifted 90 degrees per lap.
As the wind got trickier the experienced sailors had a good advantage, this didn’t mean I wasn’t ready for a fight. I had huge ups and downs throughout the week with my final standing being 20th overall. I had a mixture of feelings towards the result knowing if the conditions were stable I could have challenged people further up the fleet, maybe even been a top 5 challenger. Taking the positives however, I’m super happy with my performance considering in Oman, (last year’s World Championships) with similar conditions I finished an ashamed 40th not 6 months ago. This gives me huge amounts of confidence in the training I have been doing and the training I have planned.
I have been invited to train in Rio over the next few weeks and will be heading out there quick sharp. The life of an RSX windsurfer is mainly spent behind a check-in desk bending baggage allowance rules and unpacking bubble wrapped boards. Sometimes resulting in, as I’m sure you’ve seen some seriously busted boards. Only the feeling of windsurfing can beat the relief of a whole, unscratched board when you get out to a regatta…
RSX is a challenging discipline; rarely a regatta goes by where there is one single condition every day. You need to be worlds class at everything, 5knots – 35knots, everyone has their favourite conditions, but the aim is to master them all. The experience within the women’s and men’s fleet this Olympic cycle is crazy, and I feel so privileged to be a part of a sport pushing through all the boundaries. Being an ‘insider’ to the Olympic scene you’d think I’d have an understanding of potential medallists at the summer Olympics but at this moment it’s really tight from so many different countries, it would be impossible to even think of the potential medallists. I’ll check back in with my predictions when things start to unfold during the upcoming spring events.
Time to get training again,
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