Sailing: Badloe and Lu Sail to RS:X World Championships Gold

Badloe and Lu were crowned world champions by winning gold at the 2019 RS:X Windsurfing World Championships. In terms of Olympic qualification, the top eight eligible nations in the men’s RS:X and the top nine eligible nations in the women’s RS:X will qualify a spot to compete at the games. The RS:X Windsurfing World Championships was held in Torbole, Italy from September 22nd to September 28th 2019.

The men’s RS:X saw the 129 boat fleet split into two groups for the first six races. The first day contained three races and the overall leader was France’s Pierre Le Coq of the yellow group where he finished with ten points. The best boat in the blue group was the Netherlands’ Kiran Badloe whom had twelve points. The second day contained three more races along with the worst performance being dropped. Le Coq had the best day by winning two of the races. This allowed him to remain with the overall lead with 9 net points while Badloe remained closely in second with 11 net points.

The top boats fleets were combined on the third day in the gold fleet while the rest competed in the silver fleet. Three races were held on that day where Badloe took the overall lead with 21 points, two fewer than Le Coq whom held a 14-point lead over the next sailors. Due to poor weather, the fourth day only contained a single race where Badloe extended his lead over Le Coq to five points. The fifth and final day, again, due to poor weather only saw the medal race held. This meant the Olympic quotas were won by South Korea, Hong Kong, Belarus, Switzerland, Lithuania, the United States, Cyprus and the Czech Republic. The race was won by Dorian van Rijsselberghe of the Netherlands whom moved into the silver medal position ahead of Le Coq, but he was unable to catch his compatriot Badloe whom won gold with a total of 34 net points.

The first day of the women’s RS:X contained three races. The 106 boat fleet was split into two groups with Italy’s Marta Magetti leading the blue group with 13 points. The yellow fleet was led by Poland’s Zofia Noceti-Klepacka whom had 16 points. The second day also had three races held with the worst result dropped where Lilian De Geus took the overall lead with 19 net points, three fewer than China’s Lu Yunxiu. With the top boats forming the gold fleet, only seven eligible nations remained meaning Brazil, Finland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Mexico, Peru and Turkey all qualified to the Olympics. The two remaining spots will be decided based on the performance in the silver fleet.

The first day with the gold fleet only contained one race due to poor wind. The single race was won by Estonia’s Ingrid Puusta whom jumped up to 26th place. De Geus still led all sailors, holding a two point lead over Italy’s Giorgia Speciale. The fourth day saw three races and a lead change as a consistent Lu Yunxiu overtook De Geus to finish the day with a six point lead going into the final day. Only the medal race was held on the final day meaning Thailand and the United States picked up the final two available quotas. The medal race saw Lu maintained her lead to win gold with a total score of 56 net points. This was four and eight points lower than Israel’s Katy Spychakov and De Geus whom won the silver and bronze medals respectively.

Only six quota places in each event remain. They will be filled at the respective continent qualifiers, the first of which will be in Africa to be held in October.

Qualified Nations

Men’s RS:X
* Belarus
* Cyprus
* Czech Republic
* Hong Kong
* Lithuania
* South Korea
* Switzerland
* United States

Women’s RS:X
* Brazil
* Finland
* Hong Kong
* Hungary
* Mexico
* Peru
* Thailand
* Turkey
* United States

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