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Highlands' Islay sails into windsurfing history book

By Gavin Musgrove

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Islay celebrating after claiming silver medal
Islay celebrating after claiming silver medal

Highlander Islay Watson could not wait to return home and show off her world silver medal from the iQFOIL Championships to her family.

The Aviemore star sailed to second place at Silvaplana in Switzerland at the weekend behind France’s Helene Noesmoen in the inaugural champs.

iQFoil is the windsurfing class selected by the ISAF to replace the RS:X for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

“It was quick, very quick and a really exciting event all round,” Watson told the Strathy after her weekend medal success.

“I’m still feeling very excited about it all, even if I am tired.

“I’m so happy to have got my rhythm over the days and eventually to have come that close to Helene.

“Right now though, I’m just looking forward to getting back to Strathspey to be with my family and share the moment.”

She was speaking from the airport waiting room.

Watson said: “I’ve earned a rest but only a brief one. We have to keep up the training, with the next big event due not to far away now, in Marseilles.”

Noesmoen, Watson and Saskia Sills, also Team GB, fought it out for the world title after Pilar Madrid had catapulted on the first reach. But the French racer found another gear and sailed into the lead pretty early and could not be caught.

iQFOiL Senior Worlds Women (Silvaplana) winner: Helene Noesmoen (FRA); r/up: Islay Watson (GBR); 3rd: Saskia Sills (GBR); 4th: Pilar Lamadrid-Trueba (ESP); 5th: Shachar Reshef (ISR).

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