Lanzarote is getting ready to usher in the Olympic sailing season ahead of what promises to be an exciting, challenging year. Ahead of Paris 2024 nearly half of the Olympic sailing World Championships have chosen Marina Rubicón as their venue.
You only have to look at the social media channels of the world's pre-Olympic elite to see the importance of Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands (Spain), as a training base for the sport of sailing. Since last October, Marina Rubicón has hosted a big number of sailors and coaches who find it the perfect place to live and prepare for the Olympic Games. Lanzarote has a good weather, is an ideal location to practice a multitude of sports and also is a "wind machine", essential for sailing.
Aware of the island's unique potential for sailing, the Lanzarote Sailing Center training base was created by Marina Rubicón "not only to attract and support these athletes, but also to give Canarian athletes the tools they need to have a chance of representing Spain in future Olympic Games," explains its CEO, Rafa Lasso.
In 2024, years of work will come to fruition with as a number of World Championships are all hosted under the umbrella of the Lanzarote International Regatta
“Normally in an Olympic year such as 2024, the Worlds would be held in the southern hemisphere, as they have to be held in winter for the last qualifying places for the Games to be awarded," explains Lasso. However, Lanzarote has managed to offer an alternative, "In Lanzarote these Olympic classes and sailors have found a place in the northern hemisphere to sail in winter. Sailors from up to 75 countries will be training here this winter and they are the ones who have expressed their desire for these championships to be held in Marina Rubicón to their classes. With the support of the Canary Islands institutions we have been working for some time on different technical and logistical aspects to make these World Championships a success," he says.
LANZAROTE IQFOIL GAMES, THE STARTING SIGNAL FOR THE OFFICIAL COMPETITIONS
After the success of those events held last January, the athletes wanted to return and from 10 to 15 December Marina Rubicón will host the Lanzarote iQFOiL Games, which will see the participation of more than 160 windsurfers from 35 countries from Asia, America, Australasia and Europe.
iQFOiL is the spectacular new Olympic windsurfing class, in which athletes reach speeds in excess of 40 km/h. Described by many as "addictive", Spain's Pilar Lamadrid, number 2 in the world ranking, described it: "It is much more visual and eye-catching, because even with very little wind we can fly at 20 knots and all the effort we make on the board is much more reflected than on conventional boards."
Among those who will be coming to the Lanzarote iQFOiL Games are last year's champion as well as that of the current men's winner - Pawel Tarnowski (POL) - and the reigning world champions, Luuc Van Opzeeland (NED) and Shahar Tibi (ISR).
FROM JANUARY TO MARCH, IQFOIL, 49ER AND 49ERFX WORLDS UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF THE LANZAROTE INTERNATIONAL REGATTA
In its fourth edition, the Lanzarote International Regatta changes its format slightly in this Olympic year 2024. Instead of being held over seven consecutive days in February, it will be held on different dates, hosting different championships and an extensive coaches regattas calendar.
The first date to mark on the calendar is 26 January to 3 February. Thus, Lanzarote will once again mark the start of the iQFOil season in 2024, with the celebration of the World Championship of the class. As well as being a World Championship, the Lanzarote event will be a key event for many countries that are playing for their place in Paris 2024.
This world championship event will be followed by a new one, from 4 to 10 March. On this occasion it will be the turn of the 49er and 49erFX classes, in which there will once again be an important fight to seal passports for Paris 2024.
Marina Rubicón is the organiser of all these sporting events, which have the collaboration of the Royal Canarian Sailing Federation, as well as the institutional support of Promotur Turismo de Canarias, the Tourism Department of the Cabildo de Lanzarote through the European Sports Destination sports product (managed by SPEL-Turismo Lanzarote), the Yaiza Town Hall and the private entities Dinghycoach, Naviera Armas and Cabrera Medina (Cicar).