Charlie Dixon: A Year in the Life!
The future of British windsurfing has never looked so healthy and its all down to a child prodigy called Charlie! At only 17 years of age Charlie Dixon is a phenomenal talent, he has been a trailblazer in his sport and has smashed every competition out of the water! His list of achievements in 2022 is unequivocal and dripping in gold and he really is the one to watch.
This year he has won a plethora of titles including; iQFoil Youth European Champion! iQFoil International Games Gold Medalist! iQFoil World Champ and World Sailing Official Youth World Champ! Charlie is on the cusp of entering the senior racing circuit at this pivotal time in his life I was lucky enough to interview Charlie and ask him about his incredible year! Charlie, who has the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028 firmly on his radar deserves all the accolades for all his hard work and commitment to this exciting Olympic class.
By Emma Nicholson.
I asked Charlie what has been the highlight of his incredible year! Charlie said: "I think they all mean a whole lot to me, but the 'World Sailing Youth Worlds' felt special being my first ever international event, I would then say the 'Class Youth Worlds' would then be next as this was the biggest event of the year."
"Do everything possible to better yourself each session."
How does Charlie prepare for a race? He said: "I think that in preparation for an event it is very important to rest prior to the event, as the last thing you want to do is to turn up tired and over trained, I also think it is very important prior to your rest that you train at maximum intensity putting yourself in racing scenarios."
When Charlie started windsurfing did he ever think he would achieve what he has? He said: "I started windsurfing at 12 years old, and only intended to do it for fun at that point , racing wasn’t what I was worried about, I just wanted to blast and have fun and be better than my dad."
Where is Charlie's top spot to sail? He said: "My favourite places in the UK are my home spot on the river Blackwater and Portland Harbour, but in Europe it has to be Lake Garda, the place is a wind machine!"
What motivates Charlie? He said: "I think a lot of my motivation comes from now wanting to make it all the way, but initially it was about being better than may dad and then going on to racing against other youths in the UK, it was about being better and how can I be the best!"
"I started windsurfing at 12 years old, and only intended to do it for fun."
What or Who inspires Charlie? He said: "I’m inspired by both others in the class and certain individuals, the foiling tack inspired many people to do it , but I wanted to do it in races not just in training and I feel that this made a huge difference to my sailing this year and given me a big advantage on competitors."
What does Charlie like to do to unwind? He said: "To unwind I like to go winging I find its a great escape from windsurfing."
"Knowing you are the guy to beat is a bit nerve racking, so I think you just have to almost reset."
What advice would Charlie give to youngsters entering the sport? He said: "I would say take every little step necessary to get yourself there it's well worth it , if that means going training in the rain then go, do everything possible to better yourself each session."
How does Charlie get over those bumps in the road? He said: "I think when you hit a bump in the road; for example the foiling tack it's down to how much you want to do it , how much you love the sport to keep yourself on track battling to get over it."
What is going through Charlie's mind as he hits the start line? He said: "I think back to all the training, preparation and build up to the event to reassure myself that I’m ready and I always think, the first race is a freebie as no one is ready for it."
"When things don’t go right and people are still looking up to you - can you still stay composed."
How does Charlie balance the pressure of being a top windsurfer? He said: "I think that turning up to an event knowing you are the guy to beat is a bit nerve racking, so I think you just have to almost reset and think that you are all equal and that the regatta can be lost on the first day, but not won."
How does Charlie feel about being a role model? He said: "I think being a role model is a good thing, but it can become hard at times as I’ve seen before when things don’t go right and people are still looking up to you can you still stay composed."
What benefits to mental health does Charlie see by being on the water? He said: "Being on the water is great there is nothing quite like flying around in sunny conditions or even in the rain , just being out on the water feels great."
"I think a lot of my motivation comes from now wanting to make it all the way."
Is Charlie passionate about encouraging other young people into the sport? He said: "I think the more young people coming into the sport the better, the more people we have the better we all get and the more medals we will bring home to the UK, I also think it is a great way to socialise and make lifelong friends."
And finally! What does 2023 hold for Charlie? He said: "2023 is going to be exciting for me as it’ll be my first year on the senior kit and could be a big year, but for now it's about staying focused putting on some weight, so I can be competitive in the senior world next year."