A year out from Paris 2024 Olympics, the world’s best sailors have been in action at the Marseille Marina at the Paris 2024 Test Event. Between Olympic and world champions, as well as rising stars, most of the contenders for Olympic glory next year have been testing the waters on the French south coast. British Sailing Team windsurfer Emma Wilson Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist was one of them, she was in action in the iQFOiL Women, looking to build on a strong start to the season. It won't surprise those who follow the über talented Emma that huge congratulations is in order as she is triumphantly bringing home a silver medal from the event, I have been incredibly lucky to speak to The Official Test Centre Team Rider Emma and ask her all about the Paris Test Event.
By Emma Nicholson.
Huge congratulations! What did it feel like to win silver at the Olympic test event? Can you describe the moment you knew? And what that means to you?
Emma said: "Yeah once I got through my semi-final I knew I was guaranteed a medal and to be honest I wanted to win and that’s what I was going for. I had a great start but on my first downwind I made some mistakes and had a pretty bad gybe, so I dropped to second and after that the race is so short its pretty hard to catch up. When I crossed the line I was happy , just exhausted really after such a long week. I’m happy, but it has really made me determined to try go one step better next time."
"I’m happy, but it has really made me determined to try go one step better next time."
The event was a real mixed bag of conditions with Day 1, four races - you were leading. Day 2, one race - wind dropped. Day 4, four races and Day 5, six races. How do you stay focused and keep performing at such a high level?
Emma said: "Yeah it was definitely one of the most physically demanding races I’ve done. We had so many different conditions and it was a pretty long week. I actually felt like I dealt with it all pretty well , and I had a great support team and coach around me. I just made some mistakes on day five which cost me quite a lot. But I really enjoyed the racing and I think that’s maybe why I performed well because I just love to race, especially in hot , sunny , conditions!"
"I just love to race, especially in hot , sunny , conditions!"
How has the venue made you feel about the olympics next year?
Emma said: "I think it’s going to be challenging, but also really cool. It's a really cool setup and the wind can be anything, so I think that’ll make it super interesting. I really hope I can qualify for the Olympics next year and give it my best."
"I really hope I can qualify for the Olympics next year and give it my best."
Has the event given you a real insight and advantage going into the Olympics?
Emma said: "I'm definitely super glad I got the opportunity to go. Its different to any other event, you have to go through security to get to your board and lots of media interviews and just a lot more rules. I think it will be super fun though and I’m excited!"
What’s next for you? A rest? More training?
Emma said: "I have a week off now to recover, before some more training because our world championships start on 14th August in Holland. I’m looking forward to some rest and then I’ll give it everything one final time this season!"
"I’ll give it everything one final time this season!"
If Emma has inspired you to start your windsurfing journey with us, why not book a taster online... https://otc.sailia.co.uk/booking_v2/main/