Windsurfing, Kitesurfing & Sailing

Windsurfing in the Olympics: Who Is Representing Team GB At Rio 2016 & Who to Watch Out For

Does Great Britain stand a chance of winning a medal in windsurfing at the Rio 2016 Olympics?

Nick Dempsey won silver at the London 2012 Olympics for the British Sailing Team. Photo: Rick Tomlinson via. British Sailing

Windsurfing is one sport Great Britain have a solid chance of winning a medal in. As the windiest country in Europe, the UK has great conditions for practicing in and therefore gives our windsurfers a fighting chance of winning a medal.

Windsurfing In The Olympics: An Essential Guide To The Rio 2016 Events, The Rules And Schedule

Brit Nick Dempsey won bronze at Athens Olympics in 2004 and silver at London 2012. Fellow British Sailing Team member Bryony Shaw won a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. They are both heading to Rio this summer with the hope of making it onto the podium.

Here’s a little insight into the Team GB medal contenders for Rio 2016.


Photo: Rick Tomlinson via. British Sailing

Discipline: Men’s RS:X

Why is she/he worth watching? He’s an Olympic windsurfing veteran and Britain’s only male windsurfer in the Olympics.

Nick Dempsey is Britain’s most likely medal contender in the men’s RS:X windsurfing event. After closely missing out on the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics, he has set his sights on winning gold at Rio 2016. It would make him the most successful men’s Olympic windsurfer.

Nick came onto the international windsurfing scene when he won a bronze medal at the 1998 Mistral Youth World Championships. He has been competing in Olympic events since 2000 with increasing success each year.


Bryony Shaw won bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the women’s RS:X event. Photo: Sailing Energy

Discipline: Women’s RS:X

Why is she/he worth watching? She’s currently ranked number one in the world women’s RS:X rankings and she’s our only female windsurfing competitor in the Rio Olympics.

Bryony Shaw is the most successful female windsurfer on the British Sailing Team. She won a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the first women’s windsurfing medal for the British Olympic Team.

She studied architecture for a year at Cardiff University before committing full-time to windsurfing. She started racing aged 14. Rio 2016 will be her third Olympics.

“I’m extremely honoured and proud to be competing at my third Olympic Games. Hopefully this time I’ll have a gold medal in my sights” she told BBC Sport.


Pawal Tarnowski is one to watching in the windsurfing Olympic events at Rio 2016. Photo via. Pawel Tarnowski Facebook Page

Which other countries are expected to have a shot at winning gold in the Olympic windsurfing events at Rio 2016?

Dorian van Rijsselberghe

Photo: Tiit Aunaste

Discipline: Men’s RS:X

Country: The Netherlands

Why is she/he worth watching? As a previous gold medallist, the chances of him striking twice are high.

The 27 year-old Dutch windsurfer won gold at the London 2012 Olympics – and he’s aiming for gold again this year.

Pawel Tarnowski

Photo: @pawel_tarnowski

Discipline: Men’s RS:X

Country: Poland

Why is she/he worth watching? Since joining the Senior rankings, Pawel has topped the podium numerous times in European and World Championships.

Pawel Tarnowski, 21 from Poland, has been doing extremely well in the world championships. He is definitely worth keeping at eye on as this is his first Olympics.

Iván Pastor

Photo via Iván Pastor RS:X

Discipline: Men’s RS:X

Country: Spain

Why is she/he worth watching? His current rankings are promising for the upcoming Olympics.

It is Ivan’s fourth Olympics but that hasn’t dampened his chances of winning a medal. In the last year he has consistently ranked in the top ten in the world and he is currently 3rd in the world RS:X rankings.

Pierre Le Coq

Photo: @isafworldsailing

Discipline: Men’s RS:X

Country: France

Why is she/he worth watching? Pierre won the World Championships last year and is definitely one to watch this year.

He’s only 26 years old and this is Pierre’s first Olympics. He won bronze in the Olympic test event, which bodes well for this summer.

Marina Alabau

Photo via. Marina Alabau Facebook Page

Discipline: Women’s RS:X

Country: Spain

Why is she/he worth watching? She won gold at London 2012 and there’s every chance she could do it again.

Spaniard Marina Alabau already has one gold medal from London 2012 and she has her sights set on a second.

Zofia Noceti-Klepacka


Discipline: Women’s RS:X

Country: Poland

Why is she/he worth watching? She’s no stranger to the Olympic podium and this year’s results are strong so far.

Polish representative Zofia Noceti-Klepacka, who won bronze at London 2012 and will be entering her fourth Olympics, is competing for a spot on the podium as well.

Lilian de Geus

Photo: Sailing Energy

Discipline: Women’s RS:X

Country: The Netherlands

Why is she/he worth watching? She’s had a strong start to 2016 and is regularly in the top 3 in the world rankings.

Lilian de Geus is currently second in the world rankings behind Bryony Shaw and will be snapping at the Brit’s heels at Rio 2016.

Flavia Tartaglini

Photo via. Flavia Tartaglini Facebook Page

Discipline: Women’s RS:X

Country: Italy

Why is she/he worth watching? It’s her first Olympics and she’s got a lot of experience behind her.

Flavia is another one to watch out for this summer – it’s her first Olympics despite the fact that she’s been competing consistently since 2004. She’s started the season with some high rankings in the world tables.


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