June 27, 2022

SCOTS windsurfer Islay Watson returned to her home club to run a masterclass for youngsters on the waters of Loch Insh.

Islay Watson – who is part of the British Sailing Team – returned home to Loch Insh, Badenoch and Strathspey, to run a masterclass for young windsurfers as part of a new RYA Scotland initiative. 

Members of the Loch Insh MonstArs learnt some tips and were introduced to the world of foiling, an evolution that has taken off in international sailing and windsurfing. 

Islay Watson is currently lying second in the world rankings of the Women’s Olympic IQ Foil class and has been absorbing all the developments in this new discipline.

Islay with learners
Islay shared her knowledge with the next generation at Loch Insh.

Speaking at the event, Islay said: “It’s exciting that RYA Scotland have managed to get this kit organised.

“It is all about foiling now.

“These are the youth boards that are being used around the world.

“They’re really good for young people to get on and learn the basic skills of foiling before transitioning to senior kit.

“I’m really looking forward to getting on the water and learning together so they can take that forward in their future sessions.”

Fellow British Sailing Team and Loch Insh windsurfer Andy Brown, who recently won the Men’s IQ Foil class in Palma at the opening Olympic series event of the season, has provided a lot of local pride in their windsurfing set-up in the highland loch.  

In partnership with Scotland’s windsurf clubs and enabled through legacy funding, RYA Scotland have provided five iQFOiL (youth) boards and masts.

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These will be owned by the clubs and used by their members and made available for all transitioning sailors to use to progress onto foiling boards. 

James Allan, CEO of RYA Scotland said: “It’s been a perfect day for the launch of the programme in Scotland here at Islay Watsons home water on Loch Insh.

“Clearly the talent exists for Scotland to continue to do well in performance windsurfing and with these boards now in the hands of our aspiring athletes they have the best chance to succeed.”