Nick Dempsey

Dempsey ready to start Worlds title defence

Written by RYA | 11 September 2014

RS:X world titleholder Dempsey ready to race in Santander

Reigning RS:X Windsurfing World Champion Nick Dempsey says he is ‘fired up and ready’ for his world title defence at the ISAF Sailing World Championships starting in Santander, Spain, this weekend.

The Olympic silver and bronze medallist admits he is keen to make his mark in the men’s windsurfing event, which runs from 13-19 September, after what he considers a sub-par season. 

“It is especially important for me to do well here. I haven’t performed this year and I want to do well for myself more than anyone,” the 34-year-old explained.

“I have trained hard and have put a lot into it and I want some reward and some of that good feeling that you get when you do well and you do perform.”

“I am feeling pretty good, quite relaxed but a little nervous,” continued Dempsey, who considers Dutch Olympic Champion Dorian van Rijsselberge and the Polish windsurfing squad as among those to watch once racing gets started.

“There are just a couple of days until we start and training is going well.  The venue is all set up, the team is looking good and I am in a good place.

Dempsey, who became the first man in history to win two RS:X windsurfing world titles when he claimed gold at last year’s event in Buzios, Brazil, says is not letting his world title come into his thinking build up.

“Being World Champion changes other people’s perceptions of how they think you should perform but for myself I know exactly where I am at,” said Dempsey – one of nine British windsurfers contesting the men’s event.

“I have my own expectations that I want to meet.  Being World Champion is nice, but it doesn’t make any difference to the way I approach this week.

“I am fired up and I am ready. I think I can do well and I just want to get started.”

In the women’s RS:X event, the 2013 world silver medallist Bryony Shaw is equally excited to get her regatta underway, and feels confident she can be among the frontrunners in the 67-strong women’s fleet.

“It is great to have had that silver medal [in 2013] and to have medalled at various other events since,” the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist explained.

“It is a great feeling that that consistency is there and I think this event is a fantastic opportunity and hopefully my career is on a good pathway at the moment.

“I just want to show people what I can do and hopefully that is be on the podium again.” 

Shaw will be one of six British sailors in the women’s fleet in Santander, which also includes fellow Podium squad sailor Izzy Hamilton, but the 31-year-old Shaw will be expecting a tough battle from some international rivals in the race for the medal spots.


“I can definitely see this as being an extremely strong fleet and I think you will see the normal faces at the front. The French girl, Charline Picon has been having a fantastic year so far, and it will also be great to see Zofia Klepacka, another Olympic medallist, who is back in the fleet and on full fire so I see those two girls as my main two rivals this week,” she explained.

“This is my focal event to peak for. Physically I feel prepped and we did a lot of equipment testing earlier on in the year so trying to get every element of the prep done and I’m just trying to feel calm and ready!”

British contenders in the RS:X Men’s and Women’s Windsurfing fleets:
Nick Dempsey
Tom Squires
Joe Bennett
Kieran Martin
Ali Masters
Connor Bainbridge
Sam Sills
Brian Wilson
Robert York  

Bryony Shaw
Isobel Hamilton
Imogen Sills
Noelle Finch
Emma Wilson
Saskia Sills

Racing in Santander sees a staggered schedule across the ten classes:

12-18 September: Laser and Laser Radial
13-19 September: RS:X Men and RS:X Women
14-20 September: 470 Men and 470 Women
15-21 September: 49er, 49erFX, Finn and Nacra 17


Full a full list of British competitors and all the latest from the ISAF Sailing World Championships, stay with us at, on Facebook or on Twitter @BritishSailing!

Click here for the British Sailing Team’s video channel from the Santander Worlds.


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