Emma Wilson: Britain’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Windsurfing medallist

Coming from a family of top level windsurfers, Britain’s Emma Wilson is guaranteed a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing competition

It can be tough following in the footsteps of a two-time Olympian parent, but Emma Wilson is well on track to do just that.

From planing on the front of mum Penny’s board as a toddler Wilson has come a long way, demonstrating her potential as a future sailing Olympian by excelling among the youth and junior ranks at world level.

Windsurfing Wilsons

Emma’s mum, Penny became the Women’s’ World Racing Champion in 1986. Then won it again in 1990 and 1991. She finished 6th at the 1992 Olympic Games  sailing the then Olympic windsurfer, the Mistral in Barcelona and again in the 1996 games in Atlanta.

Penny gained significant recognition with appearances on BBC question of sport and even has a road named after her in Christchurch. She stopped being a full time windsurfer in 1996 following the Atlanta Olympics, aged 34, to start a family eventually having two children, Emma and 18 month older brother Dan Wilson, who has also been a part of the British Sailing Windsurfing team.

Emma Wilson: Youth champion

Emma’s first taste of a world title was at the age of just 12 when she took the U15 Techno 293 World Championship. Moving to the Olympic class windsurfer Wilson’s success continued with the RS:X Youth Worlds title in 2014.

After just missing out on the Youth Worlds title to future Rio 2016 bronze medallist Russia’s Stefania Elfutina in 2015 Wilson would show her drive to succeed coming back to win consecutive Youth Worlds golds in 2016 and 2017. Since then she has fast been becoming a regular fixture in the medal races at senior level.

Womens' RS:X Olympic Sailing

Britain’s Emma Wilson competing in Tokyo 2020. Photo: Sailing energy / World Sailing

British RS:X success

With the Emma Wilson’s determination and will to win, she performed well in the RS:X but being a part of the British Sailing Team has its advantages and disadvantages.

On the one hand Emma Wilson got to train against three-time olympic and two-time bronze medallist, Bryony Shaw. On the other, with only one Olympic spot open to each nation, she would have to beat the experienced Shaw, should she want to represent Britain at the 2016 Olympics. Ultimately it was Shaw who prevailed – winning her second bronze, though she was one of the favourites for gold ahead of the competition.

Article continues below…


Who is Hannah Mills, Britain’s 2020 Olympic flagbearer?

The British sailing team’s Hannah Mills has been selected to carry the Union Jack in the Olympic opening ceremony tomorrow,…

Giles Scott: Can the Brit secure a second gold in Tokyo?

Giles Scott is waiting. Like all of this year’s Olympic cohort, he is in a strange pre-Games limbo. Normally at…