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Josh Armit 'on fire' ahead of European windfoil event

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The New Zealand windfoiling squad have continued their impressive early-season form ahead of the iQFOIL European championships in Greece.

Josh Armit, the country's leading men's windfoiler, claimed a commanding victory in a pre-regatta event last weekend after a strong showing at the season-opening Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma de Mallorca, Spain last month.

On Sunday Armit took out the Grimaldi European iQFOiL test event in Patras, beating several of the world's leading competitors in a 61-board fleet to underline his credentials as one of the favourites for the European title when racing starts next week.

The 21-year-old won three of the 10 races to finish ahead of Tokyo Olympic gold medallist windsurfer Kiran Badloeof the Netherlands, and Frenchman Clement Bourgeois.

Fellow Kiwi Thomas Crook finished fourth while Patrick Haybittle (16th) and Eli Liefting (19th) also managed top 20 places.

Veerle ten Have placed 10th in the women's fleet.

The Kiwis arrived in Greece last week, following a 10-day training camp in Marseille - the venue for the sailing competition at next year's Olympic Games.

Yachting New Zealand Olympic coach Nathan Handley said the Kiwi squad's preparation for the Europeans could hardly have been better.

"Everyone looked really impressive but Josh was on fire," Handley said of last weekend's regatta.

"Some of the top guys were missing from the event so we're not reading too much into the results but it was still a good check-in and we'll see how we go when the rest of the sailors arrive next week."

Armit narrowly missed out on a medal in Palma three weeks ago, finishing fourth in a world-class fleet for his best international result since starting in the class at the start of last year.

Ten Have won bronze in the women's iQFOIL at the same event, while the rest of the squad also impressed.

"Palma was our first big hit-out of the season with the top guys in the world and we were very happy with the results  - with three of the men's sailors (Armit, Crook and Haybittle) making it into the gold fleet and one (Liefting) just narrowly missing out," Handley said.

"The group is training hard and learning plenty and we're excited to see how they go over the next week."

The 2023 iQFOIL European championships officially start on Sunday (NZ time) with racing set to begin early next week.