Sadly I won’t be going to Rio this summer…
The Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma, the last olympic qualifier for Europe, just ended and even though I finished 16th, I missed the qualification by just 7 points out of 134. There were two spots available and I was the 3rd boat not yet qualified.
You can’t even imagine right now how mad and disappointed I am to have come so close to going to Rio. I started the regatta poorly with terrible qualifiers including a stupid yellow flag 50 meters before the finish line. That mistake cost me 11 points and would have made the difference in the end. Even though I went from 38th to 16th in 6 races in the Gold fleet, it wasn’t enough to catch up all the loss I had done after the 2 first days.
However, I must see the positive things also and think of how much I improved this last year. I had a really good European Championship in Las Palmas where I finished 12th European, my best result so far in the senior fleet, and consequently I also got into the A-Kader of Swiss Sailing Team for 2017. I also proved that I could race in the top 15, among other Olympic qualified sailors.
I know that i would have deserved to be in the 37 boats that will be competing at the Games in August but the rules are the rules. Even though being an European nation wasn’t the easiest for these Games, I’ll just make sure next time to qualify already at the ISAF worlds in 2018.
I guess that missing my goal by so little is kinda the story of my life these last years but eventually what goes around comes around and my luck will end up on my side on my way to Tokyo.
In the meantime, thank you to everyone who cheered me up these last few days ! Failures are part of life, and this one will just make me stronger !
Now 1 weeks of studying and gym before heading to Hyères for my first Worldcup ever ! And even though I won’t be going to Brazil this summer, I still have my last Under 21 World and European Championships instead… READY TO KICK ASS.
Like many sailors, I chose Las Palmas as my 15-16′ winter base camp. Logical destination since we will be having our European Championship here end of February and that it’s probably the only place still in Europe where we can wear shorts and t-shirts the whole year long…
I had never been here before my first training camp in December and I basically love the place. The sailing conditions are amazing and we can do a lot of other things on the Island like cycling, surfing, and so on… Another big + is the sailing club. From the pool to the gym, or even paddle-tennis, you can do a lot of different things just by being at the club.
I have spent way more time here in Spain these last 3 months than I have spent at home, so I have made progress on a lot of different levels. I even won one of the few regattas organised by the sailing club during the winter, which proves that all my training is paying off. The last chance to win a spot at the Games will take place end of March. I want to put all the chances on my side by sailing as much as possible. Next event now is the European Championship from the 28th Feb- 4th March. I promise to keep you updated!
I’ve been very busy lately !
Let me start from the beginningŠ First I actually had to sit down and
study for my university exams that I had to pass in June, so I didn’t sail much for a whole month… On the day of my last exam, I left at night to Germany to go sailing in Warnemünde! It was my first big trip for me as a solo driver with over 1200 km on the program 😦
After Warnemünde, I drove up to Kaløvig/Denmark, where there was going to be the European Senior Championship a few days later! It was no surprise as we got there, that the weather wasn’t going to be pleasant with us! At home, there was a heatwave with more than 35 C, and there we were in Denmark where we were lucky enough to have rain and cold during almost the whole stay ( lucky because it didn’t rain EVERY day).
The Europeans finally started and it for sure was one hell of a roller
coaster! Kaløvig has very very shifty winds so you could easily go from first to last of the fleet in just a few minutes ! Luckily for me , I quite enjoyed these shifty winds ( especially on the lighter days) and did some very nice results with the cherry on the cake at the end with a bullet on the last day (bullet=1)and scoring the best result of the day with a 10th place in the 2nd race! My overall conclusion was that I could be very fast if the wind wasn’t too strong BUT I could also be very slow when the wind was stronger than I would have hoped for !
Anyways, I am very happy with my final result of 22/98 given it was the senior championship and that it is my very first year with the ladies and I still have a few more yet to come!
Finally got stickers from my new sponsor Banque Bonhôte and put them on my new boat !! Welcome on board!
This month, I went for two weeks to Riva del Garda to sail before a big break for my university exams. It was nice going back there after such a long time ( last time was last year in May), especially since I love Riva. It’s a lake in the north of Italy and the good thing about it is that there is almost always wind !! (not like my own lake unfortunately). I was able to spend a lot of hours on the water and sail in strong winds which is still not my cup of tea. I also tested some new equipment that turned out not being so good, so at least I know that I shouldn’t use them this summer for my big events. Italy also means Italian food, and as I am a big fan, I ate enough pizza for the whole year ( I probably ate at least 10 pizzas in two weeks). One speciality of Riva is the walk up to the Chapel Santa Barbara. It’s around 600 meters of ascent and if you go a bit higher than the Chapel, you have an amazing view of the lake. This year I did it in 36 minutes. Some crazy people run non stop and reach the top in about 25 minutes. I still have to work on that ! Video of me going upwind in 20 knots Guess who is capsizing! View from the walk to the Chapel!
I am nominated as the Best youth Athlete on the French side of Switzerland but I need your votes if I want to win so please take two minutes to vote for me please 🙂
As planned, I have had to go back to the Schultess Klinik in Zurich and see Fabian. The purpose of my visit was to do again some physical tests and see if I improved during the winter season. It’s not really my favorite activity but this time it didn’t go too bad…
After some pull-ups, bench-pull, dead lifts, etc… and grand finale with the bike test, I am quite proud to say that I improved EVERYWHERE!!
Of course this didn’t happen overnight! During these 4 months I had to go to the gym or cycle nearly every day besides my sailing and I followed a very strict diet plan (coughing, okay I maybe just ate a bit less nutella than usual…).
Even though I will still need to improve a lot before having the strength to be an Olympic Champion, this is only the beginning of a long journey until Tokyo (and Rio hopefully) and if I continue like this I should be ready by then!!
Since people who don’t sail don’t know how the qualifying system works, I thought it would be interesting to explain it.
First, in sailing there can only be one boat per nation for each boat category. It’s not like swimming or skiing where there can be many competitors per nation and per discipline.
Second, there are only a limited number of places available for each boat category, i.e. not all nations can participate.
In Laser Radial, only women compete. There are 37 places available for just as many nations.
The first 19 places were given to the 19 first nations at the ISAF World Championship last September 2014.
The next 4 places will be given at the next World Laser Radial Women’s Championship in Oman in November 2015.
The next 11 spots will be distributed by continent: Europe will receive 2 places. This last selection will take place in Palma in March 2016.
For the last 3 places, there is one for the host and 2 others given by the international sailing federation to the countries of their choice.
Usually, once the nation is qualified, the competitor still needs to be chosen among the other Swiss sailors AND fulfill the nation’s own criteria (for Switzerland it is to be in the top 12 nations).
The special twist is here: there is a “newcomer rule” which states that as a young sailor, I can go to the Olympics if I qualify the nation under condition that I promise that I’ll also participate in the next Olympics in Tokyo 2020. ( of course I also have to be the best Swiss sailor if I want to be selected…)
In summary, I still have two chances to qualify the nation and win my ticket to the Olympics!
Today I went to Zurich at the Schultess Klinik for the usual Swiss Sailing Team physical test. After doing some pull-ups, running and other weird exercises, our great Coach Fabian was able to establish my winter training plan! Lot’s of work ahead of me until my next big regatta in March, can’t wait!!! 🙂
This is my very FIRST POST on my new blog!
I’ve created it to share with you the amazing journey that I’m about to begin to qualify the nation and myself for the Olympic games at Rio in 2016. The possibility to go to the Olympic games crystallised after I received a mail from Tom, the chief of the Swiss Sailing Team.
We are evaluating our potential qualifiers for Rio 2016 and you are one of them…. you delivered a great performance at three major junior championships in 2014… In Rio we experienced mostly light to medium winds of 8-14 knots, but shifty/gusty without much waves (swiss lake winds) on the inside racing areas – these are conditions where you perform well… exceptional rule for Olympic newcomers: It`s once in a lifetime chance to participate at Olympic Games in an early stage of a sporting career such as yours….
Wow! The good news really hit home. Talk about excitement!!
But then I thought: “This means sailing 300 days between now and the Olympic Games! How will I be able to deal with my Law studies and stay in touch with my friends? And how will I pay for all this?”
But being an Aries, I thought to myself “Just do it! You can’t miss going to the Olympics at only 20. We’ll find a way”.
My target now is to qualify Switzerland at the next qualifying event in Oman next November.