It’s Rio time!!

We are back again! This time from Rio de Janeiro, and we have a lot to tell!

When it became official that we would not continue as part of the federation team, it was time to give our own campaign some more body. First things first, we needed to be fit and healthy. We are very happy to announce that Claire’s knee is fully recovered and no longer limiting us on or off the water!! We are very happy with the good care taken by our medical team Mark Haak and Francoise Broekhof.

Although we did not really plan to participate in the European Championships due to the required recovery time after the knee surgery, we made a last minute call to travel down south and when the recovery was quicker than expected. With only a few hours preparation time on the water, our main goal in the event was to build up hours in the boat, get back in racing mode and set some new focus goals after being out of sailing together for over 1.5 months.

Our comeback was a bit harder than hoped for. We had some great moments, but the average was not high enough to get to the medalrace. Nevertheless a good opportunity to get back and set some improvement goals for the next period, where we prepare ourselves for the 2015 Rio Testevent.

One of our better races in Porto. Downwind in front of the fleet!

After Porto we were more than motivated to work hard and be ready for the Rio Olympic Testevent. The time from winning the trials till the Europeans had been a difficult time with quite some setbacks, and we knew something in our minds had to change in order to get back to the level we think we should perform. Although we have had a great cooperation with our coach Francisco Andrade, aka Frankie, we decided to go completely back to basics and end this cooperation. Traveling to Rio with just the two of us could help us get our minds back on the right track, and find out what we really need to get to the top. Nevertheless we are extremely grateful to Francisco for helping us building our team and teaching us some extremely important lessons about sailing the 49er. He helped us a lot as sailors and as persons and he was indispensible in winning the National Olympic Trials! We wish him the best in everything and really hope to keep seeing him coaching in the 49er fleet!

So without a coach we traveled to Rio. We did a little detour traveling through Houston (Texas), 28 hrs travel time instead of the required 10,5hrs in a direct flight, but at least we were able to save some money, and we got to see a bit of the world! (mainly airport restaurants, but who cares..;-)

In Rio we were able to borrow the federation’s boat so we didn’t have to bring our own. A really nice gesture, thank you for that!! The boat needed a bit of love (2 days!!) but underneath the somewhat dirty layers it was actually in quite good shape!

      Our Rio boat, after giving him some love and the necessaire rebranding!

Our first video made in Rio with action cam TomTom Bandit!

A lot of training days followed with many international boats, and we participated in the International Rio Week which was… quite interesting due to the many current lines and offshore breeze turning around the famous Sugarloaf mountain. Anyway beautiful scenery in Guanamara Bay, having Christ the Redeemer keeping an eye on us from another one of Rio’s hills.

In the mean time we were enjoying the delicious and healthy dinners of the Dutch team cook, who prepared dinner for everyone in the NOC*NSF Dutch team house. A good moment each day to hear stories from the other Dutch sailors and their respective racing areas.

Christ the Redeemer keeping an eye on us while sailing in Guanabara Bay…:)

At this moment we are in Saquarema, a village along the beach close to Rio, where we are enjoying two days of relaxing before the Olympic Testevent kicks off with measurement on August 14 and the first races on the 16th.

                                         The team in Saquarema

Three big hero’s have been helping us big time here in Rio; Cees and Jacco who were indispensible in preparing and moving our boat from Escola Naval marina to IATE Rio Yacht Club to Marina da Gloria, and Maike who checks in on us every night to see if we have not yet been robbed or kidnapped… No kidding, it gives us a save feeling in this immense city where poor and rich live in close proximity!

We also started with fundraising activities to make sure we can work the campaign the way that is needed to win a medal. Thank you Plantina and TomTom for becoming our newest suppliers!!

Our own crowdfunding campaign has recently come online. We have some cool giveaways and prices for our donators so do not hesitate to pay a visit! You can access our campaign through our new homepage www.ourroadtorio2016.com, developed by 2nd Chapter and Hosting Visions. Thank you guys for this amazing effort! We’d also like to thank everyone who donated already and became part of our team! We hope many people will follow and help us get closer to the Olympics in Rio 2016!!

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