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!!

Our Road to Rio continues… without the Federation

We have to say, it’s not really hard for us to write new blogs, because our “road” is so bumpy we always have a new story!

And yes, this time we have some stories again! Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy this new blog! :-)

“The greater your storm, the brighter your rainbow”

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In the preparation before Palma we went out in some good breeze and ended up with some good swimming skills 😉 One crash was a little too much for Claire as she was in a battle with the mast, the mast won….. hmmmm. Not a good timing we figured out. But there was no way back! We had to sail Palma as it was our second and final trial regatta. So we took a dozen of pain killers with us and just pretended everything was ok! We didn’t want to show the competition that we had a slight issue 😉 Nina and Frankie were running around and Claire was hiding in the trailer with her bag of ice. They must have thought in the restaurant that Claire was a polar bear, so much ice they provided us, thanks for that! :-)

After Palma we gave it some rest and decided that we could sail the World Cup in Hyeres! Well conclusion, we could sail it but it was not pain free again for Claire…

Back home we had a lot of talks with doctors and fysio.. The MRI gave us a better look on the situation and there was a rip in the Meniscus off the knee. No time to waste and the risk was too high to do no surgery, so Claire had to take a little nap for 2 hours to get her knee fixed again, yes we’re getting a bit older too 😉 It went all good and the recovery is already in progress!

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In the mean time Nina wasn’t sitting still!! She went out training with…. Frankie!!!! They went out at our home lake the Braassemermeer and had some good quality time! And Frankie loves the Dutch weather! hahaha!! We also want to thank Charlotte and Josca for helping us out a couple of days for jumping in the boat with Nina when Frankie was back home trying to get his vitamin D back up! 😉

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Frankie and Nina on the Braassem, swimming lessons included!!

Lucky for us the Delta Lloyd regatta just announced that the FX was open to enter “Mixed teams”, so Nina is sailing the Delta Lloyd regatta with Frankie!

“There will be haters, there will be doubters, there will be non-believers and then there will be us proving them wrong”

After winning the trials we sat down with the Federation to figure out if we can work together again. It was a meeting where we didn’t get any answers, we will know more after the World Cup Hyeres they said.

The Federation has some money issues and they invited the big bosses of the NOC*NSF (National Sports Associations) to Hyeres to see if they could get more money…

To make a long story short, we sat down after Hyeres and the Federation is not willing to take us back and work with us towards winning a medal… We actually realized we never had a positive conversation with them since September 2014! They always throw some roadblocks on our road.. But hey! We are getting better and better in finding new roads!

Happy team in Hyeres.. a few setbacks only make the team stronger!!
Happy team in Hyeres.. a few setbacks only make the team stronger!!

The Kernploeg will continue with 7 programs (only FX is out) We almost start thinking it is something personal 😉 We have to give the boat and sails back after the Delta Lloyd regatta.. So we’re getting even less than before winning the Olympic trials..

We are now busy finding a way to keep our campaign going! Magic Marine is still supporting us but can’t go all the way, they invested already a massive part in us for winning the trials and we are really grateful for that! So we are now on a new mission to find money to get us to Rio! We are sure we are gonna make it happen, it only takes  more time and effort!

And there is the people who always support us no matter what, we want to thank you so much! It feels so good to have people behind us willing to help us achieve our goal!! :-)

Keep an eye on our blog because we are gonna make some great plans and definitely want to involve our fans into it!!! :-)

The Delta Lloyd regatta will start on the 26 till 30th in Medemblik, feel free to come over and support us! :-)

 

 

We Won the Olympic Trials!!

“Great things never came from comfort zones” 

Yes!!! We did it!!! Sorry for the late update, but we have awesome news to share!!! We won the Dutch Olympic trials and qualified to represent the Netherlands in the Olympic Games of 2016!!

Our journey started exactly one year ago, when Nina got sick in Palma and I just heard I had no team anymore.. one year later we are standing in Palma as winners of the National trials for the Olympic Games of Rio 2016. Amazing what a strong mind and passion can do with you!

Never Ever Give Up

In this blog we would like to thank someone special. He never ever gave up on us and while the whole world didn’t believe, he did! Magic Max gave us our Road to Rio back and let us achieve our dreams!

Magic Max
Magic Max, with us in good and in bad times!

Thank you for believing in us! We did it together, we stuck together, we got through stuff that other teams would have never gotten through, and I think that shows what kind of character we have!

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And of course a big thanks to Magic Marine for making it happen! We are very proud team riders and hope we can be part of Magic Marine for life and help build an even stronger brand!

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Our thanks also go to our coach, Francisco Andrade, for being able to stay with us the whole winter and for helping us improve ourselves every day again. In his first role as a coach, he helped us become a real strong team together. We are really proud of him!

Finally, thank you all family, friends and followers! We love to see all the sweet and motivational comments! It feels so good for us to have people behind us that believe in us!

Right now we have to sit down and make new plans again. We hope that we can cooperate with the federation and build a very strong team together to Rio 2016.

Although our spot in the Olympics is fairly secure, we still need to get nominated by our national sports association, NOC*NSF. We aim to achieve this during the big events this summer, so that we have plenty of preparation time for the Olympics after all qualification requirements are finished.

Upcoming wednesday the second World Cup in Hyeres (France) starts. We are happy that we can go back in the boat and do what we love, sailing!

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Back to good old Palma!

After a bit of relaxing at home, we travelled to Palma for a little training camp. Luck was not on our side during the journey, with two trailer incidents on the road, the latter being completely destructive for the trailer…

The value of a large supportive team occurred to us when we got rescued by Ad van den Oever, who brought us a spare Box trailer somewhere near Paris in just 10 hours from breaking the axis of a wheel!

Ad was really our hero of the week, allowing us to continue our journey to Palma with just one day delay!!

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In Palma we finally reunited with the boys, after a whole winter of training on different locations around the world. What’s better than teambuilding around your own fireplace at home!!

Team back together!!:-)
Team back together!!:-)

And once again, we managed to get fantastic accomodation, including some oversized pets!!

Our backyard..
Our backyard..

Of course a lot of work had to be done to improve ourselves on the water. The weather was not really in our favor, same outside temperature as at home, but we managed to kick in some good hours again and definitely had a lot of fun too!!

Special thanks to Magic Marine for our new winter clothing (Ace Fullsuit) that we really needed these past weeks! Check their new website for the latest collection and team news! www.magicmarine.com

Hard work on the water with team Ireland Saskia and Andrea, our own Dutchie boys Lars and Floris, and our new training partners from team Spain, Tamara and Berta!!
Hard work on the water with team Ireland Saskia and Andrea, our own Dutchie boys Lars and Floris, and our new training partners from team Spain, Tamara and Berta!!

The team had a big surprise for Nina on her birthday, getting a Frozen cake and baby Champaign… The real deal has to be earned!!;-) We also had a lovely dinner with all Dutchies (and semi-Dutchies, Nicole and Thijs from Aruba) and of course sushi had to be included for a proper birthday!

We are currently doing a lot of testing for Rake Rigging Medemblik and the rope brand Lancelin we started with some custom designed spinaker sheet, soon followed up by a customized main and jib sheet. So far the specifics of the sheet have improved a lot and are getting closer and closer to the ideal! It´s exciting to be part of this technical development and help bring the FX equipment to a higher level!!

After two weeks training we went home for some rest and physical development. Nina found a new supporter to our team, Fitness365 for physical training in her home town. The fascilitaties are top-level and so is the training support! Thank you Fitness365 for becoming part of our RoadtoRio!!

New supporter of our team; Fitness365!!
New supporter of our team; Fitness365!!

Next week we are up for the Arenal Training Camp regatta as a preparation for the Princess Sofia Eurocup at the end of March.

Stay tuned!

Miami Recap; What a week!!

“You never know your limits unless you push yourself to them”

What a week!

We don’t know where to start! So much happend the last 2 weeks. Let’s start where we ended the last blog, the new boat!

In third position during the World Cup!
In third position during the World Cup!

Rafiki is the name of our new battle ship! After a lot of names passing through our heads this one popped out and fitted best with the situation. Rafiki is the wise monkey from the Lion King, he always gave the best advice to Simba to run the kingdom, with his famous quote; “Yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see It, you can either run from it our learn from it”. Rafiki also means “friend” in Swahili, and it is our new best buddy now! :-)

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After some intense days of boatwork to get Rafiki on the water, with a big big hand from our super coach Frankie, it was time to get Rafiki some champagne! 😉 But who do we ask?? Well, that was not a hard question for us, they were standing right next to us in the boatpark! The two World Champions of 2013 and 2014, Miss Molly Meech (NZL) and Miss Kahena Kunze (BRA). Luckely they said yes and christened our new boat, so guess who’s gonna be the World Champion in 2015 😉

Boat Christening in action!!
Boat Christening in action!!

Then the week started where we had one of the big red crosses in our agenda’s.  Miami OCR started with a bang! We woke up and it was grey and rainy, it felt like home! The race comittee sent us on the water and the wind kicked in! 25 knots and some nasty waves (because we were sailing in the shallow water) made it quite tricky! We did a sail up- and down wind before the start and managed to keep everything in one piece. We made it to the start line and we sailed the race with one line in our heads, “don’t leave the ship!” And we did! Only 8 boats finished, which made the first day a keeper!

It was a week with all kinds of winds and that maked the regatta quite allround. We survided well but also still made some stupid mistakes! With a 9th place overall we where quite happy but we know we can do better than that! For our trials we are doing well but it isn’t over yet. Palma we will be there again and we will be on top of our game so we can finish it in style! :-)

Happy with our new best friend!
Happy with our new best friend!

Our whole circus is packed in the container again and off to Europe! I think we never packed a container that quickly, it took us 35 min and the rib and FX were in and tied down! Thanks Magic Max for the extra help that early in the morning, it was a good teamwork! 

Now we have some days at home to have a short break to catch up with friends and family before we leave for Palma. Time to build up our camp there and get back in the boat!

Container packed in 35 min!
Container packed in 35 min!

We want to thank two persons who helped us big time in Miami, Bill and Jo Mauk! They let us stay in their beautiful house and made us feel at home! They are the best and we wish Bill all the luck in his Lightning to qualify for the Panama Games!

A little sail with one of our best supporters Bill Mauk after the Medal Race!:-)
A little sail with one of our best supporters Bill Mauk after the Medal Race!:-)
Also we want to thank all the people that supported us during the week! We feel very blessed that so many people cheer for us and wish us all the best! After all the setbacks we had, that is a really good feeling! Thank you for that! :-)

 

Miami time!!

Happy new year everybody!

We had a lovely couple of days off during Christmas and New Year’s celebration, and are now back up to full speed!

We started off the new year at our YC Braassemermeer New Year’s Drink where we had the opportunity to celebrate the successes of our fellow club members and to thank everyone who helped us during the last year. It’s so great to hear how well everyone has done and in particular we are very proud of our club’s victory in the Dutch Team Racing Championships!! Lees verder Miami time!!