In this video, Claire is shining as one of the Sports Heroes of The Hague city. Do you recognize the others as well?
What happened? Is this really the place where we belong? We had some time to think things over and we come to the conclusion that this is not a place where we belong! For anyone who didn’t follow closely, we ended up in the back of the Gold Fleet, but we know we are able to do much better! The first two races of the Worlds were ok, but after that we struggled with everything. Our start was a big problem, although with the video footage of the first day we could pick this up during the week and improve a lot. Unfortunately we also had speed issues that lasted all week, and to be honest, that is the worst that can happen in 49er racing… Our lack of speed affected our positioning options, leading to inaccurate tactics especially in the downwinds.
So we came back home very disappointed. We could pretend that this World Championships never happened, but we are not like that. We are facing it and sorting out every issue we had so we will be stronger, faster and fitter again in February for the next World Championships in Clearwater (Florida, USA).
On Friday 30 November, Magic Marine presented its new team gear collection to the young sailors from the Braassem Magic Marine Sailing Team. We were there at the Magic Marine headquarters to help deliver a memorable night and showed our video with Magic Marine gear in action. The video is available for playback below.
During our week at home, we spend a day at the Braassem Youth Sailors’ Clinic, an annual weekend in autumn where many talented optimist and laser sailors come together to train and prepare for the next regatta season.
Before stepping into the rib for some on-the-water coaching, we gave a presentation about the challenges and adventures of our Olympic Campaign, hoping to motivate and inspire the next generation, and to give back to the club that raised us from young Opti sailors to professional athletes.
To our big surprise, the president of our club announced their support to our campaign, by awarding us with 600€ from the sponsormoney that he club received from SCA to promote Women’s sailing (SCA sponsored the all-female Volvo Ocean Race Boat that raced around the world with fellow club member and friend Carolijn Brouwer). On top of that, the club had decided to double this donation to our campaign, so we received a total support of 1200€!!! An amazingly kind gestures in a time where we need it most!
On Thursday 29 September we were invited to participate in a Media Masterclass organized by national sports association NOC*NSF for a selected group of Dutch top athletes. It was a special occasion in which we got to know the interviewers from the Dutch sports television, as well as their interviewing tactics!
Where the average media training focuses on getting your message transmitted without saying anything ‘stupid’, this afternoon we learned how emotions can play an important role, not only in making good television but also in getting public sympathy. A very interesting angle! We discussed various interviews from the past, including the well-known interview with Henk Grol after he won Bronze (but lost Gold) in the London Olympics (Judo) and with Reinder Nummerdor after he lost the Finals at the World Championships Beach Volleyball this year.
We definitely learned a lot and met some nice and inspiring fellow athletes!
Our October program consists of Eat-Train-Sleep-Repeat. Oh yes and a little bit of campaign logistics when internet connection allows! We have landed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the location for the World Championships of 2016 (16-21 November). We decided to come early to get maximum preparation in the local conditions and to make sure our race boat arrived safely after the long trip in the seacontainer from Europe. We are staying in Argentina’s national sports complex (much like Papendal in the Netherlands) together with our training partners from USA and Argentina. A very efficient setting in a great sports atmosphere!
The weather conditions are a bit up and down, but the temperature is surely better than at home. We are having good wind every day and are fighting intense battles with the Yankees and the locals on the training course.
Last weekend we participated in the Semana de Buenos Aires Regatta. With both a strong-, a medium-, and a light-wind day, it was a very allround regatta. Unfortunately our good races in the heavy wind could not get us far enough ahead of light-wind-experts Argentina in order to beat them in the Overall Results, so we took home the Silver Medal.
We had a cool achievement this weekend though, it was our first time that we were able to sail the whole fleet out of the time limit!! (There is a 10 min finish window after the first boat finishes a race). So thats off the Bucket List, haha!
We are staying one more week in Argentina for training. After that we head home to get some rest and travel fully recharged back to Argentina in the beginning of November to compete at the World Championships. Thanks to Hamapo BV we were able to book our flight tickets to Argentina! Huge thanks Koen and Bert!
Besides supplying our coach boat since the beginning of this year, Hans van Stekelenborg will now also get actively involved and help us out from the rib during the World Championships in November.
Hans is the father of our training partner and Magic Marine teammate Lars, and a very experienced sailor and windsurfer himself.
We are really happy with his involvement and continuous support! And Hans.. probably he is just missing his rib!;-)
As a resident of The Hague, Claire has become an official ambassador of the city. Together with six other top athletes, among others Anicka van Emden (Judo) and Sophie van Gestel (Beach Volleyball), she will be the face of sports in the regio and promote the city where possible.
Claire also wrote a blog about living in The Hague, Scheveningen, and how she enjoys the beach and the city’s sports facilities.
Link to her blog here (in Dutch).
Right after returning from the Olympic Testevent in Rio (August), Claire and Nina participated in the Dutch Championships RS500. Not with the usual team composition, but both in a different boat with a talented young sailor as crew. Fleur Lambooij and Em Sadler (15 and 16 years old) were invited for this event based on their correct answers in a social media contest.
The Championship in Medemblik was very windy, but Claire and Fleur were able to take the Silver Medal home! Nina and Em took a few too many swims, but really enjoyed the competition nonetheless,and ended up on 6th place.
It was a great experience transferring our sailing experience and knowledge and motivating young talent in the Netherlands. Our participation was really well organized by the RS500 class association, who delivered the two boats race-ready! Thank you Michiel, Hilde and Anneke!
The RS500 is a new but upcoming class in the Netherlands, with currently about 25 competitive boats. The fleet consists of younger and older teams, with a combined weight (helm + crew) of around 130kg. Let us know if you want to get in touch with the class and join in on one of their events!! We surely hope to be there again next year with a coupe of new talented young sailors!