6th at Rio Olympic Testevent!

Half an Olympic nomination and national sports A-limit (NOC*NSF) in the pocket!!

We just came back from Rio de Janeiro, where we participated in the Official Olympic Testevent for the Olympic Games next year.

In August, all eyes were on Rio. A really important event – if not the most important of the year 2015 – where all countries were allowed to send their best competitor in order to test local conditions and sailing with the Olympic organization. 19 boats entered in the 49erFX fleet. Our goal was clear. No matter how good our preparation or how many setbacks we had to overcome before traveling to Rio, we wanted to show that we can perform on Olympic waters.

Olympic Sailing venue.. Christ the Redeemer keeping an eye on us!
Olympic Sailing venue.. Christ the Redeemer keeping an eye on us!

And we did. Each day of the regatta, we were able to evaluate and improve ourselves. Just the two of us, we worked hard on and off the water, looking for ways to improve ourselves. Sometimes with strongly opinionated discussions, sometimes the way to go was clear as day. But we managed to get back up the level we wanted to sail and entered the medal race in 8th position. Theoretically we were still able to finish the regatta between 5th and 10th position. A 7th place or higher would qualify us to receive a National A-limit sports status, which affords a monthly government income. Definitely we had a lot at stake the last day! But in fact our most important goal was to secure our half Olympic nomination by keeping our 8th position in the overall results.

Game face on!!
Game face on!!

The medal race course area was located right behind the famous Sugar Loaf mountain, where visitors could watch the race just 100m away from Flamengo beach. Our game plan was made. We thought the right-hand side of the course area would pay off. We went for it, we had good boat speed, and we finished the race in second position right behind our Argentinian training partners. We just managed to finish in front of the New Zealand girls, which turned out important for the overall results. We climbed two spots in the overall ranking and finished the Olympic Testevent in 6th position!!

Sailing in front of Sugar Loaf mountain
Sailing in front of Sugar Loaf mountain

Of course we were exhilarated and relieved with this result! Not only did we secure the half nomination, we got the A-limit and most importantly we showed that we are able to perform on Olympic waters and under pressure. We came back from a really difficult period with injuries and other disappointments, but we managed to climb back up by just focusing on ourselves and building a stronger team than ever!!

Visible relieve after finishing the medal race!

Thank you everyone who believes in us and supports us along the way. We are extremely grateful and we are enjoying our campaign to the fullest!

After the Testevent we had a little holiday on Isla Grande together with the Brazilian, New Zealand, Danish and Norwegian FX girls. And of course our great friend Juliana from Team Nacra Brasil!! An amazing time in which we recharged and relaxed before we started a 7-day training/racing camp with 7 international FX teams. Thank you Kahena and family for the organization and hospitality!

Good times recharging with the international FX women on Isla Grande.
Good times recharging with the international FX women on Isla Grande.

Back in Rio, we could not have had a better training set-up. The weather changed, we got to know the windy and wavy side of Guanabara Bay. Good practice and just for everyone to know: contrary to what everyone expects we could have a strong breeze Olympic Games next year.

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Happy days in the training camp, with coach-for-a-day Ju doing an amazing job!!

After the training camp it was really time to go home and have proper rest. Until the end of september we will be focusing our time on physical training and campaign planning and logistics. From 18-21 September we will compete eachother in the Dutch Championships RS500… Stay tuned!