Hyères, France (April 19, 2017) – For round two of the 2017 World Cup Series takes place in Hyères this week, many attending sailors know what it feels like to stand on top of an Olympic podium.
To reach such a feat is the pinnacle for all Olympic class sailors and the need to return to that feeling drives them to return to the World Cup circuit and campaign for the next Olympiad.
Tamara Echegoyen, Sofia Toro and Angela Pumariega (ESP) won gold in the Women’s Match Racing at London 2012 but as the class was replaced for Rio 2016 with the 49erFX, a Women’s Skiff, they had to look elsewhere for their Olympic sailing pursit.
Echegoyen made it to the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro in the 49erFX but her gold medal winning team mates, Toro and Pumariega, were not so lucky in the Women’s 470.
Toro failed to qualify with Nora Brugman and Pumariega suffered the same fate with Patricia Cantero Reina. But now at the 2017 World Cup Series Hyères, the two former team mates and Olympic champions will join forces to take a tilt at Tokyo 2020.
Following disappointment at missing out on her country’s Olympic 470 selection, Pumariega took some time out for some relaxation and to decide her next move.
“When I didn’t qualify Rio 2016 I spent the summer sailing in other classes and trying to enjoy the water without the stress that comes with the final months of a campaign,” Pumariega reflected. “My idea was always to continue with another Olympic campaign, but it was difficult to find a good crew for the 470 that motivated me to sail hard the next four years.”
Despite wanting to campaign again, it wasn’t until a phone call from her old friend Toro that Pumariega finally overcame her doubts and made the commitment.
“At the end of the 2016 I took some photos of my boats to sell them,” admitted Pumariega. “Then I got a phone call from Sofía. She asked me to be her crew but I thought she was joking because I’m very slim. But she wasn’t, she was totally serious!”
Both Toro and Pumariega took the helming duties in their previous 470 partnerships, but with Pumariega now locked in as crew, the gold medallist is looking forward to getting back to what she knows, even if it has changed a little.
“Being crew in the 470 is a very nice challenge,” she notes. “Although I have sailed most of my career as crew it’s the first time with the trapeze.” – Read on
Racing begins April 23 and concludes with two days live broadcast of Medal Races on April 29 and 30, 2017.