Thursday 17 June. 12:30 a.m. Jordi Xammar, Nico Rodríguez and Joan Cardona are seated at Santander Pier overlooking the bay. The pair, who won three world and three European medals in the 470th class, and world runner-up Veen watch their teammates’ training races from the stands. Cardona, at 23, is the youngest Olympic sailing team based at CEAR in Santander and is also the last to secure a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics in May. Spain has completed it all: it has managed to qualify in the 10 competitions that will compete on the small island of Enoshima from Sunday 25.
Suddenly, Alejandro appears at the sidewalk Gene Abascal, from Santander, first Olympic sailing gold in some Games (in Moscow 80 with Miguel Nogier in Flying Dutchman) and former Athletic Director of the Federation. He tells Jordi and Nico, whom he coached in his early years: “I saw you sailing really well yesterday. Strong.” They ask you for advice, they ask you what you think they are going to Break I got out of the water two weeks before traveling to Japan to make a new arrival for the games.
They have good berries and they do not stop. “Of course you have to rest for a few days, but you cannot stop for long because it is not good. I don’t know what your plan is, but his goal is to sail a little, something light, you have to do.” And then he approaches Cardona, a giant ninety meters tall, and says to him: “To those who tell you that the first games are to gain experience, there is no problem. He goes for everything.” The four laugh, they make pools around the medals they can get at the Enoshima Sailboat Port, and Xammar says why not, why not aspire to surpass the sailing harvest at the Barcelona Games (five medals: four gold and one silver). Apascal replied, “We got five gold eh…”. Xammar laughs “Let’s not get fancy, as long as there are medals…” The boys say goodbye to Gene They promised to call him before they travel to Tokyo and have dinner together.
Abascal stays a little longer and explains: “This is probably one of the strongest teams we’ve led to the Olympics. The medal thing… It’s hard for everyone to have the conditions to win because of the many variables that affect this sport. But I see three minerals.” Meanwhile, in the barn, someone approaches Silvia Mas and Patricia Cantreau, the 470’s world champion, and tells them, “Don’t come back without gold, eh!”
The team is a mixture of youth, seniority, enthusiasm and desire: the perfect base for contemplating another good harvest at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Tamara Ishiguin, 37, is a veteran of the group, two tournaments, an Olympic gold in London, a world tour, and therefore is proud of the plenary session that Spain achieved it: “We got 10 out of 10, and not all countries get it. They did it for Tokyo, plus us, Japan, the organizing country and having the designated places to be the headquarters, and England, the power in sail.” He adds: “Sailing is a very heterogeneous discipline. Although we all play the same sport, each method has its different characteristics. The ways we compete are the same, the number of participants in each class varies slightly depending on the quotas set by the IOC.” On the other hand, our fastest boat is the 49erFX [su modalidad] The nacra and other traditional ones such as lasers, have two 470 tables. They are different classes that require different characteristics from each of the sailors.” Not only various characteristics, but also knowledge of meteorology and ship materials. Sailors are their own sailboat mechanics.
Sailing is the Spanish sport with the most Olympic medals, 19 of them (13 gold), Spain is the fifth in the world in this way – in the Olympic medal table it is decided the weight of the medals – behind the United Kingdom (59) total metal) and the United States (61 ), Norway (31) and France (41). Santiago López-Vásquez, former Olympic player and team preparation manager, tries to explain, in his office at CEAR in Cantabria, the keys to the success of this sport: “In Spain there are many marine clubs, and athletes sometimes leave the public or summer municipal schools, but recruitment is generally General through clubs. It is fundamental because it promotes the germs that then reach the tech hubs. For me it is necessary to invest more if possible in water culture and it is necessary to bring the sea closer to the general population.”
“You live in uncertainty”
From the windows you can see the bay and the waves are checked. In the hangar there is a constant hustle of ships and sails; It seems, finally, that there is a wind and you can get out into the water. Lopez Vazquez says that sailing is a sport that is constantly a school of life. “You have to be able to do many things that other sports might not require, you have to know the materials, meteorology, learn to know the wind, feel it, think, sense, and above all, adapt to the ever-changing environment.”
He says it’s impossible to keep planning to this Like other sports, because here sailors depend on whether or not there is wind. “Here you don’t set a training session: tomorrow from 12 to 14. You live in uncertainty, it is never written how the day will be and you have to be very open to any kind of new situation because it will change, we are not in control of time. Sometimes. Specialists from other sports come in, great professionals in physical preparation, they are afraid of how to sail at the time of entry, for example, because no matter how much fixed departure time it is, it depends on the wind.Whoever plans another sport, sailing drives him crazy. Without going any further, the water was scheduled to go out on Thursday at 10 and Jordi and Nico didn’t leave until 15:00.
Having to know everything translates to days without rest and sometimes, of course, without immediate results because the harvest comes later. This is how Diego Botín, a member of the 49er team with Iago López, sums it up. “We have been working a lot in these months on the topic of technology and speed in a straight line. We put in so many hours and were able to get the sense that if you didn’t have that many hours and meticulousness you wouldn’t get that now everything is much more automated and in The end of the tournament, this equates to gaining many privileges.”
Jordi Piper thinks the same thing. “In the briefings [reuniones que hacen para analizar las regatas de entrenamiento] A lot of times they burn your head and you’re there walking around and turning and at four o’clock you find the key. Other times you get a lot of information in an hour and a half. But if you don’t invest that time, you don’t know if you’ll get something or not.” He concludes: “Sailing is not about not making mistakes, it is about doing as little as possible and less about others.”
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