The 2012 Olympics in London and are just around the corner. Finally, the Olympic teams have reached the end of a hard four years of preparation that mark the period between each Olympic Games. During that time, national authorities establish their criteria for forming & placing their Olympic teams. Prior to the Olympics, teams are examined in lead-up regattas marked by ISAF who determine whether they make the grade or not. In my position as an International measurer of the 470 Olympic class, I have been fortunate to share & encounter the preparation of the best sailors at this level.
Believe me; qualifying for the Olympics is one of the most complicated & challenging. First they must compete against national sailors for a place in the team before evening thinking about the Olympics. Once in the national team, sailors compete with top national sailors form other countries to consolidate the pre Olympic team, which usually consists of two boats, where the challenge is focused on qualifying the representing country for the Olympics with the criteria set by ISAF. Just by making it to this level describes the caliber of the sailors involved. Putting luck aside, from this point on it’s the best sailor that wins.
In December this year, the Olympic Class World Championships will take place in Perth, Australia. This is one of the last opportunities for other countries to earn a place in the Olympics. Everyone will participate in the hope of being on the podium with a medal.
The competition is very tough and as far as Spain is concerned, they have the goods:
Clase 470 Women, Tara Pacheco – Berta Betanzos (8 ranking ISAF*) One of the finest. During their preparation has demonstrated as being one of the best in the Spanish team.
Clase 470 Men, Onán Barreiros – Aarón Sarmiento(6 ranking ISAF*) Crew with great potential. Although perhaps not been very consistent great results are expected for the next appointment.
RS:X Women, Marina Alabau (3 ranking ISAF*),one of the top challengers together with her partner, have alternated in high profile regattas. Blanca Manchón (1 ranking ISAF*), sailing compatibly with Marina, they are queens of this class.
RS:X Men, Iván Pastor (6 ranking ISAF*), as was in the last Olympics. Juanma Moreno
Laser, Javier Hernández (4 ranking ISAF*) y Pablo Guitian (84 ranking ISAF*). It is clear that Javier is our best competitor and that Pablo is the next generation in this class.
Laser radial, Fátima Reyes (21 ranking ISAF*) and Alicia Cebrián (22 ranking ISAF*). Here we see one of the most important competitions: one for the classification of the country and another for a sailor.
49er, Iker Martinez De Lizarduy y Xabier Fernández Gaztañaga (52 ranking ISAF*), very good expectations here as they are the undisputed champs of this class. Owing to their being away and involved in the participation in Barcelona World Race (2nd overall), have not participated in 49er races, which reflects their ISAF rankings. Don’t forget about Federico y Arturo Alonso Tellechea (52 ranking ISAF*) after an excellent campaign.
Finn, Rafaél Trujillo (4 ranking ISAF*) the greatest talent in this class to represent Spain. Other achievements are highlighted his participation in the Beijing Olympics. We also have Alex Muscat (27 ranking ISAF*) a back up for Rafa.
There are many opportunities for Spain, however, there’s still a long road ahead to winning Olympic medals.