Olympian Chris Cook (fifth in 2008 Beijing Olympics) attracted some well deserved attention at the 43rd TROFEO SAR Princesa Sofia Regatta in Palma, Spain by sailing his way to the podium in his first World Cup event since his return from retirement in September 2011. CYA High Performance Director and Finn coach Ken Dool is applauding the hard work the sailors have been putting forth in the recent months.
Chris Cook - 43 Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia - Finn fleet
'The Canadian Finn team has been putting in some big training mileage since the completion of the 2011 Worlds in Perth and the results seem to be just around the corner. Team veteran Chris Cook showed that their is still a hefty amount of bite left in the ol' dog, posting two top three finishes on the final day of racing, and securing a Bronze medal finish at the Trofeo S.A.R Princesa Sofia Mapfre, World Cup event.' In addition to the Toronto RCYC native, Chris Cook, the Canadian Finn team also includes, Greg Douglas, finishing 18th overall (RCYC), Martin Robitaille (RStLYC/RCYC) and Brendan Wilton (RNSYS). This team of four determined sailors are sticking together despite all aspiring to secure the unclaimed 2012 Olympic berth.
'It is the recognition that the strength of the team will ultimately produce the top performing Canadian' Dool explains. 'You could not have a more diverse collection of personalities, but this diversity provides spice and energy to each day.' As a group, the Finns just completed a four week training and competition block in Palma, Spain, culminating in a Bronze Medal finish for Cook. What brought the most praise to the Canadian team was the 1-2 finish for Cook and Douglas in the final race of the series, proving that their hard work is paying off. The teams training focus shifts to Toronto, Ontario for the remainder of April before they head back overseas for their 2012 World Championships and final Olympic qualifier for the Finns from May 10-18 in Falmouth, UK.
Another team being closely watched is the veteran Star team Clarke/Bjorn who have already captured their Olympic spot and are working diligently towards their podium goal in London (Weymouth). The team finished ninth overall after a week of ups and downs in Palma.
'The boys have been working hard training in Spain over the winter and this was reflected in their speed.' CYA Coach Manager Steve Mitchell admits 'We would have liked our result to have been higher, however we are happy with where we are on our pathway to the Olympics. The light winds made it an extremely close regatta with many teams fluctuating up and down the results. The final positions were not decided until the last ten metres of the medal race.' The Canadian Star team trained for several weeks in Spain leading up to this World Cup event. 'Our training partners all finished within the top 10, and this bodes well for our future sessions that we have planned.' The next stop for Clarke/Bjorn is Hyeres, France for the next World Cup event, Semaine Olympiques Francaise followed by the Star World Championships in the same region at the beginning of May.
In other fleets, Paralympic Gold medallist Paul Tingley (RNSYS) placed eighth in the 2.4mR class, Isabella Bertold (RVYC) sailed a great world cup event in 12th overall, along with fellow Radial sailor Erin Rafuse (RNSYS) sailing her best ever world cup event in 24th overall. Danielle Dube (2012 Olympic qualifier) suffered a few injury set-backs and did not sail the complete event. David Wright (RCYC), who will be representing Canada at the 2012 Summer Games, made a huge comeback in the final days of competition from mid-30's up to 16th overall.