The ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres will see the return to action of Eilidh McIntyre and Sophie Weguelin. After fracturing her index finger in a training accident, Hayling Island sailor Eilidh McIntyre says she can’t wait to get racing again as she and Sophie Weguelin return to action.
Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre, 470 - The ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2014
The world number three-ranked 470 crew has been off the water since the incident in Palma six weeks ago, and was forced to sit out the penultimate stage of the World Cup series at the Mallorcan venue earlier this month.
'We went to Palma quite early and did a bit of training out there, and I got taken out by a wave and fell on my finger,' the 19-year-old recounted.
'I actually thought I’d done nothing so carried on sailing – Sophie kept asking if I was sure I was alright and I thought I was fine. Then I looked at my finger and saw that I wasn’t fine!
'I went to hospital and had to a have a pin put in it, and an operation and all sorts, so it’s been a bit of a disaster!'
'My teammates called me ‘Eilidh Hook Finger’!' explained the Portland-based sailor, as a result of the wire in her finger, which was removed a day before her trip to the southern French venue.
'I also got a significant amount of comments about picking my nose with it as well, so I have a very supportive team!' she joked of her British Sailing Team colleagues.
But in spite of the disruption to their early-season schedule, McIntyre – whose father Mike won Olympic sailing gold in 1988 – insists she and Weguelin, who won bronze together at this same event a year ago, are still on track with their plans for the year, which are building towards the World Championships in Santander in September.
'I think we’re still hoping to achieve the same things and I don’t think the time out will affect us that much. Hopefully it might have even have helped us out a bit, because I really needed to improve on my fitness and hopefully I’ve been able to do that, get a bit fitter.
'We’re so raring to go now, and I think we’ll be just fine. It’s been good motivation for us.'
The duo will line up against 54 other crews in the 470 women’s event at this final World Cup event of the 2013/14 season, and had their first day back training on Saturday (19 April), which McIntyre says went well, with her splinted finger holding up to the test.
'It felt really good – it was brilliant to be back on the water. We couldn’t have had a better day, it was so lovely. We had quite a big range of wind as well, which was really nice.
'I’ve got a bit of a sausage finger now, but it’s OK. I’m sure I’ll be fine!'
Although they were victorious at their previous World Cup outing at Miami in January, McIntyre is not setting a result expectation for this week’s event.
'I think we’re just going to focus on the things we can focus on, which is our starting, really making sure we have a plan, and more in-boat things rather than what’s going on on the racecourse and manoeuvres.
'They’re the sorts of things we can work on without being compromised by my finger.'
Racing at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres gets underway on Easter Monday (21 April) with the Paralympic Classes concluding on Friday 25 April and the final medal races for the Olympic Classes on Saturday 26 April.
British Sailing Team website