At the ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca - Trofeo Princesa Sofia, Spanish windsurfer Marina Alabau, the current RS:X Women's Olympic champion, returned to top level competition after giving birth to her first baby last September. With a lot of work ahead, the sailor returns to the racing course 'with the goal and motivation' of being in Río 2016. The fourth stop of the Sailing World Cup, to be held until tomorrow in the bay of Palma, will help her check her physical condition to start getting ready for the Worlds in September.
Marina Alabau Neira (ESP-5), RS:X Women
How is the return to work?
After having a baby it has been harder than expected and it has been tough to regain physical strength. When Martita, my daughter, was one month old I started going to the gym, when she was two I started sailing… The Trofeo Princesa Sofía will tell me how far away I am from being back on the top and how much I must train and work hard to be ready for the Worlds in Santander.
ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca - Marina Alabau Neira (ESP), RS:X Women
Are you happy to be back at the Trofeo Sofía?
It is my most important event after motherhood. The Sofia is my favourite event, a regatta where there is always wind and the organization is unbeatable. Nice sailing, clean waters and an extremely enjoyable stay.
What is your goal for the coming years?
The goal and motivation is being in Río 2016. This period without racing has been very good for me and I am back longing for competition. I left sailing at a very high level and now that I am a few steps down, I am motivated to compete again.
How is a day for Marina Alabau, mum and sailor?
I get up at 7.30 – 8 with Martita’s first bottle. I have breakfast and go for cardio sessions because I need to lose weight. I go back to feed my daughter and then I go on the water for two hours. At mid-afternoon, I go back home again to feed my daughter and so on until she falls asleep.
ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca - Marina Alabau Neira (ESP-5), RS:X Women
So your daughter marks your schedule..
I am lucky to count on both grandmothers who help out because when I go sailing, my husband comes with me because he is also my coach. He goes before me and gets the board and sail ready … I arrive and go sailing, they make things very easy for me.
When you decided to stop to have a baby a year ago you were in top physical shape, how do you feel now?
I have very good sensations but I need to improve my physical condition. With light or strong winds it is difficult.
ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca - Blanca Carracedo-Serra (ESP) Marina Alabau Neira (ESP); Farrah Hall (USA), RS:X Women
Will we see you again at the Olympic Games?
I see myself in Río, indeed. Right now it is far away because we need to classify the nation first and then I have to be the best Spanish sailor, but it is not impossible.