At the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre, Women’s match racing London 2012 Olympic champion Tamara Echegoyen, will debut on board the new Olympic event 49er FX together with 2011 470 class world champion Berta Betanzos. The team starts the battle for Rio 2016 in Mallorca the first European stop of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, to be held from 30 March to 6 April in the bay of Palma.
Tamara Echegoyen - Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre 2013
Six months after the Olympics, what are your memories of your gold in London?
I have fond memories of the Games, from the beginning to the end. When I think of the 15 days of competition I can still feel the happiness and the complicity with the other sailors of the team, coaches and the multidisciplinary team, but mainly the fun of every match on the water.
Sweat and tears or smiles and dances?
With no doubt… ¡everything! Every morning smiles and dances; lots of sweating on the water because all teams fought to the end and tears of joy when making our dream come true, the Olympic gold.
The Xiquitas Team were a nice surprise in London. The team was formed three years before, it qualified for the Games in extremis, arrived and won. Which was the secret?
There is no secret. All sailors involved in an Olympic Project know that in order to succeed one must work hard, sacrifice, invest time and enthusiasm. I think the secret of our success in the Games was the work done all along the way by the team and all the professionals behind us that day by day help us to reach the impossible.
What has changed in Támara Echegoyen after the London gold?
The gold medal hasn’t changed me; the Olympic campaign has, for the best.
What has this medal meant?
I think it has brought opportunities for new projects.
With the women’s match racing no longer in the Olympic programme you have changed to the 49er FX with Berta Betanzos, a sailor with incredible results too. Why did you choose this boat, what makes it attractive?
It was disappointing to see the women’s match racing disappear as Olympic class, especially after the success and interest generated at the Games. But once ISAF made the decision we had to move forward. There were many options to continue in Olympic sailing but undoubtedly the most attractive option was to build a team with college and friend Berta Betanzos and the 49er FX offered this opportunity. She has the quality and characteristics to be a 49er FX crew. It’s a very different boat to the ones I have sailed before, a new challenge and opportunity to continue learning. We have a long way to go to acquire a good level but I’m convinced we’ll enjoy doing so.
How are trainings going?
Trainings are going very well. I think Berta and I make a great team and hope to adapt as soon as possible to the demands of the new boat.
Following the elections in the RFEV there have been changes in the structure of the Olympic team. What is your opinion?
We are beginning a new stage so we will have to wait to see the results. But if they are moved by the same enthusiasm of sailors, it will be fine.
Will we see you sail the 49er FX for the first time at the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mapfre?
- Yes, it will be our first regatta after the ATC Trophy. The Princesa Sofía is my favourite event as I believePalmahas the perfect conditions to organise an event of this kind.
What do you expect from the fleet and which are your objectives?
I don’t really know what the fleet level will be as for many teams this will be their first regatta and I have no references. It will be a good test for us that will help us reach conclusions to continue working.
Trofeo Princesa Sofia website