Please select your home edition
Gul 2018 October - Code Zero 728x90

Rio 2016 – Stephanie selected as one of four sailing Tripartite places

by Richard Aspland - World Sailing on 6 Jun 2016
Stephanie Devaux-Lovell - Rio Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy
It is the phone call that many can only dream of, but the lucky one on this occasion was Laser Radial sailor, Stephanie Devaux-Lovell.

The St.Lucian athlete has been chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as one of four sailing Tripartite places, places that are open to enable smaller, less represented countries to participate in the Olympic Games. When she got the news she reacted like so many do when they are overwhelmed with emotion, 'I got the phone call and I started balling my eyes out. It's a great feeling.”

The emotion came at the end of a long road, a road which had its ups and downs for Devaux-Lovell before that all important phone call came, 'I've been dreaming of this for about six years and about four years I really started to try hard. I was looking good two years ago when I made gold fleet at Santander [2014 World Championships], but I didn't really have a coach and my level hadn't improved. But I have changed my training strategies now and I'm feeling good.”

The end result, a place on the Rio 2016 start line, really hits home the Olympic feel good factor and the aspirations for a sports person to compete at the showcase event, especially when representing a nation as small as St.Lucia, 'It's going to be amazing. There is only three of us going so far from St.Lucia, two high jumpers and myself. So it's a great honour coming from such a tiny island.”

Competing at the next edition of the Sailing World Cup in Weymouth and Portland, Great Britain, Devaux-Lovell will be up against a strong Laser Radial fleet, a fleet which contains all the medallists from London 2012.

The high calibre fleet will give her the opportunity to measure herself against her future Olympic competition but Devaux-Lovell knows it will not be easy and is openly realistic about her World Cup chances, 'It's exciting and I don't feel any pressure. I'm obviously an underdog and no one really expects much from me so I'm really just trying to absorb as much as possible and have as much fun as I can.”

If the Tripartite place has given Devaux-Lovell the opportunity of a lifetime and a first Games appearance, on the other end of the spectrum you have some very strong Men's 470 teams in attendance in Weymouth and Portland who have multiple Olympic appearances and medals between them.

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) and Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) have been there and done it. Now seasoned campaigners and rivals, they gear up for another round at Weymouth and Portland.

Belcher has won multiple world and European titles in this quad, and the only team to beat them in one of the majors are the Croatians.

Speaking of the rivalry Belcher said, 'We have had a big battle with them over the years but there are also a lot of other teams that are coming up to the top level now and winning regattas. There is a core group of about five or six of teams that are in for a right battle heading in to Rio.”

Fantela responds with, 'It's always been a good fight between us. In Hyères [Sailing World Cup] and the Europeans [Palma da Mallorca] this year we got the better of them and it really motivates us and pushes us.”

The rivalry will continue at the Sailing World Cup, but there is also one eye ahead to Rio as the fine tuning continues in preparation for the first South American Games. Talking about the Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland, Fantela said, 'We look at it as a preparation race for the Games. It's good to be here as it's an official race with similar fleet sizes with top sailors who will all sail at 100% and this is what we need at this stage.”

Continuing with his goals of the regatta in mind Fantela added, 'First is to fine tune and work on our small goals and if the results come they come from that, and if they don't, we learn from that this week.”

Whether it is the Olympic Games or the World Cup, Belcher and Ryan always have a target on their back and Weymouth and Portland will be no different, especially if a team can see this as a chance to take out the World #1 pairing before the summer. But Belcher knows there is nothing anyone else can do or say, it's is down to him and his crew, 'We don't really feel pressure from the wins we've had. It gives us confidence to know that we have a level to aspire to of winning a gold but we have been in that situation before and we have risen when we needed to. We put pressure on ourselves and we expect to sail the best that we can and that is more pressure than any other team can ever put on us.”

Looking at both ends of the spectrum for Rio 2016, winning or not, fine tuning or not, Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland is a great regatta which offers Olympic sized fleets and one final opportunity to line up against the major contenders before the summer showdown.

Marine Resources BOTTOMP&B Autumn Sale 2018 - FooterGul 2018 October - Code Zero FOOTER

Related Articles

Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe day 11
With IMOCA analysis by Alain Gautier Paul Meilhat, Vincent Riou and Yann Eliès are fighting it out to make it to the podium, while aiming to be ready to pounce should the British leader show the slightest weakness.
Posted today at 7:59 pm
Robin Clegg on microplastics and the VOR
An interview with Robin Clegg about microplastics and the Volvo Ocean Race's Sustainability Program I checked in with Robin Clegg, who handles sustainability communications for the Volvo Ocean Race, via email, to find out more about microplastics, the VOR's Sustainability Program, and the results that this forward-leaning program delivered.
Posted today at 4:00 pm
Legacy of an Olympic Legend
The greatest sailing story in Olympics history? After Tokyo 2020, the Finn will have provided 68 years of Olympic competition. Originally designed in 1949, its contribution and influence over seven decades is both astonishing and significant.
Posted today at 1:50 pm
Has France been handed a 2024 Gold Medal?
"Australia, New Zealand, the United States, almost all of Asia" backed offshore keelboat In an interview with a French sailing website, the President of Fédération Française de Voile, has revealed how a five-member team from FFVoile were able to have a Mixed Offshore event included in the 2024 Olympic Events in Marseille.
Posted today at 12:53 pm
Aloha Classic closing ceremonies
Tour Director Sam Bittner Wilson officially passes the IWT torch over The awards night for the International Windsurfing Tour each year is always a very special event on the windsurfing calendar, but this year it was particularly special.
Posted today at 12:18 pm
DAME Awards special mention for Scanstrut
We speak to Grant Fox about Scanstrut's new products At the METS 2018 marine trade fair we spoke to Grant Fox, Marketing Manager at Scanstrut, who were nominated at this year's show for a DAME award, and received a special mention in the design category for their wireless charging products.
Posted today at 12:00 pm
Arkema capsizes on the Route du Rhum
Lalou Roucayrol is safe and well inside his boat French skipper Lalou Roucayrol has capsized on his Multi50 Arkema at around 0630hrs UTC/0730 CET this morning while racing in fourth place in the Route du Rhum-Destination Gaudeloupe approximately 1000 miles east of Guadeloupe.
Posted today at 8:57 am
Get expert advice for your forecast location
Predictwind announces text based weather forecasts for your location The PredictWind meteorological and development team has been working hard to make a concise and easy to understand the interpretation of their world-leading forecast models.
Posted today at 1:18 am
Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe day 10
Alex Thomson continues to extend his lead in the trade winds Now less than 1000 miles from the finish in Pointe-à-Pitre, the British skipper seems well placed, even if Paul Meilhat, Vincent Riou and Yann Eliès will remain a threat until the end, while Boris Herrmann is also lying in wait.
Posted on 13 Nov
New Zhik ECO Wetsuits achieve Special Mention
Dame Awards recognise Zhik's innovations for third year in a row The new Zhik ECO Wetsuit received a Special Mention today at the METS DAME awards, recognising Zhik's innovations in technical sailing apparel for the third year in a row.
Posted on 13 Nov