SOFIA TORO AND ANGELA PUMARIEGA PARTNER IN TOKYO 2020 CAMPAIGN19 Apr 2017
Tamara Echegoyen, Sofia Toro and Angela Pumariega won gold in the Women's Match Racing at London 2012 but as the class was replaced with the 49erFX, a Women's Skiff, for Rio 2016 they had to look elsewhere for their Olympic sailing thrill.
When round two of the 2017 World Cup Series takes place in Hyères, France from 23-30 April, many attending sailors know what it feels like to stand on top of an Olympic podium. To reach such a feat is the pinnace for all Olympic class sailors and the need to return to that feeling drives them to return to the World Cup circuit and campaign for the next Olympiad.
Spain's Tamara Echegoyen made it to the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro in the 49erFX but her gold medal winning team mates, Sofia Toro and Angela Pumariega were not so lucky in the Women's 470.
Toro failed to make the first South American Olympic Games with Nora Brugman and Pumariega suffered the same fate with Patricia Cantero Reina. But now at the 2017 World Cup Series Hyères the two former team mates and Olympic champions will join forces to take a tilt at Tokyo 2020. It may be a different boat, but why change something that has worked before and in a class in which they already both have over 4 years' experience.
Following disappointment at missing out on her country's Olympic 470 selection for Rio 2016, Pumariega took some time out for some relaxation and to decide her next move, "When I didn't qualify Rio 2016 I spent the summer sailing in other classes and trying to enjoy the water without the stress that comes with the final months of a campaign. My idea was always to continue with another Olympic campaign, but it was difficult to find a good crew for the 470 that motivated me to sail hard the next four years.”
Despite wanting to campaign again, it wasn't until a phone call from her old friend Toro that Pumariega finally overcame her doubts and made the commitment, "At the end of the 2016 I took some photos of my boats to sell them. Then I got a phone call from Sofía. She asked me to be her crew but I thought she was joking because I'm very slim. But she wasn't, she was totally serious!”
Both Toro and Pumariega took the helming duties in their previous 470 partnerships, but with Pumariega now locked in as crew, the gold medallist is looking forward to getting back to what she knows, even if it has changed a little, "Being crew in the 470 is a very nice challenge. Although I have sailed most of my career as crew it's the first time with the trapeze.”
Both sailors have proved they have pedigree and are winners at the highest level and at a time when some partnerships take a break after a tough Olympic campaign the Spanish pair have time to get back in that winning groove they had in the past and know so well. Hyères presents an opportunity to start making the journey to the top step of the Olympic podium again. The pair raced at Trofeo Princesa Sofia, finishing 23rd in the hugely competitive fleet, racking up some motivational front of fleet results along the way.
The team Toro and Pumariega, and it seems everyone, need to beat at the moment are the World #1 Dutch team of Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes Van Veen. The pair are on a winning streak taking gold at Round 1 of the World Cup Series in Miami and the Trofeo Princesa Sofia. You wouldn't bet against them to make it three in a row in France.
Looking closer to home for the Spanish Olympic medallist the competition will be with the team that beat her to Rio 2016 selection, Barbara Cornudella Ravetllat and Sara Lopez Ravetllat, as well as the Miami bronze medallist Silvia Mas Depares. Depares does however come to Hyères with a different crew from that third-place finish. Pumariega's previous crew, Reina, will join her in the boat in France.
Across in the Men's 470 there are two Rio 2016 medallists on the start line, Australia's Mat Belcher and Will Ryan took Olympic silver and Greece's Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis took bronze.
Looking ahead to Tokyo 2020, Tetsuya Isozaki and Akira Takayanagi (JPN) have got off to a flier in the quad leading up to their home Olympics with a silver medal in Miami followed by a gold in Palma, Mallorca, Spain at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia. There is still a long way to go before the medals are handed out in Tokyo, but the early signs are looking good for the pair.
Information on how to follow the event is below:
RESULTS / ENTRIES
A full list of sailors registered to sail in Hyères is available to view here - http://manage2sail.com/en-US/event/0adf7bcd-01d0-4214-a295-bb0b9136999e#!/entries?classId=7a9662de-4565-41e3-9008-4025d3177d5e
Results will be available from Tuesday 25 April via the World Cup Series results centre here - http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/results/index.php
Live tracking and competitor's analytics will be available via SAP Sailing Analytics throughout the event here - http://swc2017-hyeres.sapsailing.com/
High resolution imagery free for editorial usage will be provided throughout the World Cup Series by Sailing Energy. Imagery will be available to download via - http://worldsailing.photoshelter.com/gallery-collection/Sailing-World-Cup/C0000IVK9PByLpgw. The password to download is WSimages
World Sailing will be releasing international press releases after racing throughout the duration of World Cup Hyères. All the latest news and reports will be available to read here - http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/news/index.php
Racing and action shots plus interviews in English and native language will be available throughout World Cup Series.
For further information please contact:
Sabina Mollart Rogerson
M: +44 (0) 7922 140 148
Medal Races on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April will be streamed live on World Sailing's Facebook and YouTube Channel.
WCS Hyères - Medal Races - RS:X, 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17, Kiteboarding
URL - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm-yn7rPKrA
Embed - <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Tm-yn7rPKrA?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
WCS Hyères - Medal Races - 470, Finn, Laser, Laser Radial
URL - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiLMa8QoXWI
Embed - <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ qiLMa8QoXWI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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