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Asenathi, Roger all set for Games debut
- Updated: July 29, 2012
By Mark Etheridge
Way down south in Weymouth, our two sailors are hard at work for their Olympic competition that launches on Thursday.
Cape Town based Roger Hudson and Asenathi Jim’s participation at the world’s greatest sporting occasion is the reward for an 18-month dash up the qualifying chart.
The two finally qualified for the Games at the 470 World Championships in Barcelona, Spain in May, before that they sailed at the ISAF Worlds in Perth late last year and their learning curve has indeed taken them around the curve of the globe as they sailed in search of that elusive Games spot.
They finally anchored their place in Barcelona and it was nip and tuck as they sealed the 27th and final spot. Having said that they beat many an accomplished combination on their tack to London.
In England with the team is Dave Hudson who serves as manager and coach to the sailors. “After qualifying Asenathi and Roger put in a solid six weeks of intensive training, mostly at the Olympic Venue in Weymouth, and mostly in cold, wet, windy conditions, before returning home for a week in mid-July. This was their first time back in SA since February.”
“The Olympic Sailing Village in Portland is close to ideal ÔÇôwell planned, very comfortable, great facilities, and a 15-minute stroll to our boat park in the sailing venue,” said Hudson, himself a sailing Olympian from Barcelona 1992.
The measurement routine takes place on Sunday, and their practice race on Wednesday. “The guys are tapering off their on-the-water training, but not their routine two hours a day in the gym.
“They are as well prepared as can be. They’ve taken care of every detail they can think of. ┬áIts now about clearing their heads, stepping away from the hectic pace of their 18-month dash up the 470 learning curve, and preparing themselves to be the best they can be over the next two weeks.”
Having said that all expectations are that it’s going to tough going for this relatively inexperienced combination.
All 27 boats race together for 10 races ÔÇô each race being an hour and with two races daily. Top 10 after 10 days go through the medal race which is a 30-minute final.
Now, while our guys are sure to have some great races, expecting them to make that medal race is rather like asking a wildcard to win Wimbledon. Consistency over the entire race programme is key in Olympic sailing and is what separates the men from the boys.
The crew are well aware of their standing but their journey is not a sprint but rather a marathon which will hopefully see them in with a chance of making that medal race in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.