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Olympians Hudson and Jim return to scene of 2014 triumph
- Updated: May 26, 2015
SA’s Olympic sailors, Roger Hudson and Asenathi Jim will make a triumphant return to Medemblik, Holland this week as they embark on the 2015 Delta Lloyd regatta as defending champions.
The duo raced to an impressive overall victory there last year in the men’s 470 class, heralding something of a breakthrough for the pair who are targeting Olympic qualification once again for next year’s Rio Games.
The event, which is held at the International Sailing Centre Medemblik, started on Tuesday and will run until Saturday, when they’ll be hoping to retain the title.
Officially opened in 1999, the famed sailing venue holds special significance for Hudson and Jim as it was also the site of their first regatta together as a team back in 2011.
‘We are excited to be back at the Delta Lloyd regatta as defending champions. It’s really special also to remind ourselves where we began as a team and where we are today,’ said Jim, who is based in Red Hill township outside Cape Town. ‘It’s definitely not going to be easy but we always feel confident in what we do so we are looking forward to this week of racing,’ he added.
Hudson was equally excited about the prospect of defending their title. ‘Winning it in 2014 was a great moment for us, our first victory on the Olympic circuit, and the first win by an SA team on the circuit for 10 years,’ he said.
‘But the Delta Lloyd regatta is also special for us because the sailing partnership between Asenathi and myself started at this event in 2011 when Asenathi was just 19 years old.
‘At 23 now Asenathi is becoming a real force in Olympic sailing and when I look back I’m so proud of how much has developed in his sailing and his life over this period.
‘We still have many mountains to climb to get to our ultimate goal, which is to see South Africa win its first ever sailing medal at the Olympics. This regatta is another step on that climb, and of course we would love to win it again, but our main aim is to sail fast, smart and consistently and to make it to the medal race (top 10) on Saturday, and then take it from there,’ added Hudson.
‘The competition will be fierce as ever because the event is a qualifier for the third World Cup event in Weymouth, UK in two weeks’ time. From the forecasts, it also looks like there will be a few big breeze days, which we’re looking forward to, both being from Cape Town.’
Also representing South Africa this week are Stefano Marcia in the Laser class, and Andrew Tarboton and Graeme Willcox in the 49er class.