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Marcia on the march Down Under as he races towards Rio
- Updated: March 4, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
While South Africa’s 2012 Olympics sailing duo of Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson were doing their stuff at the 470 World Championships in Argentina, fellow yachtsman Stefano Marcia has been quietly going about moving his way up the Laser class rankings.
Cape Town’s Marcia, who qualified a Rio Olympics slot for South Africa at the World Laser Championships in Kingston, Canada, has been racing and training in New Zealand and Australia.
‘My world ranking was 86th in the world before I left for Down Under and I’m currently sitting at 63rd in the world and could move slightly higher when the rankings come out after racing in Auckland.
‘I raced in four regattas late last year, the first being a qualifier regatta in Melbourne for the World Cup event held a couple days afterwards.
‘Then I finished 17th at Melbourne World Cup and personally thought I could have sailed better as I made way too many mistakes and just lost the plot a lot of the time. ‘From the two regattas in Melbourne I moved back to Sydney for a really tough but cool regatta where I finished 11th but was tied for seventh, so unfortunately I got nailed due to the countback system used.
‘I then had a short weeks break over the Christmas period which I used to recover and my final regatta was the Australian nationals where the world No1 and No2 were racing and this was my chance to prove to myself that I can take these guys on. I ended up finishing 10th and it was a good result but I still felt as though I could have done better and I did walk away with a race win. Australian conditions are very similar to Cape Town where it’s windy and the sea gets very big.’
Speaking on improvements made and what he expects should he be included in Team SA at the Games he told Road to Rio 2016: ‘I think the biggest improvements in my sailing is in the areas of big breezes and waves as my background sailing is mainly lake sailing which has the water a lot flatter and little easier to manage.
‘My self-confidence has improved as I now know that I can win and it’s just a matter of how badly I want it.
‘I’m not too concerned about Rio conditions at the moment and trying to find places that are similar to it. I just need to get hours under my belt and gather as much experience as possible before the start of the Games. I will be planning to be at the Games early enough to get familiar with the conditions.’
Marcia has now moved on from Auckland and is now in Sydney for a 10-day training camp. ‘Then it’s the start of the Euro season later in March.
‘Sydney’s sailing conditions never disappoint and it’s really nice to have such a variety of conditions and real testing stuff which identify weak areas and help improve my sailing technically.’