Isabella Bertold: 2013 Female Athlete of the Year

Published on February 17th, 2014

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
As I watch the 2014 Winter Olympics, I find myself cheering equally for the Canadian and U.S. teams. Being removed from Europe, there is value for each of these countries in having convenient and elite competition. The success for each program benefits the other.

Same goes for Olympic sailing, and someone worth cheering for is Laser Radial sailor Isabella Bertold, who was selected by Sail Canada as the 2013 Female Athlete of the Year.

When I had breakfast with Isabella a year ago, she was at peace with failing to reach the 2012 Olympics, she had again found the fun in sailing, and her event performance was at an all time high.

Hailing from British Columbia and a member of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, here’s an update from this 23 year old today…

A recap of last year
2013 was a pretty awesome year for me! Every time I raced I was just trying to improve on a certain aspect of my sailing. Despite being plagued with injuries following a bike crash while training in Lake Garda in Italy, my worst finish was 9th at the Europeans. After the crash, with a 7th place finish at the World Championship, I was reassured that even when I wasn’t physically 100%, my change of perspective was taking me in the right direction. Following the 2013 Worlds, I took some time off to rehab my injuries and now I’m now eager to start my 2014 season.

Where are you at personally and professionally?
Winning a medal at the 2016 Rio Games is my goal and that means the rest of my life mostly gets put on hold. That being said, I am still taking some courses at school while training and working on a few other side projects at the moment; however, I’m pretty sure that everyone that has spent time around me these past few months will tell you that sailing is the priority and achieving my goal of winning a medal in Rio gets put before everything else.

What is your plan for 2014?
I am going to start my 2014 season with the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Palma, Spain (March), followed by the Cup event in Hyeres, France (April). Other events on the schedule include the Holland EuroSAF Cup (May), Europeans (June), Test Event in Rio (August), and the World Championship (September).

Any team updates?
On my personal “team” front, I am very excited to for the first time be racing with a title sponsor, InstaFund Financial. West Coast Sailing is again a major supporter of my 2014 season along with the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, WInd Athletes, and the Canadian National Team. I am also thrilled to again be supported by Zhik, Bonk Breaker, Skratch Labs, and KT Tape. You really can’t run a campaign without a solid support team, I am very fortunate to have support for my 2014 season that I do.

Who are you training with?

I’m very excited about a great year of training with many different people. My winter has been spent sailing with the up and coming Canadian youth talent based out of Vancouver. There is a lot of talent coming up and it was great to be pushed as hard as I was without having to leave home. Once I head over to Europe I will be back training with my usual training partners – looking at my schedule it’s going to be a fun year!

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