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On a mission to be the best

Published on July 17th, 2018

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
Marit Bouwmeester is an imposing figure at 5’10”. Attractive with blonde hair extending just past her shoulders, her penetrating green eyes left me without words. She had walked up and asked for directions. We were in Miami … I wasn’t much help.

I hadn’t met her before but knew all about her. From the Netherlands, she dominates the Laser Radial. Two-time Olympic medalist, many time world champion. On social media, she dominates the gym.

“I post a lot of photos of myself on Instagram showing my training. I’m not on purpose trying to inspire people, but I hear it a lot. I do on purpose want to show people what the sailing sport is about. I always get a bit upset when people say, ‘You actually have to train to go sailing?’ and I say, ‘Yes, you actually have to be pretty fit’.”

Marit Bouwmeester

Training for Marit is a full-time job. Sunday is her day off; otherwise she is working on her fitness and skill, either on the water or on land.

“I don’t really see it so much as how I am a woman and want to inspire women. It is more that I’m a unique person and I want to be the best female sailor there is. So that’s why I have to work hard in the gym, I have to work hard on the water, I have to sleep well, I have to look after my food.”

Marit is focused on the big event of 2018, the Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. While Olympic classes annually compete for world titles, once every four years all ten sailing events come together to hold their championship.

To be held August 2 through 12, the Sailing World Championships is also the first event to distribute national places in the Olympic Games. This is where the dream about Olympic medals in Tokyo in 2020 begins for the greatest stars in sailing.

“I think the Worlds are the most important event there is in a year besides the Olympics, and the expert level can be a lot higher than at the Olympics. Only one person per country can compete at the Olympics, whereas at the Worlds there’s a wider range of talent.”

Having won the last two Sailing World Championships, 2011 Perth and 2014 Santander, along with the 2017 Laser Radial World Championship, Marit likes her chances. “Hopefully I can continue this streak and win this one as well.”


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