Paris 2024: All in for new offshore event

Published on August 24th, 2020

While the event program for the Paris 2024 Olympics is not yet confirmed, teams are already preparing for what they anticipate to be the new Mixed Two Person Keelboat Offshore competition. From a report by North Sails, we share an excerpt about one of the United States efforts:

By the time most people are making their morning coffee, Jesse Fielding and Francesca Clapcich have logged a 20-mile bike ride with their team. Getting to their goals includes a training regimen on par with any other athlete training for the 2024 Paris games. If they aren’t on their bikes in the morning, they are in the gym where, in addition to workouts, they practice mobility to keep them limber on deck during sail changes and maneuvers.

After they’ve logged their workout, rehydrated, and caffeinated, the pair head to their newly set-up training complex. A space on the Newport, Rhode Island waterfront where a trailer and large industrial building houses various equipment and parts, and a commercial tent is the base for the athletes.

On this particular morning, Clapcich is dealing with an unresponsive wifi router while Fielding runs errands in preparation for the weekend’s Ida Lewis Distance Race. Before lunch, the pair will take a look at weather routing and work with their training partners to devise the best course for the weekend’s racing.

Being an offshore sailor, especially one with Olympic aspirations, means being a multi-faceted competitor. If the team isn’t working out or sailing, they are making sure their sails and equipment are in top shape, studying the conditions, and working on their team dynamic.

“It takes a complete sailor to exist in the doublehanded discipline, right?” says Fielding, “And so it’s a big bucket to fill, and you are filling it with all the different little cups of knowledge you can from all the different sectors of the sport as a whole, whether it’s fitness or mechanics of the boat or sailing speed and smarts, et cetera, performance, et cetera.

“That being said, you can never fill that bucket alone. I really want to highlight the fact that this discipline, specifically in offshore sailing, requires a co-skipper. And that is co and equal in the complete sense of the word. And I think that is an incredible opportunity to showcase the better part of society, which would be a truly equal world, not only between genders but people as a whole.” Full report.

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