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Wednesday 13 November 2013

Olympic class sailboating

We caught up with Jeanine & Marchien Speelman who compete in the 470 (Olympic class sailboating). Jeanine studies Cruise Industry Management and Marchien studiesYacht & Powercraft Design. They are both in our 2nd year of university.

We asked them about their experiences at university and in their careers so far.

You have already competed for the Dutch sailing team. Tell us how you have been selected for your country.

We were selected to be part of the Dutch sailing team in the 420 class, in which we trained for two years. After that we have chosen to train outside of the team. We are now part of the sailing squad of southern Germany, where we get the opportunity to train with other nations as well.

Jeanine and Marchien Speelman.

Where do you train?

All around Europe. We try to train in as many different places as possible to be able to get the most variety in weather, wind and waves conditions. Our winter training started off in Berlin, then we went to Maubuisson (France) and Genoa, Imperia, Palamos, Barcelona and Palma will follow after that.

What is a typical training session/training day?

A typical training session will start with a short briefing around 9am. Then we’ll be on the water from 9:30am till 1:00pm, a short but intense morning session. We mostly go back inshore for a short lunch break and a debriefing. Then our second training session starts mostly around 2pm and finishes around 5pm. Then after coming back into the harbour, we have a debriefing for at least an hour with pictures and video analysis from the training exercises on the water. And after that there is always some time that needs to be spent on repairing anything that broke or needs to be replaced on the boat. Tell us about your awards and trophies

We only started sailing the 470 since April 2013, before that we sailed 420 for 5 years. We were the number 1 women’s team in the 420 for 2 years in the Netherlands. In 2011, we became vice Dutch woman champions in the 420.

470 (Olympic class sailboat).

In 2012 Marchien became Dutch Female Champion in the 420 and went to the ISAF Youth Worlds in Dublin where she came 13th. Last summer, we won the spring cup in Izola, became 12th at the Kiel week and 11th at the Junior Europeans in Pwllheli.

What is your biggest sporting achievement?

Marchien became Dutch Champion in 2012 and was thereby qualified to go to the ISAF Junior World Championships, the highest ranked event in the 420 class. She finished in 13th.

You are High Performance Academy students. How has the High Performance Team helped you to progress?

Being part of the high performance team has helped us in many ways. It has given us the opportunity to fully focus on training. We have a team of specialists behind us, who are all helping us to get the best training and preparation for our events. This includes training in the gym, physiotherapy, financial help and even helping us to find the best way to combine studying and sport. We have learned a lot from our coaches, the workshops that have been given, and the great team of other athletes that are also part of the high performance team.

Do you have any upcoming competitions?

Our sailing agenda is fully planned with competitions. We will be sailing the imperia winter regatta in Italy, then a competition in Palamos and then in March we will sail our first World Cup. In the summer, we will be sailing many Eurosaf events and our main event next year will be the Junior worlds and Junior Europeans in which we are aiming to achieve the top 8. We will also be sailing the Europeans and other National Championships.

What advice would you give to any youngsters wanting to become a professional athlete?

If you really want to become a professional athlete you should never give up, you should know what your goal is and that there is always a way to achieve it if you are fully committed.

470 (Olympic class sailboat).

Who is your sporting role model?

Since we have been sailing the Optimist, we have been looking up at Marcelien de Koning and Lobke Berkhout. They were World Champions three times in a row and competed in the Olympics twice, where they won a silver medal.

What are your hobbies and interests?

Anything to do with boats is a big interest we have, especially sailing boats. We both played hockey for a long time in the past and ice-skating and skiing are too big hobbies we both have.

For more information on our High Performance Academy (HPA), contact the team using Facebook.