On the way to Paris 2024 >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Reigning Women’s Pan American Champion Sarah Douglas (CAN) is focused on the Paris 2024 Olympics, eager to improve on her sixth-place finish in the women’s single-seater dinghy event at Tokyo 2020. Now 28, she shares the effort to get there:


Training at the 2023 World Cup site
After the Allianz Regatta (World Cup Series Amsterdam, May 31-June 5), I headed to the other side of Holland to sail the ocean to the venue for the 2023 World Championships. It’s important to pass time on this site, as the 2023 Worlds in The Hague will be the first opportunity to qualify Canada for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

There were 10 athletes there and it was great to all work together for training and racing each day. The course has a strong tidal influence and I learned a lot about how the current works and the Dutch coastline. This location can also bring some swell which I don’t have much experience in so it’s always great to have the opportunity to navigate the swell and turn a weakness into a strength.

All in all a great week of training to wrap up a long boulder in Holland and work with Steven LeFevre as guest coach (who has now left to work with the Norwegian and Finnish ILCA 6 sailors).

Coping with an injury
Just before leaving for Holland, my sports doctor ordered me an MRI for a pain in my hip which I had suffered for a long time. I have a small labral tear in my hip (luckily no surgery needed) and I’m lucky to have an amazing support team in place.

Turns out my month-long break that was scheduled for earlier this year was the perfect time to rehabilitate my hip, take mental rest, reset, and prepare for the next 4 busy months. During this time we decided to test what moves potentially bothered him and I took a short break from cycling and found a new appreciation for running. Again, my built-in support team came together and helped strengthen my hip.

Olympic venue 2024
My coach (Vaughn Harrison) and I are back at the 2024 Olympic site in Marseille, France. Most of the best sailors from around the world are here in France to train during the “Olympic period” – the two-week block during which the Olympics will be held in two years (July 28-August 8, 2024).

We had a range of conditions and Marseille proved to be a tough place to sail with changing conditions and winds. This two week block has proven that we need to spend more time here browsing and studying this site. In the second week we had a coaches regatta with 46 top sailors. Basically a tough gold fleet where any mistakes are definitely shown. I learned a lot and showed good progress throughout my stay in Marseille.

My strength and conditioning coach (Sheldon Persad) joined us for a while in Marseille. It was great to have Sheldon here at the Olympic site to get insight into training, racing and general routine, as well as hydration tracking, programming and more.

And after?
More training at the 2024 Olympic venue from August 22-30, 2022.

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