At the World Championships in August, Anouk Geurts and Isaura Maenhaut were good for 4th place, so a 19th place at the European Championships is disappointing. Or not?
“The World Cup and the Olympic test event (5th in July, ed.) were really our peak moments of the year. We did not necessarily prepare for this European Championship,” Isaura explains of the poorer European Championship. “We had a hard time with the difficult conditions.”
“We notice that we have taken steps in recent weeks,” adds Anouk. “But we also notice that there are points we need to work on. Now we know what we need to pay attention to this winter.”
This winter the focus is entirely on the road to Marseille, where the Olympic sailing competition will take place next summer. “This was a good learning point for the Games,” Isaura looks back on the European Championship. “We’re not really satisfied, but we’re not terribly disappointed either.”
The Belgian sailing duo still has a busy program ahead of them in the 49er FX class. They train in Lanzarote from December to February for the World Cup in March. This will be followed by the European Championships in May, with the Games in August as the peak moment.
“Our strategy for the Games remains the same after this European Championship,” Anouk Geurts agrees. “We know that our preparation for a peak moment would be different. We won’t let it affect our self-confidence now.”
Marseille will become their home base in the coming months. “We want to train as much as possible in Marseille to master the specific conditions. We want to feel at home in the Bay of Marseille,” says Isaura Maenhaut.
“The wind can come from all directions. It is a very specific location: there can be a lot of wind, but also little. We noticed at this European Championship that we have a hard time with little wind. We are going to prepare for that,” Anouk decides.