With the Olympic Test event about to get going, Germany’s top sailor Philipp Buhl will be joined by his team mates from Sailing Team Germany (STG), who are still fighting for their place in the Olympics next year. The 49er team of Erik Heil and Tommy Plößel (Ploessel), now successfully recovered from injuries, and the ladies crew Tina Lutz/ Susann Beucke, who nearly made it to the 2012 Olympics in the 470 and are now competing in the new women’s 49er FX class, are well placed to be on the start line representing Sailing Team Germany in Rio 2016. All teams, however, still have to race against their national competition for Olympic selection whilst training as one team.
To watch the video of STG athletes preparing for Rio, go here: http://youtu.be/GHQKXoxAiUM
Buhl is one of Germany’s brightest hopes for a medal at the Aquece Rio Test Event. Almost exactly a year from now, the Olympic Regatta takes place on these very same waters, under the watchful eye of Christ the Redeemer and in the shadow of the spectacular Sugarloaf Mountain.
The 25-year-old Buhl has made a stunning start to his 2015 season and is a hot favourite for a medal in Rio this year. Having won two ISAF Sailing World Cup events in Miami and Weymouth, the athlete from Kiel has also recently finished runner-up in both the Laser World and European Championships.
“I’m really pleased with how my season is going, but coming to Rio and sailing on these waters where Olympic medals will be decided a year from now – that’s a big motivator.” Time is always in short supply, so Buhl is grateful for the digital tools developed for the sailors by STG’s technology partner SAP. “Athletes from other sports envy us because of our simple tool to track our daily training,” he says. “While they have to fill in complicated tables we simply record ours on our smartphone.”
Find out more about Philipp Buhl here – http://youtu.be/y-9A0pPgmdE
This is an event where the two 49er skiff classes could also yield medals for Germany. The 2014 European Champions Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel are pleased with their training in Rio to date. “After four days of training here in Rio we start to get a good feeling again,” says Heil, who steers the 49er. “But nevertheless, it is a difficult and sometimes unpredictable venue. The partnership with SAP plays a crucial part in our Olympic campaign. The technologies we have developed together can give us that critical edge to win a medal in Rio 2016. We feel ready. We are excited about the coming days and looking forward to the first start of the Pre-Olympics!”
Watch Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel in action here – http://youtu.be/CfzNQ-27Xc0
Vicky Jurczok and Annika Lorenz have put in some solid performances this season in the 49er FX, including a good result at the recent European Championships in Portugal. Under the watchful eye of former 49er Olympian Max Groy, STG has good strength in depth in the FX class. “It is good that we have so many teams to train with,” says Jurczok, who finished 5th in last year’s World Championship. “The technology provided by SAP helps push the whole squad along because it enables you to compare our strengths and weaknesses much more accurately.”
Find out more about Victoria Jurczok and Annika Lorenz here – http://youtu.be/NuLctH3QTRc
In a tight battle for selection, Jurczok and Lorenz were edged out by Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke. One of the challenges of sailing is dealing with the unexpected, making the most of your good fortune and minimising the effect of bad luck. According to Beucke, new technology is helping turn the mystical art of sailing into more of an understandable science. “We are operating in a sport where you have so many influences you can’t control,” says the 24-year-old from Strande. “With the new technology we can see on our tablet what have been good decisions and what have been bad decisions. So finally we have a factor we can control.”
Watch Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke in action here – http://youtu.be/-Ru_lw5ndkg
The Aquece Rio Test Event takes place in Rio de Janeiro from 15 to 22 August 2015.