Both have already qualified for Santiago 2023 and continue training for this important multi-sport event, which will take place in the Chilean capital at the end of October and beginning of November. Depor spoke with them to learn more about their skills and the plans they have in mind.
How did you decide to get together to sail a 49er FX Women’s boat? I ask because before you, Diana, sailed with María Pía.
Tudela: With Adriana, we have known each other for a long time. In other words, from before starting to navigate. When María Pía told me that she no longer wanted to continue because she wanted to continue with her professional career, Adriana was willing to accompany me, and we tried the boat for a while and we liked her. Adriana has a passion for what sailing is and what it entails. And nothing. We started testing and it went well, so we continued.
How long have you been sailing together on this boat?
barron: Since February of last year.
And in all this time (more than a year), how have communication and understanding between you been working?
tudela: Communication is one of the hardest things in sports, because it takes a lot of years to perfect. But, nothing, you just have to be talking a lot of time, telling your partner what you see; let her tell you what she sees. And you have to be talking all the time about what they are going to do in the future: how they are going to take the next buoy, how they are going to do the course. You don’t have to assume. You always have to say your thoughts because otherwise your partner will be over the moon or she won’t know.
Diana, in your case, we know you have experience in the 49er FX boat. But in yours, Adriana, why did you decide to stay on this boat? How have you felt this change?
barron: As Diana says, we have both sailed since we were very young. I was in Sunfish after finishing Optimist, which I finished at 15, and then I spent about a year in Nacra 17, which is also a two-person boat, but it is a catamaran that has some foils, some strange things that make it fly. Once I finished sailing that boat, which we had also tried to campaign for Tokyo 2020, Adriana offered me to get on the 49er FX to test drive. In truth, it was basically to help her with some training and I thought it was a boat that has a bit of everything. It has the speed you might want on the Nacra or faster boats, but at the same time you have to be a super detail person, because the boat is super unstable. In other words, the two people have to move in coordination to be able to handle it in the best way. And well, I got on it, I loved it, and I also love the project.
What “project” exactly are they referring to?
barron: To qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
As I have been able to see in World Sailing (the International Sailing Federation), the first championship they played as a couple was the ‘Semaine Olympique Francaise De Voile’, in April 2022. A year later, how much do you feel they have improved?
tudela: Aside from it being our first championship, it was the first time we had sailed boats around. We had always been alone and sailing around with boats is a totally different story: there are people who come to you, want to crash you, like they are situations that we had not experienced before. Besides, it is a sea that we had not navigated before either. So, just starting out as a team and having all these conditions change for you was very difficult. I thought it was going to be worse than it really was. We had a lot of fun and we were able to navigate with different conditions, we were able to handle it super well. Comparing it now with our last championship that was in Vilamoura (Portugal), we are super different, like we have a different mentality. In other words, stronger in the maneuvers. Yes, there is a big improvement.
Just about the Portuguese Grand Prix, which they participated in February. How did it go? How did you feel there?
barron: I believe that one of the most difficult parts of our campaign is that here in Peru we are the only boat that sails. So, every time we go to a championship or training with other people, the process between sailing alone and sailing with people is super complicated, because it’s like you always run without a watch and one day they put a watch on you and you start to measure more things. . So, nothing, we went to Portugal and it was like a new world, in which there are more people and different conditions, because there are also waves there that we don’t have here. And it was truly surprising, if you will, the resilience of the team. Hard conditions were presented, but we knew how to handle them well. I think it was a very good tournament. I don’t exactly remember the result, but I know that the sensations were good at the end.
Unlike other sports, you are the only ones who practice 49er FX here in Peru. There is not, let’s say, an internal competition in this category to obtain a place at a certain international event. So, how do you motivate yourself and keep improving?
Tudela: We don’t compete with people from our own country, but with people from other countries. And yes, it is difficult to stay motivated, because if you are training here in Lima or in Paracas, wherever, it is only you. You yourself have to say like: ‘Already in the water, I have to train for so many hours, I have to get out’. Since there is no one, you don’t have a coach next to you who is telling you: ‘Now, get into the water’ or who is setting your limits, because our coach (the Spanish Daniel Cánovas) is from abroad and we hire him more than anything to championships abroad. So, yes, most of the time we are alone, but that also teaches us to have more dedication and self-motivation.
But, don’t they receive the support of the Peruvian National Sailing Federation or private companies?
barron: Yes. We have annual support from the Federation and we divide that as we go through training sessions or championships. From there, we are seeking support from private companies. And, well, there is always support from the family, right? And right now we are entering the IPD Athlete Support Program, which will also help us a lot.
And how are your workouts going?
Tudela: At the end of April, we were in Paracas and at the beginning of May we brought the boat here to Lima. We are going to be training here (active rest in the capital; that is, only exercises without a boat) until we leave for our planned training in June in Santander, Spain, with the Spanish Olympic team. And then we will go to the championships that touch us.
What are those championships?
barron: After training for a month in Santander, we are going to the Olympic Class World Championships, which is like the biggest sailing world championship there is: the Allianz Sailing World Championships, in the Netherlands (in August). Later, we return and go almost directly to Chile to train there and then to the Pan American Games.
And what is the objective in Santiago 2023?
barron: Our dream would be to win a medal, but we know that the main and biggest dream is to qualify for Paris 2024 and we are 100% focused on that. If to achieve this, we can reach the podium in the Pan American Games, it would already be from another planet. But if. The Pan American Games, for us, is a very important event and, in fact, the second most important in this entire campaign. It is a key point to be able to fulfill the big dream. So we hope to qualify Paris for the Pan American Games.
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