SA sailors last chance at Olympics

2015-11-11 06:00

SOUTH African 49er sailors, Pietermaritzburg’s Andrew Tarboton and his teammate Graeme Willcox will be doing their best to make it to the Rio Olympics next year when they compete in the Olympic qualifying quest at the World Championships at the same venue in Buenos Aires from 16 to 21 November.

The duo left for Argentina last week where they will first compete in the South American championships before embarking on their Olympic qualifier.

Laser sailor Stefano Marcia was the first South African to qualify his boat in July and Jim and Roger Hudson followed last month. It will be tougher than ever for Johannesburg’s Willcox and Pietermaritzburg’s Tarboton to qualify as there are only three slots available.

“With some big names like Germany, Sweden and Poland having not qualified yet it will be a monumental battle to break into this group. However, this is sport and the margins between first and last in this world-class fleet are so small, it only takes getting one or two things right, while other teams stumble in a few races, and you’re in with a shout,” said Willcox.

The pair have embarked on this campaign despite having to work full-time jobs to fund their training and travel, but have made the most of long, summer evenings in their base in England over the past few months. - Supplied.

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