During this hard time we are living far from water, we took the chance to talk with some of our top sailors to see how they are managing this lockdown experience.
How are they balancing their lives and training, mood, workout or nutrition during this rare long period at home?
After interviewing Mari Erdi HUN, Elena Vorobeva CRO, Elliot Hanson GBR and Hermann Tomasgaard NOR, we’re now sending our questions to Cyprus.
Quarantine talks – Interviewing Marilena Makri CYP
Hello Marilena, thanks for your time. How long have you been without sailing? What was your last competition? What was your training routine during this time?
My last competition was the Laser Radial Women’s Worlds in Melbourne, AUS. Just as I was preparing to depart for Palma the situation grew worse and since the 24th of March I’ve been out of the water, 40 days almost which is a lot for me since here in Cyprus we have conditions for brilliant sailing year round.
With the advice of my coach and my gym trainer I developed a routine for the quarantine days based mainly on a session of road biking a day and a lot of different exercises on the hiking bench.
How’s being this quarantine to you? How do you manage anxiety, mood, home tasks, feelings, nutrition, etc? Do you live alone/ with family? Do you have any hobbies / talent / work / study?
I can’t believe I am saying this but I am a bit fortunate to be in my last year of school and to have final exams in June and so quarantine was a great opportunity to make up on my studying a bit. This kept me busy a lot, every day was a cycle of physical, training, eating and hitting the books.
I live at home with my family who are very supportive and this helped me a lot to keep my anxiety levels low.
I can’t believe I am saying this but I am a bit fortunate to be in my last year of school and to have final exams in June and so quarantine was a great opportunity to make up on my studying a bit.
What’s your personal vision about this virus/ lockdown in the world?
I think the people and the governments around the world are dealing with this unfortunate situation as best they can. I am sure the world will overcome this, I just hope it is over sooner rather than later and with the minimum possible loss of life.
How’s your coach and/or federation helping or pushing you to keep positive, motivated, healthy, strong?
My coach helped a lot to keep me focused on our goals and in touch with sailing even though we were away from the water. Especially during the early days of the quarantine (before the heavy studying began) we were in touch a few times a week for some online sessions mostly on strategy and rules. Also he gave me a bunch of training videos to analyze and study.
My coach helped a lot to keep me focused on our goals and in touch with sailing even though we were away from the water. We were in touch a few times a week for some online sessions mostly on strategy and rules. Also he gave me a bunch of training videos to analyze and study.
How do you feel about the Olympics postponement? Is it better/worst to you? How is this impacting your Olympic campaign?
I was obviously looking forward to sailing for Cyprus in the Olympic Games this summer and was a bit disappointed when they were postponed. That early feeling of disappointment though soon passed when I realized that this is more of an opportunity for me than a setback.
First of all as one of the younger (I think the youngest so far) of Tokyo 2020 Olympic fleet I will have one whole year more to close the gap a bit with the more experienced women, build my body more and set some higher goals for the Olympics than I would if they were sailed this summer.
Also 2020 is my last year in the U19 category and the Europeans and Worlds (if they happen) are big goals of mine. Trying to peak at so many regattas during one summer was very difficult if not impossible. So now that the main event is out of the way for this year all I hope is that we will sail the U19 events and I am confident I will be ready for them and after that it is full force on the road to Tokyo!
You might know we are all desperate to be back on water soon so we wanted to ask you, are you allowed to sail? Are there any restrictions in your country or area? Do you feel we’ll be all slowly allowed to sail soon?
So far only athletes that have secured an Olympic qualification are permitted to train in any sport here in Cyprus while adhering at all times at strict sanitary rules and keeping distances. If all goes well though by the end of May all sport clubs will again be open and everyone will at last be able to get out on the water.
What were your first feelings when returning to sail after all this time? Are you training alone or with partners?
Right now it is just me with my coach on the RIB since no other Laser Radial sailor is allowed to sail. Today was our first time back on the water and I was really looking forward to it ever since I heard the news that we will be allowed back. Getting back on the boat, feeling the wind and water on my face after being quarantined on land for so many days…it felt like all is right with the world again or at least it is going to be.
Getting back on the boat, feeling the wind and water on my face after being quarantined on land for so many days…it felt like all is right with the world again or at least it is going to be.
Do you have any advices for others sailors to carry on this quarantine?
To all competitive sailors the only advice I have to give is hang on to their sailing dream. Be it the Olympics, the Worlds, the nationals or the first local regatta back from the quarantine, keep your dream close and continue to work towards it even away from the water.
Also take this time to reconnect with people you missed, undertake projects you’ve postponed or just spend time at home with your family and loved ones. To an occupied mind time flies and I am confident we will all soon meet out there on the water again sailing our boats and having fun.