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Paralympic sailors get Spanish workout
A BOOTCAMP in Spain has been getting Portland’s Paralympic sailors shipshape for the fast-approaching racing season.
The British Sonar Team of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas, together with their British Sailing teammate Megan Pascoe, flew out to Murcia for a week of pure fitness work in sunnier climes.
Epic cycle rides around the hills of Murcia, plus work outs in the gym, have been among the shore-side activities undertaken since the group arrived last Wednesday.
Pascoe, whose next big event is the Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta in Majorca from March 30, said: “It has been really fun in Spain. It is nice to be back with the team.
“It has been great just having some time to improve my base fitness. It means that without other distractions I can have enough rest to push my fitness forward.”
Despite the 2.4mR keelboat being one of the least physical classes, Pascoe, of Underhill, Portland, said fitness was very important for ensuring she could keep up with her busy schedule and maintain stamina throughout a full week of competition.
She added: “Along with the cycling I’ve been spending some time in the gym concentrating on my strength programme which seems to aim to make my shoulders huge. I’ve been cycling with the British Sonar sailing team and although we are disabled there hasn’t been too many dramas.
“A few wrong turns but no epic getting lost. There are really nice roads out here with not too many hills and along with a nice temperature it makes the training easy.
“We’ve been doing around two-and-a-half to three hours each day at different levels, making sure we have enough rest.
“The fun ended on Tuesday when I had to go back to unloading containers and sorting out my kit ready to get back sailing and start the season.”
The next big event for the British Sonar Team is the French Olympic Sailing Week in Hyeres from April 20 to 27.
Steve Thomas said: “The main priority over the winter is to get fit and healthy.
“Developing our aerobic fitness so that we are able to train and compete harder when the season starts in April.
“Fitness is one of the key priorities we want to improve on over the next four-year cycle.
“The Sonar is a pretty heavy keelboat and there can sometimes be big demands on the crew to get the best out of her.
“Although we have swapped our boat for bikes in Murcia there is no substitute for getting out on the water and we are looking forward to training and competing again in April at Hyeres.”