SOPHIE Weguelin has vented her frustration over having to withdraw from the upcoming ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander next week.
The Portland-based sailor, ranked number five in the world, was due to compete in the 470 women’s event with Eilidh McIntyre, but she was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis following her flight home from the Aquece Rio International Regatta last month, and has been undergoing treatment to resolve and minimise any further risk.
In order to ensure she makes a full recovery, with no adverse effects to her health, Weguelin has been advised by the medical team not to sail for six months.
This period encompasses the Santander World Championships, the ISAF Sailing World Cup Grand Final in Abu Dhabi, and the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Miami.
The 25-year-old said: “It’s massively frustrating to be missing the World Championships with Eilidh, which we have been hard working towards all season, but obviously I have to take the advice of the medical team and not take unnecessary risks which could have serious consequences.
“There’s always plenty to be done off the water as well as on it in an Olympic sailing campaign, so Eilidh and I will still be working hard over the winter in all those areas, ready for when I can go on the water again.
“It’s a setback for sure, but I think setbacks ultimately make you stronger.”
Weguelin’s crew McIntyre, who hails from Hayling Island, will sail alongside two-time Olympian Christina Bassadone as a temporary measure for the World Championships, while Weguelin and McIntyre will continue to progress their campaign towards Rio 2016 in areas off the water until Weguelin is ready to sail again.
McIntyre added: “It’s disappointing that Sophie and I won’t be able to put into action what we’ve been working on at the Worlds, but there will be other World Championships for us to try and win in the future. What’s more important is that Sophie takes the time to recover properly.
“I’m grateful to Christina for agreeing to step in at the last minute and sail with me in Santander. I’m sure I can learn a lot from sailing with her which I can take back to the campaign with Sophie. “I’m sure we will both be itching to get back on the water again as soon as Sophie is able to.”