Written by Eilidh McIntyre  | 15 May 2017
Eilidh McIntyre

Eilidh McIntyre on the ups and downs of an Olympic campaign

I am sure a number of people who read this have heard by now that Sophie Weguelin and I have stopped sailing together again. Many people might think this is crazy or a stupid decision – we medalled in Miami after all and were, from the outside, set to have a great season.

On the inside, however, Sophie and I had a number of areas of our campaign that we couldn’t crack and just felt we had reached a glass ceiling together. It became apparent that the only way to smash through this ceiling was for us to go our separate ways, and to develop ourselves as sailors individually.

Sophie and I have had some amazing times together and I will look back on them fondly forever. Our paths might cross again one day but for now, I wish her the best of luck in whatever endeavour she takes on next.

But as for me, what is next…?

I wish I could put some certainty behind what I am up to in the foreseeable future but I right now I have no idea. When those plans become clearer, I will let you know.

"Construction – deconstruction – construction"– moving round and learning different parts of a business - is apparently a big focus in Japanese culture, so for the moment I’m going to take a lesson from them on my journey to Tokyo 2020 and spend a bit of focusing on my own development, trying out a number of classes and sailing with as many people as possible.

I want to do some helming at a national level…so watch out I could be out of control! I am also doing a host of crewing within the British Sailing Team, filling in for people when I can and learning some new skills. But more importantly, bettering myself as a sailor.

This, of course, comes with a host of new problems and priorities – the number one issue being how not to break myself in some of the big scary boats. But I am determined to tackle these challenges head on so the gym is a second home at the moment. 

It is likely I might be found competing at a few Olympic classes events over the next few months. For example, I have been out in Monaco at the 470 Europeans competing with Sarah Norbury. This particular event was very last minute but I felt like it was going to be a really good opportunity to work on some of my goals, in particular working on mindset and communication. Plus Monaco is a great backdrop to some nice clothes!

These will all be casual team ups and about enjoying sailing and developing myself personally as a sailor on the road to Tokyo 2020. I really believe there is so much I can achieve on an individual basis. I have a strong vision of what I want to look like as a sailor and part of that means focusing on myself, recognizing my weaknesses and strengths and building on them. So, don’t take any of these events as an inkling as to what the future holds. Right now they are merely another stepping stone in my journey!

The Japanese have another good phrase - "Nana korobi ya oki" – fall down seven times, get up eight. Seems appropriate to describe the ups and downs of an Olympic campaign!


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