Sports

Silvia Mas: “There is life outside of Olympic sailing, the world is not ending”

“I am in my best moment. I have found the dream of my lifewhich combines sailing with adrenaline in the flying boats of the Copa América,” recognizes Silvia Mas with a smile during her visit to the MARCA editorial office.

The Catalan sailor, who was 470 world champion (2021) and Olympic champion in Tokyo 2020, is radiant. As she herself says, “In the end some doors close but others open”. nine months ago, The Olympic door was closed to Paris. He injured his cruciate and had started the campaign later alongside Nico Rodríguez. “Suddenly, the Federation closed the selection process – it chose Jordi Xammar and Nora Brugman to represent Spain in the 470 Mixed – and I found myself out of the Games. It was a shock because there was almost a year left. I went from having every day super structured to asking myself: ‘And now what do I do?”, he confesses.

It was considered leaving the candle aside and focus on practicing what he had studied (Business Administration and Management), but the process of selection of the Spanish women’s team for the Copa América –the Sail Team BCN– and I wanted to be part of history (first time there is a women’s competition in 173 years) and more in Barcelona, ​​his city.

He has already flown in an AC40

“It was a golden opportunity for me”, recognize. In fact, it is the crew captain. The team’s base is in Sitges, where they have the AC40 simulator, the boat they will compete with. For months they have been spending hours there, not having their own sailboat and on a GC32, another boat with foils. “A similarity could be made with airplanes. A pilot has to do a thousand hours of flight beforehand. Well, here it is the same, but in the water,” he explains.

The female crew of Sail Team BCN for the Copa América.

At last They have gotten into a real AC40. They rented it to the Orient Express Racing Team, the French challenge, for two weeks. The rental of these boats is around €30,000-40,000 per day. Three members of the team were training with a boy from the French boat to explain to them. “The feeling when flying over the water is brutal. I love sailing, but also all adrenaline sports, like motorcycles, cars… I have fallen in love with this boat. I felt the tingling in my stomach that I hadn’t felt in a long time,” he admits. It can reach speeds of 40 knots, around 75 kilometers per hour.

The AC40 is a boat with foils that raise the case above the water as if it were flying. There are four people, two in front with a steering wheel who direct the boat and two behind, who trim the sails with buttons and that is what makes the boat have speed. It’s complicated to navigate, with steering wheels and buttons instead of ropes. “We have screens where we can see the speed we are going, the targets we are setting, the direction of the wind… It is all numbers, so in the end it changes a lot from traditional sailing, it is not so physical,” explains Mas, who During the Olympic campaign he spent around 240 days away from home a year and now, he says, he has returned to breathe and sleep peacefully.

The Catalan is clear about the objective in Barcelona (from September 28 to October 13): “As it is the first time in history that women participate, for us it is like a key, a door that opens very wide to really be able to make a powerful Spanish team for the next edition with women who can really fight to win and be in the final.

Silvia Mas, the only woman from Team Alegre that competes on the TP52 circuit.NICO MARTINEZ

Only woman on a boat with 14 crew members

He also competes on the circuit Super Series TP52. She is the only woman of the 14 crew members that make up the Team Alegre and also the smallest. “I have four brothers and I have been surrounded by men all my life, but I had never seen myself on a large boat that was so professional and with people with a lot of experience. At first I was the little girl and they kept me under wraps, but now I’m one of them. I told them I was going to compete like them,” he says. His role is like second bow helping in the maneuver of the spinnaker (special sail used when the wind blows from behind).

I have a thorn and I’m going to do another Olympic Games no matter what.

Silvia Mas, captain of the Spanish women’s Copa América team

Silvia Mas, in full action on the Super Series TP52 circuit.NICO MARTINEZ

It also competes in the Spanish Puerto Calero in the RC44. In that case, it helps more in tactics and singing the pressures.

“Olympic sailing is like a bubble and you don’t realize everything that’s outside. You think that without it the world is ending and there is much more. I’m learning things that will come in handy for the future. I still have a thorn and I’m going to do another Olympic Games no matter what. As soon as the Copa América ends, I’ll get ready for Los Angeles”, she says convinced.



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Davide Piano

An experienced journalist with an insatiable curiosity for global affairs on newshubpro

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