This week is Chester Race Week, and next week …….the Paralympics Games!
Sail-World met up with Olympic Gold medalist, Paul Tingley, on the docks of Chester Yacht Club as he was getting ready to participate in Chester Race Week.
Sail-World: How many times have you competed at Chester Race Week?
Tingley: I started coming to Chester in Grade 12, a long time ago, and then on and off for 25 years. Race Week is the largest sailing event east of Montreal that I know.
S-W: Is it the event that you have to do if you are from Nova Scotia?
Tingley: If you are from Australia it’s the Sydney-Hobart, in Victoria it’s the race to Maui. Here, it’s Chester.
S-W: Did this race foster your love of sailing?
Tingley: Absolutely, it is so much fun, the social, and now that the racing has improved, it is hitting all the points of a great regatta.
S-W: Is this the last event before you head to Weymouth?
Tingley: Next week I fly to London to get ready and start competing in the Paralympics on September 1st. The Olympics are a five day regatta with sixteen countries competing in the 2.4metre class. Eight countries with a real shot at the gold medal and I am expecting some very tight racing.
S-W: How has your training been going in preparation for the Olympics?
Tingley: Fantastic, I have only been home one week since November, been on the road living in Sweden with my coach, the pieces are all there, it is just up to me to put it all together.
S-W: Will you be going all out today?
Tingley: Absolutely not, we are here to have fun, to enjoy the weather and get together with all the other people and hopefully get some great racing in.
S-W: What is the best part of Chester Race Week for you?
Tingley: It is a place where everyone gets together, see all of your old friends and competitors, and just a great time for fun
S-W: Is there anything else that you would like to mention?
Tingley: Yes, I would like to thank all of the people n Nova Scotia that helped me on my campaign and to people like Honda that provide me with my van. The squadron (Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron) that has really supported me. Without the whole team, I could never have done this.
Photo: Paul Tingley sailing Sonar Warp Drive at Chester Race Week
Photo credit: T.J.Long /© 2012 Tim Wilkes / www.timwilkes.com