Since October, the Ilca 6 class pre-Olympic team, led by national coach Jano Toro (La Coruña, 1986), has had its headquarters at the Manolo Pazos Díaz Canary Sailing Center of the Canarian Sailing Federation (FCV).
For the technician of the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation, this is the second work stay in Gran Canaria. In 2017 the Ilca 7 pre-Olympic team (the men’s boat) was made up of Gran Canarians Joquín Blanco (Olympic in Rio 2015) and Joel Rodríguez (who would be Olympic in Tokyo 2020), and it was thought that the closer to home, the better. .
“Training at home is an advantage, that was the main reason then. But on top of that you arrive here and discover that you have good weather in winter, wind all year round and the Canarian Federation and the Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria, who help in any way they can.
We have also trained in Lanzarote and Tenerife, and each island has its own things, they are all good for sailing and there is always a lover of sailing willing to lend a hand. In the Canary Islands the conditions are spectacular and the welcome too”.
At the moment, Toro’s most immediate goal is the Princesa Sofía Trophy, which celebrates its 51st edition in April; the last one, the Paris 2024 Olympics. The coach highlights a key circumstance that has caused the pandemic: this Olympic cycle is one year younger.
The results of the unofficial world championship of Olympic sailing in Mallorca will serve or not to recompose the team, which right now is made up of the Catalan Olympian Cristina Pujol, Ana Moncada from Malaga and Isabel Hernández from Gran Canaria.
The island sailor Martina Reino completes the work team that goes out to the water every day in the bay of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria after a small meeting at the FCV headquarters. Afternoons are reserved for physical preparation.
“The main thing now is to train, to recover consistency, because we have come from a limited period due to the pandemic,” says the coach, who highlights the “good level” of the Ilca 6 class pre-Olympic team for this 1st Olympic cycle. “We are above the middle of the table by far; in ‘the Sofia’ we will see where”.
The head of the series is Cristina Pujol (San Cugat del Vallés, 1993). The Catalan represented Spain in Tokyo 2021 and at the World Cup in Mussanah (Oman), held in December 2021, she finished in the top 10, “a fantastic result, the best in four or five years”, in the words of her coach.
Jano Toro belongs to a family with a sporting tradition that begins with the grandparents, continues with the parents and materializes, for now, in the current generation with a national sailing coach and an Olympic medalist. Sofia, Jano’s little sister, won a gold medal in the Match Race class at the 2012 London Olympics.
Raised at the Real Club Náutico de La Coruña, where he sailed in Optimist and in the then Laser class (today Ilca), he studied Physical Education and discovered that he liked to train others. He started at his club and the good results he obtained meant that one day he received a call from the RFEV.
“Sometimes, in the typical coffee conversation, we would say to each other: ‘in the Canary Islands they are milk’, and we would ask ourselves about the secret of the impressive track record of sailing on the islands, because in many clubs in Spain a very good job is done too. The difference is that here there are wind, temperature and sun conditions that encourage everyone to jump into the water. And this feeds back: if there are good sailors, there are good coaches”.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism