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7 August 2008, 08:35 am
Belgium's Brouwer Sails Into Her Third Olympics
Carolijin BROUWER and Seb GODEFROID competing at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships
Carolijin BROUWER and Seb GODEFROID competing at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships

2008 Beijing Olympic Games
Qingdao, China

The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games mark Carolijin BROUWER's third Olympic Games in as many sailing classes.
In Beijing, Carolijn BROUWER (BEL) is the only female competing in the Tornado, a class that is open to male and female athletes.

BROUWER competed in the 470 at Sydney 2000 and the Europe Dinghy in Athens 2004. When the Europe Dinghy was dropped from the Olympic programme after Athens, BROUWER decided to take a year off to study and reassess her sailing options.

In the lead-up to Beijing, BROUWER decided to challenge herself in yet another Olympic sailing category by joining forces with Sebastien GODEFROID (BEL) to compete in the Tornado.

"We went from single-handed sailing to double-handed sailing; from sailing one hull to sailing two hulls; from sailing with one sail to sailing with three sails and from hiking hard to trapezing during our transition from the Finn and the Europe to sailing together in the Tornado."

BROUWER and GODEFROID, heavier and with nearly a decade less experience than most of their Tornado competitors, finished second in the extremely windy 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships to qualify for Beijing 2008.

BROUWER enjoys competing in an open class: "On shore the men are very gentlemanly, but on the water it is a different story. If the choice is between trying to pick off another boat and picking off our boat, they'Il usually go after us. No man likes losing to a girl. It's good. It makes me work harder."

In 1998, BROUWER was crowned with the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award for her performances in the Europe dinghy.

BROUWER is president of the International Tornado Association and a member of the ISAF Events Committee. She headed the campaign to keep a multihull event in the Olympics.

"I absolutely love sailing the Tornado. It is fast and challenging. It's a beautiful boat. There's no going back [to sailing a monohulI]."

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