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Sofia BEKATOROU & Emilia TSOULFA (GRE)With wins at every Grade 1 event in the double-handed 470 Class in the past 12 months, this pairing have sat firmly at the top of the world rankings since May 2001. They claimed the European title, and most recently (although outside the achievement period) the 470 World title to prove their dominance.

The Achievements of Sofia Bekatorou & Emilia Tsoulfa

July 2001 - 470 European Championship - Grade 1 event - 1st
June 2001 - Kieler Woche - Grade 1 event - 1st
May 2001 - Spa Regatta - Grade 1 event - 1st
April 2001 - Semaine Olympique Francaise - Grade 1 event - 1st
February 2001 - Athens Eurolymp Week - Grade 3 event - 1st

Name Sofia Bekatorou Emilia Tsoulfa
Date of Birth 28485 26799
Where were you born? Athens, Greece Athens, Greece
Age started sailing 9 12
Age started racing 10 13
What inspired you to take up sailing? My Father's wish My Parents
How did you buy your first boat? I don't own my own boat they are owned by my club My first boat was bought from my club
Which was your first sailing club? Nautical Club of Tzitzifies Kullithea Piraeus Sailing Club
First boat sailed? Optimist Optimist
First boat raced? Optimist Optimist
First Event competed in? Greece/Optimist Greece/Optimist
First Event won? Greece/Optimist Greek National Championships
Principle achievements? 3rd Europeans and Worlds 1998 3rd Europeans and Worlds 1998
Principle achievements? 1st Europeans and Worlds 2000 and 2001 1st Europeans and Worlds 2000 and 2001
Detail the personal highlights of your sailing career to date? Participating in the Sydney Olympic Games and currently 1st in the ISAF rankings Participating in the Olympic Games in Atlanta and Sydney. Winning all the Eurolymp Events this year and the Europeans and Worlds
Future sailing aspirations? Win an Olympic Gold medal, race as a skipper or join the America's Cup To continue with Sofia in 470, win more championships and of course an Olympic medal in Athens 2004
Briefly state what sailing means to you? My life, freedom and inspiration It's my way of living, it's my balance as a person through all that happens to my life. Through sailing I feel strong and enjoy every moment
Who's had the greatest impact or inspiration in your sailing career and why? My team mates, Emilia, Emilia's family, the 1995 470 World Champions Kosmolopoulos-Trigonis My parents who made me start sailing, my brother Theodore who is sailing also and helps me a lot, advise me and teaches me. Andreas Kosmotopoulos 470 World Champion
Who do you consider to be your sailing hero if any? Teresa Zabell - 2 Olympic Gold medals There are many excellent sailors
Profession? Psychology student and 420 coach trainer I have finished University of Sports in Athens, but I'm only involved with sailing as I don't have the time to work
What other sports do you participate in outside of sailing? Watersports or generally extreme games I like generally many sports. I don't have the time to do a lot but I used to run when I was 12
Who do you consider to be the greatest sailor in the World and why? John Merricks was something special, sorry not to have meet him personally, perfect downwind Again I can't say just one person I believe there are many in many boats all over the world
Briefly state what being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award 2001 means to you? It means a recognition from the sailors for fair play and an honour that I will never forget It is a great honour for me! I feel that all the hard practice that we did in the past years finally has a result
If voted as the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2001, briefly say what will this mean to you? It means that people respect my personality and also my crew's, like to sail against us and recognise our sacrifices and hours spent sailing and trying to develop ourselves. It will be a fantastic feeling! It's great to share it with Sofia because all this year and through all the difficulties that we've passed we become a family. It will be a memorable moment for the rest of my life and a new motivation to continue for better and bigger success.
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