Thoughts of retirement ended by Beijing prospects

After 11 years of competing in sailing’s 470 Class, Costas Trigonis, who won a world title in 1995 as well as silver medals at the Worlds and Europeans in 2002, is preparing to set sail in the Tornado Class at next year’s Beijing Olympics. «I got tired after 11 years of heavy training and constant dieting. I concluded, as was proven, that we had reached our limit in terms of optimal performance. The cycle was completed,» said Trigonis, 37, who competed with Andreas Cosmatopoulos as his sailing partner in the 470 Class. «There were three Olympic appearances and medals everywhere, except for the Olympics.» An Olympic medal looked possible for the Greek pair in Athens, but their bid faltered midway through the 470 Class competition, when Trigonis and Cosmatopoulos nosedived from third to 18th place. «It felt like I had been stabbed in the heart. Things began to go awry from there. Initially, I had made up my mind to give up sailing,» said Trigonis, who admitted feeling overcome by melancholy while contemplating retirement. Moreover, Trigonis said that under no circumstances would he have continued in the 470 Class with another partner. «I considered what Andreas and I did to be sacred. There was no way I would ever compete against him,» Trigonis stressed. Despite all the negative thoughts, it did not take Trigonis long to decide against retirement. Not long after the Athens Olympics, between October and December of 2004, Trigonis gave serious thought to continuing in the Tornado Class. Despite problems, including lack of financial support and equipment, Trigonis and his new sailing partner, Iordanis Paschalidis, have made an impressive start. They have dominated domestic events and shown promise on the international circuit, as highlighted by a seventh placing at the Worlds. The differences between the 470 and Tornado classes are enormous, Trigonis noted. «The catamarans [Tornado Class] are like racing cars. They’re an adrenaline rush – much faster vessels,» said Trigonis, who refrained from talking about the prospects of a medal in Beijing. «The challenge is not to win a medal at the Olympics, but to apply all my experience in the water.»

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.