Interview: Tanja Frank
Tanja Frank won the bronze medal in the Nacra 17 during the Rio Olympics. Now she has switched from the Narca to the 49erFX. She also describes perfectly the difference between sailing with a man or woman: ‘With them you can be more direct to each other’.
First, how does it feel to win the Bronze medal at the Olympic Games?
It is not possible to say it in words. I was only thinking: Is this for real? Besides that, it was incredible. Standing on the Olympic podium is such a nice feeling! However, it is still quite hard to say it in words.
It is been four years since you were in the Netherlands. What do you remember of the Netherlands?
It was very cold haha. In the morning, we had ice on the cover of our boat. Let us hope it will be a little bit warmer this year.
What is the main reason for your switch from Nacra 17 to the 49erFX?
The main reason is that I will helm on my own. I was steering all the time before I was crewing the Nacra 17. So I wanted to go back to be a helm. Actually, we also could not find a tall man so I thought: Why not the FX?
What is the biggest difference of sailing with a man or sailing with a woman? What is easier and what is more difficult?
The biggest difference between sailing with a man or a woman is that the male sailors are not so pissed early. I know it sounds strange but with a man, you can be more direct to each other. Like ‘You did this or this stupid’ and he will not be angry with you. For me it is quite nice to be direct on the boat. It does not mean that you cannot do it with a woman as well but maybe it is just because I was not sailing the Olympics with a woman, just youth classes.
On the other hand, it is easier to talk with a girl about … everything! If you have any problems, it is nice to have a girl to talk with.
What are your expectations of the event?
I hope there will be a lot of sun haha. No, I hope there will be a lot of wind, fun and good racing during the Regatta.
What are your goals for the next years in the 49erFX class?
I think for everyone the goal is to qualify for the games in Tokyo. This is for sure the biggest step since we are starting in the 49erFX. Every training we make progression and I hope you will see it in Medemblik! See you in May!
We wish Tanja Frank all the best of luck with her preparations! See you in Medemblik.