OLYMPIC-BOUND sailor Andrew Lewis recently concluded his first top-flight international regatta – the European Continental qualifier in Portugal – in over 15 months.
The two-time Olympian is gearing up for his third stint at the Summer Games and is intent on putting in as much time as possible on the water ahead of the July 23-August 8 meet.
At the tourney, Lewis finished 32nd out of 140 of the globe’s top sailors. The 32-year old was pleased with his final result but said competition was intense, since this meet served as the final Olympic qualifier for European countries.
Owing to the pandemic, Lewis was unable to compete on the big stage over the past year. But he plans to use the remaining weeks ahead of the games.
“The past event, for me, was to go there (Portugal) and race against the best in the world excluding Australia and New Zealand.
“It’s super-important for me to simulate the Olympic Games as much as possible in my sport. Having the ability to be there racing with them helped me a lot in my prep.
“It was a big regatta with a lot of boats and a lot of people in their peak form ahead of the Tokyo Games.
“As the days went by I felt like I got more comfortable with the big fleets. My results started to go up and I started to familiarise myself,” he said.
This was the sailor's first major race since January 2020.
Lewis now heads to the Canary Islands to resume training. His next pre-Olympic tourney sails off in three weeks, in Portugal once more.
In November 2020, Lewis left TT and returned to his base in Tenerife, Spain to train.
Since his return to Europe, Lewis has directed all focus towards peaking at the right time for Tokyo.
He wants to be the best version of himself for his first race come July 25.
Training, he said, has been "going really good and it’s extremely competitive with my sparring partners. Everybody’s pushing really hard. There is little room for error.
“It’s pushing me to the point where I have to focus super-hard to streamline every technique, my fitness and everything that is going to allow me to be the best version of myself.
“I pour my heart out in what I do. I train to leave it all out on the line when I go out there. And that’s what really excites me. I am at a really good stage of my preparations right now,” he added.