The Race To Rio - Taking Down Dempsey? - Boards Windsurfing

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The Race To Rio – Taking Down Dempsey?

Whilst the other Brits are racing away at the RS:X Europeans, Ell Carney has a different plan, a plan that he hopes will see him overtaking Dempsey and heading to Rio 2016. 

Boards catches up with Ell to find out why he isn’t at the Europeans, why and how he has changed his plans and if he really thinks he can beat Dempsey. 

Elliot Carney

Name: Elliot Carney

Date Of Birth: 24/04/1989

From: Great Britain

Years Windsurfing: 6 years Full time. Windsurfing for ever.

Favourite Discipline: Windsurf Racing

Local Spot: Wherever we are training. But HSSC Hythe and Saltwood Sailing Club is still home for me.

Occupation: Athlete


Elliot Carney

How did you get into windsurfing?

It’s a bit of a family tradition with Marc Carney being a huge influence, as well as Graeme Fuller. Words from the OLD MAN – “WINDSURFING ISN’T JUST A SKILL, IT’S A LIFE SKILL” and he’s right!

What do your friends think of windsurfing?

Most of my friends are windsurfers and they all love it as much I as I do. There are a fair few that aren’t, and they’re not that interested in windsurfing at all, which is great though as switching off and not talking about it is good for me sometimes.

What is your experience of competitions so far? And your future aims for competition?

Being on the World tour and going major events has provided me with a great racing experience, which you can never have enough of and that is why racing is so great to me. The next Olympic cycle will consist of completing the same sort of regattas, but picking and choosing carefully which ones are our main focus and peaking at the right times during the year, leading up to Rio 2016

How are you training for 2016?

My training for 2016 has changed quite a bit compared to 2012. For 2012 I was training with Nick Dempsey and coach (Bazza) Barrie Edgtington, it was amazing and I can’t thank them enough for all their time and effort over those last few years and for getting me to where I am today. I am very grateful for the support from the whole of the British Sailing team.

But for me to have a real shot at getting the Olympics in Rio 2016, I knew that I need to try something different and move away from being so close to Nick.

So, I am now part of a training group consisting of Dorian Van Rijsselberghe the current gold medalist from the London Olympics, Zachary Plavsic from Canada who finished 8th at the Games and Marco Baglione from Italy who is pushing through the ranks.

With the guidance of Aaron Macintosh, (the coach that lead Dorian to victory) our programmes are set, and we all race and train together. It’s been amazing so far and I would like to think that my results from this year have shown that.

We have Called ourselves DEMZ BOYZ the first letter of each of are names make up DEMZ…

How close is it now between you and Nick for a place?

I think that Sail For Gold was a great indictor of how close it’s going to be. For me it was great to show how things are going and how hard it’s going to be over the next few years, but that’s all the fun. And Nick knows it now!

Do you think you can make it to this Olympics?

Yes, it’s not going to be an easy road but I know I can be one of the best and beating Nick will prove that. If I can do that it will leave me in a great positions for the games as he is, in my eyes, one of the best sailors in the world and of course he proved this by winning the world championships this year I’ve just got to beat him first.

Elliot Carney

Have you always been into racing, if not when did you move across into this niche?

I’ve always been a racer, I wasn’t really that interested in the younger days of my youth and got away with doing the bear minimum. I just liked to keep it fun, free and not take it to seriously; not like the kids these days!

I don’t think I would be racing if I had to do half of what they do now, but that’s just me. As soon as I realised there was an opportunity to get something out of it a bit of focus was involved and some great guidance put me in the right direction. Luckily for me I have never really looked back.

What is your most memorable moment in windsurfing?

There have been so many moments over the last 6 years, it’s pretty hard to narrow it down to one thing. I just love what I do and wouldn’t change a thing right now. I love racing at the front of the fleet with great mates!

As competitive as we all are, nothing beats sailing with your friends.

What’s next in store for you on and off the water?

We will be heading out to Brazil in August for the first event in RIO, which is going to be great. Hopefully all of the riots have stopped by then but looking forward to getting out there for the first time and checking it all out. Exciting times.

Exciting times indeed. It’s fantastic to think that the UK has a whole host of talent ready to take on the Olympics and we look forward to seeing the battle between Ell and Nick unfold as the road to 2016 continues. Both are incredible windsurfers, but will youth win out over experience?

We will just have to wait and see…

Did you follow London 2012? Are you looking forward to 2016? Or is racing really not your thing? And who do you think will represent the UK in Rio? 

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