Allan wraps up her first Olympic Games


Florence Allan sails in one of her last Laser regattas at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

“I think this is probably one of the last regattas that I will do. It was kind of weird to come off the water thinking that was the last time I will sail that boat.”

One of the lightest in the Women’s Laser Radial, Allan says it is unlikely that her weight will increase as much as she needs it to in order to continue in Laser. She says her only way forward is to move to another sailing event, Nacra 17 Mixed Race.

_DSC0694“Nacra has two hulls instead of one and it’s has three sails. To be able to combine weight with someone else you don’t have to be as heavy and then the boy can bump it up a little.”

Nacra 17 is a performance catamaran used for racing. It is the first time there has a mixed discipline on the Olympic sailing program.

Finishing 33rd in race 9 and 36th in race 10, Allan is ranked 36 overall and will not sail in the medaling race on Monday 15 August, reserved for the top 10 competitors.

“It’s kind of a relief in a way that it is over because of all the stresses of racing and to take a break, because I am pretty tired. At the same time, I don’t want it to end. The atmosphere is really cool and just being able to race [at the Olympics] it’s just really, really great.”

After an emotional and devastating finish on August 11, Allan had difficulty completing the open ocean course in the allotted time and received a DNF (did not finish) in races 5 and 6. At only 125 pounds, Allan struggles with winds above 7 knots, which was most race days.

“Honestly, I felt a bit broken mentally after that day and I still felt that yesterday, while I found it really hard to adjust mentally. I was just broken inside. But today I just had to take a step back, put everything into perspective and realize how great the opportunity has been and not to spoil it with being bummed down after that day. I just went out and had fun.”

Florence Allan made her Olympic debut on 8 Aug.

Florence Allan made her Olympic debut on 8 Aug.

Completing all five days of the regatta, Allan’s total points were 346 finishing 16 points ahead of Algeria’s Imene Ouneyssa Cherif Sahraoui and just six points behind Teau McKenzie of the Cook Islands.

“It’s been hard obviously. It’s a really tough regatta and it was hard mentally to keep it together because of the breeze. It wasn’t what I was expecting to come in here at all, but even with that said I have never enjoyed racing like this, so it was really cool to be out there.”

Sailing alongside 37 of the best athletes in the world, and although not finishing in the top 10 Allan said she got more than she bargained for coming to the Olympics Games.

“On the second day, I was able to climb up to 20th at one point, I think. It was just really amazing to realize that if you work hard enough then you can be amongst the people that you have idolized for a really long time. Just to be in a race among really, really good people and to pass people like that was really, really special.”

As one of the youngest competitors in her fleet, 18-year-old Allan says the Olympic Games hasn’t seen the last of her and she is now hoping to add two time Olympian to her name.

But first she has something else on her list. “I really want to go eat a big cheeseburger at McDonalds and some ice cream!” Allan, we think you deserve it.

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