In February 2017, Ryan Seaton packed his bags and moved to Aarhus together with his girlfriend Jena Mai Hansen. They are both professional 49’er sailors and both saw a lot of potential in moving to Aarhus and experience the positive energy surrounding the sailing environment in Aarhus right now with the Sailing World Championships and a brand-new Sailing Center coming to the city in 2018.
The Championships are an important step towards qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, so to be familiar with the waters and the city before the Championships in August 2018 is very advantageous and is one of the main reason the choice fell on Aarhus when deciding on a place to live:
“I’m very excited about racing in Aarhus and to perform well. By knowing the surroundings, it makes me more comfortable when you know the city and its facilities before a race. And the sailing facilities are great in Aarhus” Ryan says while he emphasizes how exciting the event is for the city and how the event will give a lasting legacy to the city and the Danish sailors.
To live a busy and comfortable life in Aarhus
Ryan is Irish, born and raised in Belfast. Being an island, Ireland has a long tradition of sailing and for Ryan it means that he has been sailing since the age of six. He has always been very familiar with boats because of the many summer holidays spent on his family’s boat since he was very little. In 1999 at the age of 10 he participated in his first Championship in South Africa. Ever since, travelling around the world has been a lifestyle. For example, he travelled approximately 200 days a year training for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
By living in Aarhus, Ryan has found a way to take advantage of his time home:
“Your time home is more efficient, living in Aarhus. When I’m home I don’t need to spent a lot of time on transport to go sailing. Before, I’ve easily spent two hours on transport. Today it only takes a few minutes to reach the harbor and that means a lot for the time I have at home, when the world is my workplace.” Ryan says.
Besides, Ryan enjoys the open culture in Denmark, where the mentality is sharing so you can benefit from each other in joint training sessions even though you are competitors on the racing course.
Training for the Championships and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo
Ryan recently teamed up with the other Irish sailor Seafra Guilfoyle, who’s an ISAF youth silver medallist in the Laser Radial from 2014, and they just announced their “Going for Gold Tokyo 2020” campaign.
Ryan is a double Olympian (London and Rio) while Tokyo 2020 will be Seafra’s first if they qualify. They have been predicted good chances of qualifying and the aim is to win Irelands first Olympic Gold Medal in sailing.
Unfortunately, we won’t be able to see them competing at the Aarhus Sailing Week in August 2017, but Ryan says he will be checking out the competition from the sidelines. Luckily, he mentions, Seafra and himself have easy access to the bay of Aarhus any time in contrast to many of the other sailors participating in the Aarhus Sailing Week, which is the test event before 2018 Sailing World Championships.