Sportsmen and women have their superstitions. From the absolute pinnacle of each sporting discipline to the weekend warriors, everyone has their own rituals which they believe directly influences their performance.
Rituals and superstitions are there as comfort blankets, a sense of familiarity in what can otherwise be a hotbed of stress and anguish in hostile sporting environments where the result is always unknown.
Sailors, for example:
- Won’t win the practice race;
- Won’t have a haircut midway through a regatta;
- Will place their left leg into a wet suit first;
- Won’t eat bananas on a boat;
- Won’t allow the colour green on their boat;
- And Brazil’s Bruno Prada never used to shave until after a regatta.
Belgian Olympic bronze medallist Evi Van Acker is no different and has her own sporting superstition… She will always wear the same King Duck socks!
“I always wear the same socks when I’m racing,” explained Van Acker. “They are really cool. You know, once you wear these socks and you have good results then you need to keep wearing these socks.”
Van Acker has certainly enjoyed great success in 2016 wearing her lucky socks with wins at Sailing World Cup Miami and Hyeres but she’s not got carried away, milking their luck, “When I go to the gym after sailing, I put on different socks limiting the hours of the socks at the sailing venue.”
The Belgian racer has been at the forefront of Laser Radial sailing in recent years and she will head into the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as a firm favourite, with or without the King Duck socks.
– Daniel Smith/World Sailing