Bernardo Freitas is a professional Portuguese sailor who has competed in some of the biggest international sailing events including representing his country at the Olympic Games.

Bernardo Freitas started sailing at the age of eight and went on to become a national champion in the classes of Optimist, 420 and SB20, while also reaching the World Top 25 in the 49er class. Since an early age, the young athlete has had two dreams: taking part in the Volvo Ocean Race and in the Olympic Games.

In 2012, he represented Portugal in the London Olympics, where he reached an honorable 8th place and earned an Olympic Diploma, and in 2017-18 he took part in the Volvo Ocean Race as part of the Mirpuri Foundation founded team Turn The Tide on Plastic, for which he was honoured by The President of Portugal.

The Portuguese sailor has also taken part in some of the most important global competitions such as the World Match Racing Tour, the Extreme Sailing Series and the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, winning a Bronze medal in the latter which was a historic event for Portugal.

About

Nationality

Portuguese

Date of birth

18 February 1990

Languages

Portuguese, English, Spanish.

Sailing career highlights

1st Dragon EuroCup final (2019)
2nd ORC Worlds (2018)
1st Dragon Gold Cup (2016)
2nd 6 meter World Championship (2015)
3rd Match Racing European Championship (2014)
3rd Red Bull Youth Americas Cup (2013)

Volvo Ocean Race 2017/18 - Sailor in Turn The Tide on Plastic team
London Olympic Games 2012 - Representing Portugal in the 49er class





Yoann on Bernardo

Bernardo has a high level of experience in many forms of competitive sailing. He is a very fine sail trimmer and really knows how to make a boat go fast. He is also really knowledgeable on race tactics, so is a great person to have in the back of the boat with me.

Q&A

What was your first sailing memory?

When I was about four or five years old, I first started to sail with my stepfather. I was hooked from a very early age.

Who inspires you?

I am inspired by athletes at the very top of their profession, in particular Cristiano Ronaldo and Valentino Rossi.

What is your favourite quote?

“I can’t or it’s impossible don’t exist in the dictionary”. This is always good to keep in mind when times are tough in a race and you need to find extra strength and motivation.

What was your childhood sailing dream?

I grew up with two dreams. I always wanted to represent my country in the Olympic Games and I wanted to race in The Volvo Ocean Race. I am so proud to have achieved both of these - racing in the Olympics in 2012 and in the Volvo Ocean Race as part of the Mirpuri Foundation Turn the Tide on Plastic team in 2017/18.

What items do you always take with you when you go sailing?

Every sailor should have a knife with them when they go sailing. I never go out on the boat without mine. You never know when you will need it.

What is your favourite food?

My favourite food is "Bacalhau à Bras". It is one of the most famous Portuguese recipes: a traditional dish made with salt cod, potatoes and eggs. It cannot be beaten!

What hobbies do you have when not sailing?

I like to keep active, so when I’m not sailing I am usually surfing, mountain biking, playing golf and even doing motocross. I love all kinds of sports.

Give us an example of a sustainable attitude to life - what do you do for a better world?

Simple sustainable habits can make a big difference. For example, I always carry a reusable water bottle, avoiding single-use plastic.

What advice would you give to young sailors to protect the planet?

It is not enough to talk about protecting the planet. You have to fight for our planet and work to inspire real change.

Next race: The Ocean Race Europe

We are all really looking forward to The Ocean Race Europe. It will be an exciting challenge with a fantastic crew. My mantra is simple - go for it!