New Zealand cyclists vision impaired Emma Foy and sighted pilot Laura Fairweather are preparing for a race this weekend in Invercargill, where the tandem cyclists hope to get points that will assist them in their qualifying campaign for the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio.
The partnership is relatively recent, as Fairweather served as the pilot for Phillipa Gray at the 2012 Summer Paralympics where the tandem pair picked up a gold, silver and bronze medal. Gray changed pilots and now rides with Kylie Young, and the pair will be competing against Foy and Fairweather this weekend. The duo enters the qualification chase in good form, coming off a bronze medal finish in the 250 meter sprint and a fourth place in the 1000 meter time trial at this year’s world championships in Aguascalientes.
Foy lives in Cambridge on the North Island while Fairweather lives in The Catlins region in the southern part of New Zealand’s South Island, where she runs a cafe with her husband. The 1,400 kilometer (870 mile) distance between the two means they do not get together to practice their tandem cycling, normally only meeting once a month.