Team GB’s sailing manager claims Sail for Gold is good Olympic preparation


Team GB’s sailing manager admits the Skandia Sail for Gold is a tough challenge for his competitors at Weymouth.


By Paul Smith, Sportsbeat

TEAM GB’s sailing manager Stephen Park believes only the best sailors will overcome the variable conditions at the 2012 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, and show their Olympic quality.

With just 51 days until the London 2012 opening ceremony, the world’s finest sailors are battling it out in Weymouth, the Olympic venue.

Park is hopeful of British success – both this week and in two months’ time – with the likes of three-time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie in the finn class, and Beijing champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson in the star both in good shape, among others.

But after a frustrating first day of the regatta due to poor winds, followed by a difficult day two with heavy rain, Park is expecting a tough challenge for his team.

“This Sail for Gold regatta is a real opportunity for all of the teams to have one final practice run before the Games itself,” he said.

“All of the sailors will be really keen to try and set down a bit of a marker in terms of where they expect to be, and measure their own performance.

“That said, the results aren’t everything here. Most teams will be trying all the processes they will be expecting to run for the Games such as where they stay, what their transport is, the support staff they have in place, the number of coaches, the times they have their meetings, all that sort of thing which changes the way sailors operate from most normal regattas.

“At the end of the event, win or lose, they still have a few more days to prepare for the games but it’s the last big one, before the big one.

“One of the challenges for this event, and indeed for the Games itself, is you do need to be an all-round sailor that’s capable of delivering when it is light and sunny, or when it is wet and windy.

“It’s making it a good tough challenge for all of the competitors.”

Investment specialist Skandia is the principal sponsor of the British sailing team. For more information go

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