by Craig Heydon
Australian Women’s Match Racing Team members Nicky Souter, Katie Spithill and Jessica Eastwell have made the difficult decision to cease their Olympic campaign.
Nicky Souter, Jessica Eastwell and Katie Spithill match racing - Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships
Official statement from the team:
After a number of years working towards the London 2012 Olympic Games our team has made the decision to cease our campaign.
Individually we have worked very hard toward our collective goal of winning the first Olympic Gold Medal in Women’s Match Racing, doing our best to perform with whom and where dictated by the Australian Sailing Team, with a history of strong national and world class Match Racing Results.
Since the three of us only came together as a crew for the first time just three months before the Perth 2011 ISAF World Championships last December, we were immensely proud of our fifth placing from 29 teams, where we qualified Australia for a place in the Women’s Match Racing event at the London 2012 Olympic Games. We also qualified as full members of the Australian Sailing Team.
Despite this encouraging result we do not believe the new combination can develop its obvious potential sufficiently in the short time remaining, and therefore it is with considerable personal disappointment that we have decided it is fairer to everyone to conclude our campaign at this point.
This has been a very difficult decision to make. All three of us would like to thank our supporters for their ongoing assistance over the past few years, including our families, friends, coaches, Australian Sailing Team management, support staff and fellow athletes, and would like to wish our fellow sailors the best of luck for their continued preparation for the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games.