by Ajay Rau
London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition opens in thirteen days at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. Sailing medal contender Krystal Weir is training hard in Weymouth UK with fellow Australian Laser sailor James Burman.
James Burman and Krystal Weir at 2005 laser radial world championship - Brazil
It’s becoming more common for women to choose top male sailors as their training partners. Weir has chosen a world class sailor and close friend to help her prepare for battle when Weymouth hosts the Olympic sailing competition later this month. James was runner-up in the 2011 Laser Radial Men’s World Championship.
Krystal’s current form suggests that she is among the favourites to win a medal; she’s currently ranked 14th by ISAF but she claimed her first World Cup win in Holland earlier this year, having also finished on the podium in the Melbourne round.
According to James 'Krystal has all the skills and experience required to win a medal. Being part of her final preparations for the Olympics has been an exciting challenge for me – Aussies are used to punching above our weight on the world stage, but we have to support each other. I’ve been competing internationally in the Laser for ten years, and coaching for five.
'As a training partner, though, you have to push the boundaries physically and mentally, on and off the water. We make a good team and Krystal is prepared for whatever wind and wave conditions she faces in a few weeks’ time'
'We’re all hoping Krystal brings gold home to Australia', said James. They will continue training together until the Games begin.