by Craig Heydon
The 2012 London Olympic Games will be where Australian Laser Radial sailor Krystal Weir will line up for her very first solo bid, but this 27 year old is certainly not a newcomer to the biggest show on earth.
Krystal Weir after winning in Holland
Weir campaigned for Australia’s Laser Radial spot at Beijing 2008, eventually missing out, but had her Olympic dream realised when she stepped in as a late injury replacement in the three-person Yngling class.
The Australians finished 10th in Beijing, fast forward four years and Weir is back to do it all again, this time in the class she won the 2004 World Championship in.
'Beijing was a great opportunity for me,' said Weir. 'I was a young kid coming through and got the opportunity to jump on the back of the Yngling which was a good experience and a good preparation for these Olympics.'
A part of that preparation was learning how to deal with the pressures that come with competing in the biggest regatta in the world.
'I don’t get wrapped up in the circus anymore,' said Weir. 'When you go to your first Olympics it’s all about just competing, this time around I’m trying to absorb it all and take it all in. In your first one I think it can be a little overwhelming and a bit too much and you start blocking everything, the second time around it’s a lot more relaxed.'
Weir took the opportunity to head up to London for the Opening Ceremony on Friday night, marching alongside five other Australian sailors.
'That was the most amazing thing I’ve done in my sailing career so far,' she said. 'I didn’t get the opportunity in Beijing which was a bit disappointing, but wow it was great to walk into that stadium. The stadium lifts off when the athletes walk in, it’s a pretty amazing experience and refocuses you on what the goal really is.'
The Laser Radial class will contest two races on Monday with the fleet warming up with a practice race on Sunday.
'We got to do our practice race today which allowed us to see things like what marks we’re going around and how big the start boat is, it was a good little hit out,' said Weir. 'It was good to stretch the legs finally after a week of no wind, it looks like the regatta is going to be windy so it was nice to actually stretch them out and get them going.'
Weir said she’s treating London 2012 like any other regatta.
'Just because it’s the Olympics I won’t be doing anything special, just the same process that we’ve done for the whole season,' she said.
The Laser Radial fleet will contest 10 races between July 30 and August 4, with the top 10 boats taking part in the medal race on August 6.
Australian Sailing Team website