by Matt Carter
Up and coming 470 sailors Mike Wood and Hugh Brayshaw have received an additional boost to their blossoming campaign after being awarded the coveted Marlow Ropes Award.
Skandia Team GBR logo
The Marlow Ropes Award was introduced in 2002 with the aim of rewarding Britain’s most promising young sailors for their determination, focus and talent.
The 470 sailors are current members of the Skandia Team GBR Transitional Squad giving them access to an array of world class training resources used by Britain’s medal winning sailors – a real stepping stone to succeeding at the highest level.
'It is fantastic to have received the Marlow Ropes Award,' said Wood. 'The 470 uses up a lot of rope and it is great to be able to select the best rope choices for each application now. It is also really nice to be recognised for this award when there are so many other good sailors currently in the Skandia Team GBR Development and Transitional Squads.'
'We have had a really good end to the year in the 470. Despite not being fully involved with the programme until relatively recently, in August we won silver at the Junior Europeans. The last GBR 470 team to win a Junior medal was Luke Patience so that was a good result for us.
'In the September and October RYA National Ranking Series, we won both weekends beating two time Olympic medallist Nick Rogers. These results alongside our long term plan going forward in the 470 probably helped us in being granted the Marlow award.'
The award entitles the 470 duo to free Marlow rope for a year; a financial boost which Wood believes to be hugely beneficial when running a 470 campaign.
'In simple terms, just having rope supplied for the 470 will save us a lot of money which we can now invest elsewhere. It will allow us to fully optimise our boat, making sure that all of the systems have the perfect rope for the specific application.
'The support of Marlow will also be really useful to tap into their technical knowledge – they will be able to advise better choices of rope which in turn will hopefully enhance our performance,' explained Wood.
'This is our second year in the 470 so after getting to grips with the boat and improving speed the next changes to be made are with our equipment. The award will also mean that will be able to sail at events with the knowledge that our rope equipment isn’t going to let us down and might even give us the edge on other boats.'
The young 470 sailors are now part of an intensive training regime with fellow Skandia Team GBR squad sailors throughout the winter months. Having had their potential recognised with the Marlow Ropes accolade the duo are now looking ahead to an exciting season.
Wood continued: 'For this winter we are really focusing on getting top speed from the 470 through training both on our own and in the Skandia Team GBR squad camps. Before the 2013 season starts we are planning another process and training event at Palma to get a good reference to where we are in the international 470 fleet.
'Summer 2013 is packed full of events and most are close to home. After our silver medal at the Junior Europeans we are aiming for another top result, but this time at the Junior World Championships in La Rochelle, France.'
Barrie Edgington, Skandia Team GBR Development Squad Manager, added: 'Mike and Hugh have really stepped up this summer. Their achievements, combined with a desire to ensure their equipment is fully prepared for best performance, means this award is well timed. I know they will make the most of the technical edge that the Marlow Ropes will provide them with and I am sure we will continue to see this team going from strength to strength.'
As well as supporting up-and-coming sailors, Marlow Ropes are also the official supplier and exclusive team ropes partner to Skandia Team GBR thanks to its industry-renowned reputation for producing products tried, tested and trusted in the world’s harshest environments.
For all the latest news on Skandia Team GBR’s sailors in action around the world visit the Skandia Team GBR website.