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London Olympic Games - Peter Bromby withdraws from 2012 qualifiers

by Colin Thompson on 16 Nov 2011
Peter Bromby and Lee White in action The Royal Gazette - copyright http://www.royalgazette.com
Peter Bromby, the second highest placing Olympian in Bermuda’s history, has pulled the plug on his 2012 London Olympic Games qualifying campaign.

The veteran sailor has decided not to pursue a fifth Olympic appearance any further, citing the conditions at the 2012 Olympic sailing venue in Weymouth, England among the primary reasons behind his decision.

Bromby had been bidding to qualify for the upcoming Olympics with long-time crew Lee White.

'I think most sportsmen know when it’s time. We took a two-year layoff and went down to Miami this time last year to see where we stood and felt coming out of there that we were competitive,' Bromby said.

'But then the conditions there were fair, we never saw more than 18 knots at that time. We are competitive and can win regattas sailing in conditions under 18 knots. But the problem is when we went to the Olympic venue this summer we spent 20 days over there racing and while we were there it never blew less than 20 knots, which physically is very taxing and for us at 103 years combined we found that the younger guys could just outsail us in those conditions.

'On the physical side of it our age was showing and for us that was our last acid test before we started taking our sponsors’ money and taking assistance from the Bermuda Olympic Association (BOA), which is on a very limited budget. We didn’t think that it was fair to take that money from our sponsors and the Bermuda Olympic Association if we didn’t feel in our hearts that we could compete and give them what they deserved.'

White could not be reached for comment.

Bromby made his first Olympic appearance with Sandys Boat Club stablemate Paul Fisher in Barcelona, Spain in 1992 before going onto represent Bermuda at the 1996 (Atlanta), 2000, (Australia) and 2004 (Greece) Olympics sailing with White.

His finest moment sailing at this level arrived at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia where he and White narrowly missed out on a bronze medal after finishing fourth overall.

As well as bringing the curtains down on his 2012 Olympic qualifying campaign Bromby has also retired from competing in the Star on the Olympic Class circuit.

He laments not having fulfilled his ambition of capturing an Olympic medal but takes great satisfaction and pride in knowing that he was always a reckoning force on the racecourse.

'We are disappointed that we never got the medal, but at the same time we know that in our hearts we beat all of our competitors that won medals along the way in regattas,' he said.

'There are none of them that we didn’t strike the competitive fear in. They knew we were in every regatta that we went to, and if you’re a competitor then that’s how you have to feel. If you know me, then you know I’m not just one to make up the numbers. When the gun goes off I have to feel that I have a shot at winning.'

Bromby thanked sponsors ACE, ValisdusRe, Arch Capital, Bermuda Paint Company, Shell Bermuda who have supported him in his sailing endeavours throughout the years.

'Over the time we have been very fortunate enough to get many sponsors and we could not have done it without the help of many of them,' he said.
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