Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - Tough

Olympic Sailing – Can Australia repeat London 2012 sailing success?

by Rob Kothe, Sail-World.com on 7 Apr 2014
2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca - BURTON (AUS, Laser Standard) © Pedro Martinez/MartinezStudio/Sofia http://www.trofeoprincesasofia.org/
Australia won three Gold medals and a Silver at London 2012, making it the most successful sailing nation at that Olympics.

There are some good signs as the clock ticks down to 2016, not the least was Tom Burtons win in the Laser Class in Palma with a 1,2,3 Laser medal race win by Australia.

At the ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca, Sail-World talked to Peter Conde - Australia’s High Performance Director about the Road to Rio 2016

‘After not winning a single sailing medal in Athens 2004 Yachting Australia under Andrew Plympton’s leadership decided to take a really fresh look the strategy for the performance arm of the sport, and that’s when I first got involved back in 2005, and with a lot of input from Victor Kovalenko and others we developed the plan including the development of the Australian Sailing Team concept and essentially the way it is run now.

‘At London 2012, we all expected the number of Olympic Gold medals pretty much and we certainly didn’t expect such a big percentage of the overall Australian medal tally.

‘It was pretty obvious sailing could do well if you were really looking. We won four Gold medals at the World Cup on the Olympic venue in just a few months prior. But it caught the mainstream media by surprise. So there was little mainstream media pressure because up into probably the end of the first week of the Olympic Games they hadn’t figured it out.

‘So looking ahead to Rio the Australian mainstream media will focus more on the Australian team.

‘And that’s good for our sport and we just have to be able manage that.

‘Going forward we have to manage expectations, manage our own processes and exposure to that sort of pressure and our ability to handle that sort of pressure.

‘We had probably our largest ever ISAF World Sailing Cup squad in Mallorca this week. The Palma regatta itself has got a lot bigger. Over the years the normal focus has been around Hyeres and onwards but certainly people have made the effort to get here earlier for Palma this time.

‘We have got a broad enough squad but post Santander we will have to trim down, as we don’t have the funds ongoing to be able to support such a broad fleet.

‘But having a big squad here gives the developing sailors opportunities. While sailing in Australia and the USA can be a good start for sailors, their European campaign is a whole new ball game, much deeper fleet and so on.

‘We will have our ups and downs on the Road to Rio of course but we have probably got 50% plus more events where we have got realistic medal prospects and where we have that we have got to have some depth in the squad to be able to realise the potential.

‘That’s really were the challenge comes from and it’s our role to help the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the Sports Commission understand that there are a lot of potential medals sitting here and we need to have the support that allows us to in turn support those extra numbers of medal prospects.

‘We haven’t actually have had backup after a big success (London 2012) to quite the extent to what we have to this time round. That’s a new set of challenges for the team and we totally recognise that and we are going into an environment which is probably lighter conditions and that presents its own challenge.

‘Lots of challenges but we do pride ourselves in recognising what they are and taking them on and managing them very effectively.’

NaiadColligo Marine 660x82Zhik Dinghy 660x82

Related Articles

First in at the end of Road to Rio series – AST Paralympic medallists
Behind every Olympic/Paralympic medal is an amazing adventure this is first in a series of videos with AST medallists Behind every Olympic and Paralympic medal is an amazing adventure and journey, this is the first in a series of videos looking at the #RoadToRio with the Australian Sailing Team medallists, celebrating their homecoming and looking back on their journey.
Posted today at 5:46 am
Park’s pride at “end of an era” for Rio Paralympic Sailing
Two bronze medals for Helena Lucas in the 2.4mR one person keelboat and Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell in the SKUD18 Two bronze medals for Helena Lucas in the 2.4mR one person keelboat and Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell in the SKUD18 two-person keelboat in the final races of the regatta on Saturday meant Britain’s sailors finished on the podium twice for the second Paralympics running and achieved their pre-Rio medal target.
Posted on 19 Sep
Britain’s Sonar trio proved to be true to their word at Rio Paralympic
The Brits had gone into the race knowing that a medal was out of their reach but vowing to put on a display of their bes The Brits had gone into the race knowing that a medal was out of their reach but vowing to put on a display of their best form after enduring a rollercoaster regatta.
Posted on 18 Sep
Rio 2016 - America's Cup champion says Paralympics need to think big
The first email of congratulations we got was from Russell Coutts and the second was from Dean Barker America's Cup skippers, Russell Coutts and Dean Barker were amongst the first to congratulate Rick Dodson and his Sonar crew on their fourth place in the Paralympics which concluded on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro. 'The first email of congratulations we got was from Russell Coutts and the second was from Dean Barker,' team manager Celia Snedden told Sail-World from Rio de Janeiro.
Posted on 18 Sep
Sonar Silver for Doerr, Kendell and Freund at Paralympic Games
With a victory in the final race of the event, U.S. Paralympic Team sailors Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell With a victory in the final race of the event, U.S. Paralympic Team sailors Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine) have won silver medals in the Sonar class, the three-person Paralympic keelboat.
Posted on 18 Sep
Rio 2016 - Bronze medal decided by tiebreaker in Sonar
With the Sonar Gold medal already won the previous day it was down to the battle for silver and bronze With the Sonar Gold medal already won the previous day by the Australian team of Colin Harrison, Russell Boaden and Jonathan Harris with a race to spare, it was down to the battle for silver and bronze in the three man keelboat. After penultimate race, mathematically there were still quite a few teams left in the fight, but USA and Canada, sitting in second and third respectively, had the advan
Posted on 18 Sep
Rio 2016 - Victory lap for first ever double Gold Paralympic winners
Sailing in the SKUD18 fleet were the only sailors in history to defend a Paralympic title. Sailing in the SKUD18 fleet were the only sailors in history to defend a Paralympic title. That honour was bestowed on Australia's Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch with two races to spare in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Sailing Competition. Sailing on day five was just a victory lap. A victory lap they still finished second place in.
Posted on 18 Sep
Rio 2016 - France's Seguin claims Norlin OD Paralympic Gold
The Rio 2016 Paralympics came to a spectacular close with the medals decided in front of a sell-out crowd In a finale fitting on the setting, the Rio 2016 Paralympic Sailing Competition came to a spectacular close with the medals decided in front of a sell-out crowd lining the shores of Flamengo Beach. Racing on the Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) race course, onlookers were treated to a thrilling climax in which some medals were settled by just seconds.
Posted on 17 Sep
Rio 2016 - Kiwi Sonar crew going all out in the big breeze for final
The New Zealand Sonar keelboat crew of Rick Dodson, Andrew May and Chris Sharp have it all before them in the final race The New Zealand Sonar keelboat crew of Rick Dodson, Andrew May and Chris Sharp have it all before them in the final race of the Paralympics in Guanbara Bay, tomorrow. They are one of a group of five boats who are contesting the remaining two medals after the Australian crew won the Gold medal in a topsy-turvy day in Rio de Janeiro.
Posted on 17 Sep
Rio 2016 - Images from Day 5 of the Paralympics - SKUD18 class
Richard Langdon was on the waters of Guanabara Bay for Day 5 of racing in the two person SKUD 18 keelboat class Richard Langdon was on the waters of Guanabara Bay for Day 5 of racing in the two person SKUD 18 keelboat class and provided this gallery of images. The event is was one on the penultimate day by the Australian crew giving their second Gold Medal from three classes at the regatta.
Posted on 17 Sep