sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Stephen Park reflects on a home Olympics and Rio 2016 cycle challenges
Stephen Park reflects on a home Olympics and Rio 2016 cycle challenges


'RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park with the 2012 Olympic sailing medallists (back l to r) Saskia Clark, Hannah Mills, Luke Patience, Stuart Bithell (front l to r) Nick Dempsey, Ben Ainslie, the late Andrew ’Bart’ Simpson and Iain Percy

The Olympic games 29th July- 11th August 2012 at Weymouth, Dorset.'    Richard Langdon ©    Click Here to view large photo

Throughout the week, as we approach the anniversary of the 2012 Olympic Games on 27 July, we’ve been hearing from members of the 2012 British Sailing Team who reflect on their own Games experiences, how they themselves were inspired by 2012, and on life and sailing since the London Olympic flame went out and the focus switched to Rio 2016.

In our final 2012inspired blog of the series, Stephen Park, the British Sailing Team Manager, reflects on a home Olympics, and looks at the challenges the new Rio 2016 cycle will bring with new boats, new teams and a new venue to get to grips with:

Stephen Park, RYA Olympic Manager - The Olympic games 29th July- 11th August 2012 at Weymouth, Dorset. -  Richard Langdon ©   Click Here to view large photo
The whole London Games I thought was fantastic. The country as a whole did a really good job – both the event, as put on by LOCOG, but also Britain as hosts did a great job and it was a fantastic time for the country. Certainly I very much got the impression that it was a time when everyone was smiling and happy with everything that was going on. It was a time to be proud to be British and we did put on a fantastic Games by any measure.

From the sailing side, it was a cracking regatta. The organisation was generally very good for both the Olympics and the Paralympics, and Weymouth and Portland played fantastic hosts and welcomed people from all around the country as well as international visitors. The spectating facility up on the Nothe was excellent and the best the sport’s ever had in terms of spectating at an Olympic Games before. I’m sure they’ll be keen to see if they can replicate some of that in Rio.

It was great to have been part of the Games, to have been part of an incredibly successful Team GB and for sailing to have played its part in delivering against the targets that we’d set with UK Sport.

It’s going to be incredibly hard for that to be matched going forward, both from an events perspective and from a performance perspective.

Looking back I don’t think that we had a particularly good regatta in terms of luck, with a few injuries and decisions on occasion going against us. But at the end of the day we’ve always known there’s the potential for that at any event, which is why you have to have a lot of medal opportunities in lots of areas. Although the medal count wasn’t as great as it was in China, I still believe that our team was more competitive in London that it was in 2008, but there’s no doubt that Olympic-level sailing internationally is now more competitive than it ever has been.

The Opening Ceremony night with the team being presented to the Weymouth public on the stage and then watching the ceremony on TV with the rest of the sailing team was pretty inspirational in terms of ‘right, here we go’.

The low for me was Percy and Bart not winning the Star regatta – that was probably the most emotional day because I really feel they’d sailed better than everybody else, so not to win that was tough. With Ben winning his gold it was obviously a fantastic, historic moment both for him and the sport, but also quite a bit of a relief after everything he’d gone through to win, and even in the medal race it was looking difficult at times. There, on that same day, you had the two extremes of how it can go for you or against you so easily.

I said before the Games that I hoped our home Olympics would give my daughter memories that would last a lifetime. In terms of sporting highlights from the Games, I actually think she could tell you more about them than I could across the different sports, and quite a few of her mates could as well! There’s no doubt in my mind that it was inspirational for loads of kids around the country and that it’s still something they talk about day in, day out. It’s the pinnacle of achievement to be involved and to strive for success.

There are a lot of Olympic legacy projects around the country that are seeing new people, new youngsters getting involved in new sports and it’s important and beholden on the governing bodies, the clubs, and the country as a whole to make sure we maintain that momentum and that enthusiasm and continue to celebrate success.

Olympic legacy also extends into sustainability, and managing to sustain success in terms of exposure and investment into sports. It would be nice to think that commercially, the business sector saw and experienced what Olympic sport has to offer in terms of a business opportunity. I think that they have seen that, but I think that as it happens right now we haven’t seen the investment levels that we would have hoped to have seen from business into Olympic sport continuing. People are nervous about the economy which makes it harder but ultimately it’s making sure that business gets a good proposition that makes good financial sense for them.

Our job is to try and make sure we’ve got a really good business proposition that merits good, solid investment into Olympic sailing. We’re still a very worthy investment and I’d like to think the Olympics has at least allowed the sport into the business consciousness, and that they realise when managed and activated correctly it can really deliver a good return for business.

There have been quite a few changes in the sport for this Rio 2016 cycle, particularly in terms of the new classes, and there are still changes to come in terms of the format of the racing.

Ben Ainslie, Finn - The Olympic games 29th July- 11th August 2012 at Weymouth, Dorset. -  Richard Langdon ©   Click Here to view large photo

I think that having a new mixed boat in the Nacra 17 and the new women’s 49erFX skiff is great. They will attract more youngsters, they’re more easily accessible, easier transition from the youth events, fast, colourful, exciting and put a premium on athletic performance. Personally I think those things are good for the Olympics so I’m all for them.

Rio itself could be quite a different and difficult regatta depending on what happens with the format, but also with the weather. It’s forecast to be quite a light wind venue with quite a lot of tide so that could make it more interesting and challenging. But if we’ve got people who are sailing the fastest boats who are able to make better decisions than anybody else, and can sail as well on the last day of the regatta as they do on the first then we should be in pretty reasonable shape. Between now and then it’s about getting people into positions where they’ve got the confidence and can believe they can do that, and are doing that on a regular basis on the world circuit events.

In terms of our talent pool, we’re in a similar situation to post-Beijing in 2009 where have about 50% of our team who are returning proven performers and 50% are up-and-coming youngsters either keen to make an impression in a particular class, or knock somebody off their perch who’s maybe been there for a wee while.

We’ve had some pretty reasonable results at this stage of the cycle across the events – the 470 men and women are doing well, the RS:X windsurfers doing well, the Finns are continuing to do well, Ali Young in the Radial continues to be a medal contender and we’ve made good starts in the two new classes. Right now the ‘health’ of the squad is pretty good and certainly the World Championships we’ve got coming up will put a bit more pressure on those sailors to deliver performances at a key event where it really matters.

I think Rio’s going to be an exciting Games. I find when you go there you always feel very alive. Some of the changes in classes and format will be interesting, but it’s going to be important to see how and if we can manage to continue to see more new sailors coming to the fore and delivering those performances, and whether we can get a team of talented sailors to the level that we had in the run-in to 2012, with the confidence that we had in the run-in to 2012, in Rio. I think that we’ve got the sailors in the team to do that, and if we can do that for the fifth successive Olympic Games then that will be pretty impressive.

I feel confident in our medal targets, I’m also confident that the level of competition will be higher than it’s ever been before and it will be harder to win medals that ever before.

I’m looking forward to the next couple of years of getting the team settled into new boats and partnerships and firing on all cylinders, and getting the whole team and support team to Rio and really bringing that alive for everybody as we go towards what will ultimately be a different Games from the London Olympics. But will be an impressive Games which – if we can get some reasonable wind – will provide some impressive TV pictures for the world with an incredible backdrop.

That will be great for promoting our sport around the world and continuing to build sailing as a valid and vital part of the Olympic Games.

www.britishsailingteam.com


by Lindsey Bell

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=112515

2:36 PM Sat 27 Jul 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 14 onboard Team Alvimedica. Our boat smells a bit better this morning and I’m not sure if it’s because the gnarly concoction of freeze-dried brew in the bow has been sacrificed to the sea along with some of Mark, Charlie, and Alberto’s head hair, or if it’s because those three have had a complete bathing following said sacrifice to King Neptune. ... [more]  

A remarkable list of contributors to sailing in the U.S. were presented with US Sailing’s highest honors during Friday night’s Awards Dinner, presented by Rolex, at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center. ... [more]  

Join the crew of the ORMA60 TeamVodafoneSailing as they slash 20 minutes off their previous record for the PIC Coastal Classic on Friday. The Coastal Classic is a 119nm course from Auckland to Russell in the Bay of Islands. Originally conceived as a drag race between multihulls and monohulls ... [more]  

The 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup Quarter Finals were completed Saturday morning and the Semi Finals, Petite Finals and Finals will all be sailed on Sunday. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar and Eric Monnin (SWI) Swiss Match Racing Team came through the quarters with 3-0 scores. Williams, the Alpari World Match Racing Tour leader at 12-0 is undefeated in all his races. ... [more]  

Argo Group Gold Cup - Light air drama in Bermuda by Alpari World Match Racing Tour
A frontal system edging its way towards Bermuda resulted in light winds, a grey sky and racing eventually being canned early, but not before the remaining Quarter Final flights had been completed at the Argo Group Gold Cup, the sixth stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. ... [more]  

Searching for breeze and pressure on the race course was a game of snakes and ladders for young competitors at the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup today. While grappling with the need for patience and consistency – two requirements for sailing well in light air – many sailors were tested during the third day of racing on Bermuda’s Great Sound. ... [more]  

The penultimate day of the La Torche PWA Grand Slam saw stunning sunshine as the mercury hit almost twenty degrees. In the afternoon seven of the world’s best sailors took to the water for a radical tow-in contest, which kept the crowds entertained with the massive aerial antics on display. ... [more]  

The 35th Rolex Middle Sea Race was one to remember. Not only for international fleet that, for the third year in a row, set a record number of entries, but for the array of conditions that the yachts faced. From no wind to too much; from flat calm to turbulent seas; from going nowhere to flying fast and furious: the 606-nm mythical racecourse offered everything. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 14 onboard Team SCA. I’m discovering there are two types of days offshore: the days where not much happens, and the days where so much happens it’s hard to believe that’s just one day! Yesterday was one of those days and I’m unsure where to begin! ... [more]  

Day four at the 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater, Florida, and the sound of the day was that of racers whooping and hollering past the race committee boats (two imposing 44-ft power catamarans provided by event sponsor MarineMax) in a breeze that high-wind specialists had been waiting for all week. ... [more]  

The prize giving ceremony for the Rolex Middle Sea Race was held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, one of Valletta's most historic venues. Honoured guests included: The Minister of Tourism; The Hon Dr. Edward Zammit Lewis. ... [more]  

Dongfeng Race Team is putting in a dominant performance at the China Cup International Regatta, with scores of 1,1,1,2 so far in IRC Division B, with last year’s winner Whiskey Jack in second. The Jeanneau Sunfast 3600 is skippered by the boat’s designer, Frenchman Daniel Andrieu. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Heading for the speedway to Cape Town *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
The Volvo Ocean race fleet are now all around the turning mark of Fernando de Noronha, and have continued down the Brazilian coast. Currently the first three yachts, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Team Brunel and Team Vestas Wind are all travelling at 17kts, as they travel around the St Helena High. ... [more]  

2014 Optimist World Championship - The first stage of the OptiWorlds Argentina 2014 schedule has finished today. The fleet was divided in three equal parts: the first third is gold, the second one is silver and the last fleet is bronze. This individual regatta continues next Tuesday. ... [more]  

2014 - 15 Volvo Ocean Race - Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing won the race to the Equator late on Thursday and were in good shape to make the turning mark of Fernando de Noronha at the head of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet as their six rivals were still playing catch-up despite finally escaping the Doldrums. ... [more]  

After more than 17 years with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Jerome has decided to pursue other professional challenges. ... [more]  

2014 Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - Stamina and determination were key factors for the competitors racing in day two of the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup today. The 14 international guests and 26 young Bermudians finished five races on Bermuda’s Great Sound. This is a test of endurance for any sailor especially young ones. ... [more]  

With less than a day left to reach the turning mark at Fernando de Nonoha, 220nm off the coast of Brazil, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing has retained the lead she built in the Doldrums. She is unlikely to be headed, although the second boat on the water, Team Brunel is projected to be less than an hour behind at Fernando ... [more]  

2014 International Masters Regatta - Anyone heading out to San Diego Bay this weekend is likely to witness some of sailing’s most legendary skippers show exactly why they’ve earned the reputation as the best in the business. Established in 1975 by Don Trask, the International Masters Regatta features the best master sailors from around the world and is being hosted by the San Diego Yacht Club ... [more]  

One flight of the Quarter Finals was sailed Friday afternoon following the completion of the Qualifying Rounds and the selection of opponents and draw for boats. The Quarter Finals set Ian Williams against Marek Stanczyk, Taylor Canfield against Steffan Lindberg, Eric Monnin against Pierre Morvan, and an all Swedish pairing of Bjorn Hansen against Johnie Berntsson. ... [more]  

What could be better than racing for three days with over 2000 of the world's best sailors? How about racing for four days! The St.Maarten Heineken Regatta is proud to announce that their pre-event, the Gill Commodore's Cup, is accepting entries in all boat categories (excluding Lottery Class). ... [more]  

The seventh day of the La Torche PWA Grand Slam saw the light winds continue, despite a promising forecast for today. In the late afternoon a few of the sailors took part in a tow-in training session as there is scope to run a tow-in contest tomorrow, with the forecast looking glassy. ... [more]  

Picture postcard perfect conditions returned to Bermuda for the third and final day of Qualifying at the Argo Group Gold Cup, the sixth stage of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour. After yesterday’s torrential rain, Hamilton Harbour was bathed in glorious sunshine and breeze that by lunchtime was gusting up to the mid-teens. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leaders pass Fernando and head for Cape Town *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Volvo Ocean Race Control reports that the lead boats in the 40,000nm race have rounded, or rather passed, the turning point off Fernando de Noronha. They are now proceeding down the Brazilian coast, to round the back of the South Atlantic high pressure zone , and have what is expected to be a fast ride to the Leg 1 finish in Cape Town. ... [more]  

Melges 32 Gold Cup on the horizon by International Melges 32 Class Association
With a fleet and sailors as diverse as the nightlife on Ocean Avenue, the Melges 32 Gold Cup, hosted by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club kicks off in just two weeks, featuring eighteen ultra-high performance Melges 32 teams from nine different countries. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race - Keeping a good watch by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Peter Dimech, Principal Race Officer and Race Chair spoke about the storm that raged through the Rolex Middle Sea Race fleet. “The remaining yachts racing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race are expected to arrive at the Royal Malta Yacht Club by today and tomorrow. Whilst the wind speed has decreased, the sea state is still significant and we are keeping a close watch on the yachts still at sea. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Onboard Team Alvimedica. I’d hate to come across as being impossible to please but after days of wanting out of the doldrums, days of struggling with routines, with sleep, with a lack of regularity and consistency to our schedules, and of course--predictability to the weather—we’re 'out' and still trying to find it ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 13 onboard Team SCA. I’m unsure if I should be nervous, excited, stressed, or thrilled today. As today I get to have fish guts smeared over me only to then become officially apart of King Neptune’s kingdom. ... [more]  

There was a shakeup at the top on day three of the 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater, Florida! Fully recharged thanks to the lay day yesterday, all competitors were eager to enter the final stretch of the competition in Clearwater, and the planing conditions in the forecast certainly contributed to the excitement on the beach. ... [more]  

The opening day of the 105-boat China Cup International Regatta saw old rivalries renewed in the Beneteau 40.7 class, as Vatti Sailing stole victory from Vanke Longcheer in the opening Simpson Marine Passage Race from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. ... [more]  

Team Alvimedica Navigational Strategist, Anderson Reggio, explains the issues ahead of the crews in the remaining half of leg 1 of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. After the Equator and Fernando, the weather looks to be shaping up to be pretty standard for the South Atlantic. The St Helena High which typically dominates this body of water is the main driver for breeze in the short term. ... [more]  

The next landmark, or ‘sea mark’ if you will, for Leg 1 is crossing the Equator, as Team Alvimedica continue to make their way south to round Fernando de Noronha off the coast of Brazil. Crossing this latitude is not like crossing any other on their way around the world, but has special significance for sailors who have never crossed the 0° parallel of latitude. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Mapfre cruzará el Ecuador hacia las 13:00 aproximadamente. ... [more]  

Argo Group Gold Cup – AWMRT - Canfield and Williams shine in Bermuda
RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup Day 1 - Strong performances and jitters
PIC Coastal Classic: TeamVodafoneSailing smashes course record
Argo Group Gold Cup - Canfield and Williams first into Quarter Finals
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Waiting game continues on day 6
Volvo Ocean Race - Anything can happen in the Doldrums
Volvo Ocean Race - Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing first to exit the Doldrums
Volvo Ocean Race - Day 12 for Team Alvimedica
Rolex Sydney Hobart - Luna Sea 100th entry for 628 nautical mile race
Student Yachting World Cup - England emerges victorious
RORC Transatlantic Race fast approaching
Star Sailors League Finals - Three American greats to compete
America's Cup: Airbus and Oracle Team USA forge technology partnership
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Another dramatic day
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Artie confirmed as overall winner
Argo Group Gold Cup - Near perfect start for GAC Pindar
Volvo Ocean Race - A nightmare for sailors
The 2014 Severne Starboard Aloha Classic is coming...
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Artie's heroic return
Argo Group Gold Cup - Slender lead for Marek Stanczyk
Ben Ainslie Racing foiling on the Solent + Video *Feature   
METS names DAME Award nominees   
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - A day of rest for wave sailors   
Rolex Middle Sea Race - A day of reckoning for the fleet   
Volvo Ocean Race - Playing the Doldrums lottery   
Volvo Ocean Race - Dongfeng Race Team takes on the Doldrums   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica, somewhere in the windless ITCZ   
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Artie gunning for glory   
Volvo Ocean Race - Another perspective from Team SCA   
Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - Success in San Francisco   
RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championship - Intense racing + Video   
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Big breeze and lumpy seas   
The first sail that changes lives   
Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 10 plus Videos *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 1 turns inside out in Doldums *Feature   
34th Student Yachting World Cup La Rochelle 2014 - Fifth race day   
2014 Argo Group Gold Cup - Match racers defy Gonzalo   
Volvo Ocean Race: Big gains for two boats in Doldrums *Feature   
Argo Group Gold Cup - Qualifying Groups set   
Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - Kids breeze past Hurricane Gonzalo   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT