sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Team GBR on the Road to Rio (Part One)
Team GBR on the Road to Rio (Part One)

'GBR60 Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond, Nacra 17 - 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres'    © Franck Socha / ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres    Click Here to view large photo

GBR Team Manager Stephen Park has led Great Britain’s Sailing Team in the Olympic and Paralympic Classes – to unrivalled success on the world stage since 2001.

Great Britain is now the most successful Olympic classes sailing nation and sailing has been one of the nation’s consistently high performing sports at the past three Olympic Games.

Stephen Park - Olympic Manager -  © Paul Wyeth - RYA  
Stephen, known as ‘Sparky’ amongst those in the sailing community has steered the team towards some outstanding performances from Team GB’s sailors at the Athens 2004 Games, where they won five medals, then Beijing Games where Britain’s sailors won six medals, including four Golds, and achieved their best Olympic medal haul in 100 years.

While Australia won three Gold Medals and One Silver media at London 2012, the overall British medal count was one Gold and four Silver.

Since then Britain has continued to lead the overall medal count at the European World Cup events and they remain the bench mark squad as sailors campaign towards Rio.

Sail-World talked to Sparky today and we will run this interview two parts…

As you’d expect Australia as the top performing sailing nation at London 2012was rewarded in funding term. Team GBR also received a funding increase?

Our funding agency UK Sport has got a funding model and we try pretty hard to get what we can out of them to give our sailors the best possible chance and so we have done reasonably well funding wise for this four year cycle.

People would say that there was a lift but it was less than the rate of inflation over the four year period so in terms of buying power a little bit less than the last four year cycle.

We have got quite a sizeable number of people about 100 sailors on the program in total. About 40 in our top group and then 60 on the potential group. When you divide the money you have got between that numbers of people obviously it doesn’t go quite as thickly as you might like.

I suppose that is part of the challenge that all the nations have got. To try and be as effective as you can with the resources that you have available.

One of the challenges that we have is that we have good depth in pretty much all of the fleets so you then get a situation where you are saying where do you want to draw the line. Top six in the world, top eight in the world, top ten in the world.

If we go the top ten in the world in most classes then we are talking about two or three boats.

Yes so you quite quickly knock up the athletes. 15 athletes in a full team so if you have two boats in each class that’s 30 sailors before you start. As you say we have got a couple of classes like the 49er, like the Finn where we have got more than two. Again it doesn’t take a genius to work out why you end up with 40 funded sailors at that top level.

GBR4 Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign - 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres -  © Franck Socha - ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres   Click Here to view large photo

Some of the programs are more expensive than others. The 49er is one of them but recently in this last 12 months the Nacra of course has got itself pretty well up there with the number of changes they have had on the kit and some of the equipment.

Those programs are expensive and that means you need to be careful on how you are going to spend the resource and which events you can afford to go to and where you can afford to train.

For GBR, Santander is a major cut off in terms of total squad being supported towards Rio?

Yes. In terms of games selection our sailors know what they have got to do but ultimately I suppose like all top nations we are just trying to get ourselves in a position where we can send the people that we think are going to be most capable of winning medals in Rio to Rio itself.

The world championships always remain our key result orientated event in terms of funding levels and that sort of thing. Santander event will be a big event and of course it is the country qualification so therefore although we would like to think that country qualification in any of the classes is not a drama for us you can’t take any of those things for granted so it is important for us to make sure we get country qualification sooner rather than later.

Again just as with all the top teams Santander will be a huge event. Probably be the biggest event of this four year cycle both in terms of numbers, in terms of countries determining which athletes they are then going to support for the two years running up to the games and it is no different for us.

Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre, 470 -  Richard Langdon/British Sailing Team   Click Here to view large photo

The problem Team GBR had running into London was some late selections, not one sailor dominant and that meant that you had to keep delaying selection. Anything you can do about that?

You could select early I suppose. How early do you want to back your horse? When you have got one sailor who is dominant in a given class then clearly selection one would hope would be relatively simple. For a number of countries that’s a lot easier than it is in the UK.

From a Great Britain perspective we want to try and give the sailors the opportunity to prove that they are the best sailor and the sailor that should be selected to go to the games so if we don’t have somebody that is dominating then in the last cycle it has run on a bit.

Bryony Shaw, RSX in action at te ISAF Sailing World Cup, Miami -  Richard Langdon/British Sailing Team   Click Here to view large photo

Can you do something about it? Yes you could pick early and you could choose to support some more than others at an early stage and that would probably result in somebody getting a bit of a head start but again you are then getting into whether the system and the processes are altering the outcome rather than the sailing.

We are certainly pretty keen to do whatever we can to insure it is the sailor’s performances that determine what level of support they get and what position they are in in the run in to selection.

2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca - Charlotte Dobson & Sophie Ainsworth in 49er FX -  © Ocean Images   Click Here to view large photo

I suppose that as we look at the 2016 selection it will probably be fairly similar. We will have some classes where we will probably have some people who will stand out a little bit earlier and they may well end up being selected a little earlier and I suspect we will also have some classes where that will run on and of course I am always conscious that we have got some new classes this time with the FX and the Nacra.

As we have seen over the recent world cup events both the UK and the world people are learning pretty fast in those classes and things are changing still fairly fast. You would have to think carefully if you are going to have an early selection that you were confident that they were still going to be the best sailor 12 months down the line.

If you have only got one sailor then it is relatively easy to choose your horse. If you have got a number then maybe you need to give them the opportunity to prove who is the best.

My belief is that when you get to the top end of any of the Olympic fleets the equipment almost doesn’t matter. The top sailors will all be super competitive. They will all be highly skilled. It will be the decision making, the tactics and the strategy that they choose to deploy on a given day that will determine whether they will a medal or not.

Certainly we hold in huge respect all the sailors that are battling out at that top end and there are a lot of sailors from a lot of countries now who on their day could win a race, could win a regatta and it is certainly more competitive across all the Olympic classes now than it has ever been.

I suppose that means that it is less likely we are going to see people having the level of domination perhaps either in a class or across a number of classes on a country basis than perhaps we have seen in the past. There are still one or two people doing a good job of that.

Luke Patience and Elliot Willis, 470 Men -  Thom Touw_©  

The Australia 470 men have been doing a pretty good job of that until the last couple of regattas for sure. They won 18 regattas on the run. They are doing well but then equally they know they only need to make one or two mistakes and suddenly there are plenty of people queuing up to pounce. It is incredibly competitive which is a great thing about our sport. It is highly competitive across a number of nations and not all the Olympic sports can say that.

The Nacra 17 with a mixed crew is quite a breath of fresh air?

It has been an interesting journey so far for both the sailors and for the boats and the equipment.

This time last year we went to the Sailing World Cup in Palma and the top three boats where all helmed by women and then we came here to Hyeres three weeks later and the top three boats where all helmed by men.

Just seeing those different skill sets come together and indeed a lot of sailors from outside the multihull world who have perhaps been sailing in other Olympic classes coming together either single handed sailors stepping in or 470 or 49er sailors coming in and having a go in the Nacra has certainly made it very interesting.

It’s certainly exciting and it has got plenty of people interested. This year they have maxed out on the entry limits which is pretty good for a new class. They have clearly generated lots of interest from around the world which is great. The racing is good, its competitive, it’s exciting, its fast, it’s colourful. So far so good in that class.

One or two challenges from an equipment perspective which is often the case with new Olympic equipment. You see fairly regularly that new suppliers are underestimating the challenges that they face and the pressure that the boats are going to be put under and the difference between a weekend sailor and the amount of sailing that a normal weekend sailor would do in their boat compared to the sailing that an Olympic class sailor would do in their boat.

That’s presented a challenged and certainly they have got some challenge along that road in the Nacra 17 and I am sure we will see a few more changes there over the next couple of years before it is all done.

John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas, Sonar - ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami -  Richard Langdon -Ocean Images ©  

Hannah Snellgrove, Laser Radial -  Richard Langdon -Ocean Images ©  

Nick Thompson, Laser - ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami -  Richard Langdon -Ocean Images ©  

Nick Dempsey (RS:X Men) - 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca -  © Ocean Images   Click Here to view large photo

2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca - Helena Lucas and Will Street (GBR), 2.4mR -  © Ocean Images   Click Here to view large photo


by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team


  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=121421

7:07 PM Wed 23 Apr 2014GMT


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


Related News Stories:

24 Apr 2014  Team GBR on the Road to Rio (Part One)
23 Apr 2014  Sailing World Cup Hyeres- Top sailors to face off as Gold Fleet Racing
23 Apr 2014  ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 2 Laser images by Franck Socha
23 Apr 2014  ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres: Aussies on form following qualification
23 Apr 2014  ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 2 Nacra 17 images by Franck Socha
23 Apr 2014  ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Brits move up on day 2
23 Apr 2014  ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Mitakis lead reduced on day 2
23 Apr 2014  ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Battle continues for U.S. sailors
23 Apr 2014  Hoffnungsträgerin für Rio 2016 startet ein letztes Mal beim World Cup
23 Apr 2014  Deutsche Surfer und Lutz/Beucke im 49erFX vorne mit dabei
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

The Notice of Race for ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, scheduled for 25-31 January 2015, has been released. On-line entry will open on 10 November 2014. The deadline for priority entries with regards to quotas is 5 December 2014. Entries must be received no later than 5 January 2015 to qualify for early entry. ... [more]  

New Ragamuffin 100 emerges from the hull build in Nowra *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Ragamuffin 100, which started out as a modified Elliott design, Maximus, is another supermaxi undergoing a major rebuild or retrofit. Across the Tasman, the new Ragamuffin 100 will be virtually a new boat with a a new hull design by Andy Dovell / Syd Fischer / David Witt. The hull mould and shell was built by Innovation Composites at the Nowra facility. ... [more]  

A stellar list of just under 100 broadcasters has been lined up to showcase the world’s toughest ocean challenge, the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, to a new global audience of fans. The 12th edition has offered channels a line-up of a new 39-part weekly half-hour show plus special short bespoke features. ... [more]  

Photographer Eugenia Bakunova of leading Russian website www.mainsail.ru was on the water at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez on the French Riveria , and provided this gallery of images of the classics and other yachts racing on Day 2 ... [more]  

Southern Spars ships the world's tallest masts by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Leading world sparmaker, Southern Spars, has shipped two spars for a new 85 metre ketch. The superyacht will carry two 93metre masts which will be the world’s tallest rigs on one gigantic yacht. ... [more]  

Professional sailing photographers from all over the world are invited to join the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image award 2014. Started in 2009, the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image is the world’s premier photography competition dedicated to the sport of sailing. The prestigious trophy will be awarded during the World Yacht Racing Forum in Barcelona, on December 11, 2014. ... [more]  

David Kellett (AUS) is to be awarded the ISAF Beppe Croce Trophy which honours an individual for their outstanding voluntary contribution to the sport of sailing. The ISAF Beppe Croce Trophy, first presented in 1988 in memory of Beppe Croce, the ISAF President from 1969 to 1986, will be presented to Kellett at the 2014 ISAF Annual Conference in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. ... [more]  

After being graced with plenty of late summer sunshine during the opening days of the event, more autumnal weather moved in on the fifth day of the DAVIDOFF Cool Water Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam with grey skies and infrequent showers. Unfortunately though the light winds continued as the sailors endured another lay day. ... [more]  

In a move that is expected to benefit recreational boaters, on Oct. 22 the US Coast Guard will drop the current life jacket type code scheme -- Type I, II, III, IV and V -- that has been used for years to label and differentiate the types of life jackets and their specific use. ... [more]  

Kate Nota and her team onboard the J/111 Odyssey won the Ripple Effect Short Video Contest, which was part of the Ida Lewis Distance Race this summer (August 15). ... [more]  

The largest Laser World Championship in history will be taking place on the south coast of France when 515 sailors, representing 36 different countries, begin racing on October 5 to open the 2014 Audi Laser Masters’ World Championships. The Laser remains one of the best and most popular boats worldwide in which to enjoy the sport of sailing. ... [more]  

Carlo Borlenghi was back on the water for day two at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez to capture these images. ... [more]  

It has been an interesting journey so far for the Chinese team in the Volvo Ocean Race, Dongfeng Race Team. Approximately 10 months ago this team set out on a mission to select and train Chinese recruits in the hope that they would be ‘race ready’ for the start of leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race fans can now carry the world’s toughest ocean race in their pocket, thanks to the launch of a new official mobile app. Developed for both iOS and Android systems, the app is available for download from the App Store and Google Play now – and boasts a host of exciting features which will allow users to be closer to the on-water adventure than ever before. ... [more]  

Race teams planning next season’s calendar could do worse than sign up for the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series 2015 which runs from 16-24 January. This event, which kick starts the Caribbean race season, was re-launched in 2014 with a new race format and plenty of record-breaking opportunities. It proved such a success that an even bigger entry is expected in 2015. ... [more]  

Photographer Eugenia Bakunova of leading Russian website www.mainsail.ru was on the water at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez on the French Riveria , and provided this gallery of images of the classics and other yachts racing ... [more]  

Sunset+Vine|APP, the Oxford-based unit of the multi-award winning UK independent TV sports production and media company Sunset+Vine, has helped ISAF smash all previous broadcaster records for the recent Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships. ... [more]  

2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup - Melbourne - Don’t forget to enter the ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne. There are only two days left to take advantage of the discounted entry price offer. ... [more]  

2014 12 Metre North American Championships - Two days of a northerly (first strong, then light) and one day of a building southwesterly put six 12 Metre yachts to the test at their North American Championships, which were held off Newport, R.I. over September 26-28. Gunther Buerman’s (Newport, R.I.) KZ-3 and Dennis Williams’ (Hobe Sound, Fla.) Victory ’83 defended their titles ... [more]  

The waiting game continued on day four of the DAVIDOFF Cool Water Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam as the light winds continued. Over the course of the day a few sailors took the opportunity to make the most of the small waves on offer, either surfing or SUPping. After spending the day on hold the sailors were released at 4:30pm. ... [more]  

After Gmunden, Austria, in 2011 and Cala de' Medici, Italy, in 2012 and after a pained second place, same points with the Portogues 'Credite Egs' in Portosin, Spain, last year, the Italian crew coming from Puglia 'Euz II Monella Vagabonda', with Sandro Montefusco at the helm and his brother Paolo as a tactician, confirms for the third time the Platu 25 World Championship title. ... [more]  

Carlo Borlenghi was on deck for the first day of competition at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez to capture these images. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on site for day one of racing at the 2014 Les Voiles de Saint Tropez to capture these images. ... [more]  

The final day of the 2014 U.S. Team Racing Championship ended up being a half day of sailing due to a complete shutdown of the wind. However, the fleet completed enough races to count Gold Round Robin 3 and crown Ladies and Gentlemen as the back-to-back Team Racing Champions. ... [more]  

Michigan, the Great Lakes State, was a fitting location as The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) gathered for the fourth time in the organization’s history to fulfill its mission to recognize Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing. ... [more]  

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has published guidelines for candidates bidding to host the 2016 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship. Bids to host the 2016 ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds must be received by Friday 24 October 2014. ... [more]  

The onboard medic-sailors competing in the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race have completed their last medical training. More than a basic first aid refresher course, the mandatory medical training each Volvo Ocean Race team had to carry out in the last few months and days are key to survival while at sea. ... [more]  

Erik Simonson was on the water at 2014 Melges 20 Pacific Coast Championship to capture these images. ... [more]  

2014 J/105 North American Championship - Light air ruled the J/105 North American Championship hosted by Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto, Ontario, Canada—and so did Rod Wilmer and Terry McLaughlin on Mandate. ... [more]  

The Extreme Sailing Series event in Istanbul seems to have only just finished, but already the containers are in the Ville de Nice set to gear up for this weeks penultimate regatta. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are back onboard this week, fresh from their 49er World Championship win and looking to make it two wins from two events for Emirates Team New Zealand on the ?Extreme Sailing Series ... [more]  

2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - In Sunday’s final matches in the Buddy Melges Challenge, Stephanie Roble and Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen showed the crowds on the bluffs of Lake Michigan how top class match racing should be sailed. It took five absolutely thrilling matches for the Danish crew to secure their first WIM Series event victory since last summer’s Danish Open. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Oracle Team USA's AC72 takes to the streets by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Oracle Team USA's winning AC72 takes to the streets of San Francisco, one year on from the Team's successful Defence of the America's Cup. This week the AC72 catamaran Oracle Team USA raced to victory is going to be a special guest at Oracle OpenWorld 2014 in San Francisco. ... [more]  

Matches between the world’s top two match racing skippers are always aggressive affairs on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). In the pre-start of the first match, Canfield stuck two penalties on Williams, leaving the British boat playing catch-up. ... [more]  

Pantaenius and Camper & Nicholsons Marinas become strategic partners
Kite Foil Gold Cup Australia 2014 – Day two video
Bart's Bash: Update and Video - Information overload!
2014 U.S. Team Racing Championship - Day 2
2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - USA leads Denmark in Sheboygan final
2014 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship - Benz Faget wins third mallory
J/105 North American Champ - Wilmer/McLaughlin team maintain advantage
Images from Cannes: Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai
Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai: Cannes at its best
Dutch Match Cup - Gilmour keeps clean sheet in Lelystad
Dutch Match Cup - GAC Pindar through to fifth consecutive semi-final
Hobie 16 Open North Americans and 2015 Pan Am Games qualifier overall
Volvo Ocean Race - Frostad on Boat Design and final changes (Part II) *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race 10 days to go – Frostad on cultural change (Part I) *Feature
2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race on NBC Sports Network in the U.S.
2014 J/24 World Championship - Will Welles’ Cougar clinches
2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - Meldgaard and Le Berre ready for semis
2014 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship - Day 3
2014 U.S. Team Racing Championship - Day 1 + Video
America's Cup: Then and now - Coutts on why Oracle won, and the Venue
Byte CII World Sailing Championship comes to Royal Varuna, Thailand   
Dutch Match Cup: Canfield wins Qualifying, six set for Quarters battle   
12 Metre North Americans - A blast from the America’s Cup past   
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup qualification system published   
Volvo Ocean Race: Mapfre named as Spanish team sponsor + Video   
Extreme Sailing Series returns to Nice for the penultimate Act of 2014   
ISAF invites bids for 2016 Women's Match Racing World Championship   
2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup, Melbourne - Teaming up   
Mascalzone Latino Jr. named 2014 Melges 20 European Ranking Champion   
2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - Le Berre keeps winning in Sheboygan   
Hobie 16 Open North American Champ and Pan Am Games Qualifier - Day 4   
2014 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship - Day 2   
J/105 North Americans - Wilmer and McLaughlin master light conditions   
J/24 World Championship - Will Welles hangs on going into last day   
Open 2.4mR World Championship on the horizon   
Bart's Bash - Top photographers gain special entry   
Platu 25 Worlds - EUZ II Monella Vagabonda is still leading in France   
St. Barth Cata Cup - Olympic duel on the island   
Dutch Match Cup - High winds and big wipeouts in Lelystad   
Route du Rhum - Yann Guichard to sail Spindrift 2 solo   


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