Already going for Gold

TheDailySail takes a look at what the RYA is up to at the new Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy
Great Britain has been top sailing nation at the past two Olympic Games. This time frame neatly coincides with the tenth anniversary of the National Lottery – and the resultant funding that has flowed into the coffers of the Royal Yachting Association. That is the simple equation. The complicated one involves countless sporting agencies, committees, projects, sponsors, coaches, RYA squads and not forgetting the talented sailors that have ultimately resulted in Gold, Silver and Bronze. Campaigning at the top level costs a lot of money – and the top Team GBR sailors manage serious budgets through the four year Olympic cycle. This is what the world sees. Well organised, well financed British sailors doing the Olympic regatta circuit all paid for by the RYA and the hefty amount of cash that the Lottery supplies. No wonder they get all those medals. This is far from the truth - the handout of cash anyway. What the world doesn’t see is the 70 sailors at the second RYA run Olympic Development Squad training camp. Held last week at (the part Lottery funded) Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy, the sailors, coaches, trainers and RYA staff put in a solid week of graft at this recently opened facility. Yes, just two months since the Olympics concluded, 70 new heir-apparents are putting in the hard hours. The week long camp was one of six that are conducted through the winter before the main sailing season starts again in March next year. Those attending are mostly on D-Level funding; this sits underneath the Olympic Team and the broader squad of World Class Performance sailors. The demographics of the ODS are principally medallists from Youth or ISAF worlds, achievers of a high standard at an Olympic class regatta - through to those sailors that fit the bill or who have