A 'no-excuses' campaign

We speak to Sarah Ayton and coach Paul Brotherton about the British route to Yngling Gold
While she, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson were the first to land a Gold Medal in sailing for Team GBR at this Olympics Sarah Ayton hasn’t begun to party hard just yet. Fiancé Nick Dempsey, who she is marrying in two months’ time, is himself perilously close to landing himself a medal in the RS:X medal race tomorrow and the big party will only happen once that is done and dusted. The Team GBR Yngling campaign for Beijing was of course born of Shirley Robertson’s Athens campaign where both Sarahs had won Gold with Robertson. Since then Ayton had taken over the helm with Sarah Webb in the middle and they recruited talented youth sailing star Pippa Wilson at the pointy end. So how was their campaign different this time compared to the one they mounted for Athens ? “There were lots of things that were different, but it was the same goals,” says Sarah Ayton of their quest for a second Olympic Gold. “Where I thought we needed to make gains was different to last time. Last time the program was very technically driven while this time it was more just about being the best sailors: not looking for the edge on the speed, but more what we do around the race track. “The Yngling is a boat where the speed differences are very very small. Where we got to last time, the equipment in the boat that we had was the best it could be and that was the case this time. And the rest of it comes down to what you do on the water and the decisions that you make. And that is where we excel and working with Paul [Brotherton, their coach] has really helped, especially in Qingdao where the tide is massive.” In a regatta that statistically