Skandia Team GBR update

RYA Olympic Manager, Stephen Park,
Richard Langdon / Skandia Team GBR
RYA Olympic Manager, Stephen Park,
RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park looks at the squad
Skandia Team GBR has been the top sailing nation at the last three Olympic Games, at the ISAF Worlds in 2003 and 2007 and in the World Cup series last year. With the 2012 Olympic Games coming to British shores, prospects remain good for another impressive haul in Weymouth, but several other nations, many learning from the successful GBR model, are on a rapid ascent and Britain’s top dog position in two season's time is by no means assured. In the UK few monitor this situation more closely than the RYA Olympic Manager, Stephen Park, recently recipient of an OBE. Sailing squad news Two and a half years out from the Games and the GBR Olympic machine is already cranked into life with most of the squad in Palma preparing for the Trofeo Princess Sofia regatta - the prelude to a busy season in Europe that this year culminates in Skandia Sail for Gold in Weymouth, mid-August. Interestingly, within the Skandia Team GBR sailing squad there are unique issues - thankfully most of them very positive ones - facing the sailors in each of the 10 disciplines. Take the Finn for example, where if Skandia Team GBR was allowed to unlease its entire squad into the Games themselves, there would be a very real possibility of British sailors securing the entire podium... The problem here is that there is such depth of talent that it is hard to get funding for the entire squad. In the Finn the form is similar to four years ago with long term campaigner Ed Wright gunning hard on the circuit, waiting for Ben Ainslie to step back into the class late in the cycle, win everything in the build-up to the Games, get selected, and then claim his umpteenth Gold. The main difference this time is that Wright is getting some tough