British Olympic sailing musical chairs part 2


Richard Langdon / Team GBR
Stephen Park continues his update on the Olympic classes, plus a new training base in Spain and more funding
This article follows on from part one here As to the existing classes, Nick Dempsey has announced much to the chagrin of his wife Sarah Ayton, that he plans to embark on his fifth Olympic campaign in the RS:X, while Beijing bronze medallist Bryony Shaw is also set to return. Dempsey remains the clear favourite in the British squad although there is every opportunity for Elliot Carney to play catch up. Bryony Shaw will be looking over her shoulder more anxiously at the potent Izzy Hamilton, a former two time ISAF Youth Worlds champion. While traditionally there hasn’t been much depth in either of the British RS:X squads this looks set to change, certainly in the men’s event this cycle, with some hot shots coming through, including Tom Squires, Sam Sills, the former Under 17 World and European Champion and 19 year old Connor Bainbridge (of that dynasty). “Elliot has done a lot of training with Nick and he is keen to put his mark down. It is going to be interesting to see if he can make the jump from being in that 8-12 bracket to being good enough to regularly get to the medal race to start medalled. Equally Nick is not getting any younger...!” Another Olympic cycle away is Sam Sills’ 16 year old younger sister Saskia who won at this year’s ISAF Youth Sailing Worlds, picked up another gold at the EUROSAF Youth Europeans and claimed the under 17 world title in addition to overall silver at the RS:X Youth Worlds in October. ISAF’s ridiculous change from the RS:X to the kiteboard and then back to the RS:X has had the RS:X sailors doing a merry, and for the RYA a costly, dance. “We did a lot of work fast tracking our program,” says Park of how they took on kiteboarding. “We had

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