Old faces, new positions
The British Sailing Team has bolstered its support team with new faces joining the Technical and Sports Science staff.
Harvey Hillary, formerly the RYA’s National Racing Coach and 49er squad coach, will take on the new role of Head of High Performance and Innovation, leading on the team’s technical strategy and support programme for Rio – the core aims of which are to make boats sail faster and to aid sailors’ decision-making on the water.
Hillary will work with the existing team of Peter Bentley as Technical Projects Manager, Libby Greenhalgh as Meteorologist, and Emilie Sauven as Performance Analyst to ensure that boats and equipment are optimised for performance, that the team has a comprehensive understanding of venue conditions, particularly with Rio in mind, and that training and racing goals are underpinned by robust data and analysis so that the sailors and their coaches can make informed, objective decisions about their equipment and racing tactics.
Elsewhere, the English Institute of Sport’s Neil Lewis has joined the Sports Science and Sports Medicine staff as the new team’s Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach. Lewis worked previously at the EIS site at Bisham Abbey, working with GB Rowing and multi-sports, and replaces Steve Gent who moves on from the role into new challenges after 10 years working with the RYA and some of Britain’s leading Olympic sailors.
Wayne Kitchener joins as Physiotherapist, working with Lead Physiotherapist Lily Devine to support the team’s therapy and medical provision, having worked previously in the National Health Service, and with athletes from Judo, Cricket and latterly Saracens Rugby Club.
RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park said of the new team appointments: “The support staff play a vital role in supporting the sailors across a number of areas of their campaigns – in this case optimising equipment, or optimising sailors in terms of their health and fitness to do the job. We’re delighted to welcome all three support staff members into their new roles.
“All three have been quick to settle in and are already making an impact towards our medal-winning ambitions as we look towards Rio 2016.
“I would also like to say a huge thanks to Steve Gent as he departs for new pastures outside of Olympic sport after such a long time with us – he’s made a big contribution to the team and our medal potential over the years and we wish him well.”