Team GBR update - 2


Peter Bentley surveys Britain's chances in the singlehanders for the coming season and 2004
Continued from part one yesterday on madforsailing ... Finn Bart Simpson At first sight, Ben Ainslie appears to be the golden boy here. Two Olympic medals already and a fierce determination to win again. New skills learned with OneWorld will stand him in good stead. Remember though the path to Finn glory is littered with Laser sailors who didn't quite make it. Three-time World Champion in the Laser, Glen Bourke is but one notable name who never really cracked the Finn. Andrew (Bart) Simpson has been working hard in the class for several years now, acting as Iain Percy's training partner in Sydney. A second place at last year's Europeans clearly indicate he has what it takes. Expect a fierce fight between these two for qualification. Despite their rivalry on the water, Ben and Bart are the best of mates onshore and the ability for each to use the other as a training partner will provide tremendous strength to the squad as a whole. Charlie Cumbley has long been a member of the training group and with a ninth at last years worlds, has elevated himself to the performance squad. Snapping at their heels is current Finn Youth World Champion , Chris Brittle (and incidentally fourth overall in the world Championships). David Mellor makes up the WCP squad on account of a solid ninth place at last years World Championships. The value of David Howlett as coach, technical advisor and lifestyle guru for the squad is inestimable. Howlett is quite simply the best Finn coach in the world. There is no doubt that Howlett's expertise sees Britain at the top of the tree in so far as rig and boat development is concerned - an advantage that should be of great value to Ben Ainslie. In terms of international competition, the field is more open

VISITORS