Shirley Robertson - part two

Even with an Olympic medal round your neck, money and crew problems are never far away.
Following on from yesterday's account of getting her campaign on the road, Shirley Robertson tells madforsailing what's next with the Yngling. Peter Bentley aks the questions. mfs: I don’t think anybody would question the fact that in the Europe class, the technical development was vital to success. How is important do you think that is going to be in the Yngling? SR: Very important. Everybody is doing it so you have to be part of that. The whole rig and sail design will be absolutely key to boat speed and the people who get it right will inevitably be at the top of the game. mfs: How transferable are the skills from the Europe to the Yngling in that respect? SR: Well the process is the same exactly the same. The way you test, the way you come to your answers; you just have to go through the process carefully and analytically mfs: Having done a winter of graft, you are starting to accumulate knowledge and data. How do you go forward from there? SR: That is still an ongoing process. We have a new boat coming and I think that’s quite important to us. We have sailed around in a boat that is very different to everybody else’s and it was time to get something new and shiny where everything worked. The new boat will be coming at the beginning of May. mfs: And what about fund raising, logistics and general management issues. Where are you with those? SR: That is one of the areas that we are trying to work on a bit harder now. The costs of keelboat sailing are phenomenal. To say that it is three times the cost of the Europe is probably underestimating it. I know it is the same in the Stars; Iain Percy is spending more and more.