Year off of Olympic sailing
During 2005 Shirley will not however be focussing on Olympic sailing, preferring instead to add to her big boat experience competing in events such as the Rolex Giraglia Trophy, the Admirals Cup, and the Rolex Fastnet Race.
Shirley explained her plans: "I have decided not to do any Olympic sailing this year, and will only start training for the Olympics in the Yngling at the end of 2005. Four years is a long time to remain focused and I need some time to rekindle both my hunger and energy for 2008.
"Campaigning a larger keelboat will give me the chance to sail with and against the world’s top professional and amateur sailors, giving me the chance to learn new skills that I will take forward to Beijing. I remain committed to the Olympics in 2008. Olympic sailing has been my life for 16 years and remains very addictive. I have however always attributed much of my success to the importance of retaining balance in my life and intend to spend more time with my husband, friends and family in 2005."
Following a successful stint as guest presenter on BBC Scotland’s ‘Sports Weekly’ radio show, Shirley is to follow in the footsteps of many Olympic medallists before her, embarking on a media career with BBC television and radio, initially with BBC South.
"We are delighted that Shirley will be joining us to work on our nightly BBC One television programme BBC South Today and on award-winning BBC Radio Solent. I am sure Shirley's huge sporting knowledge and her great personality will make her a winner with listeners and viewers alike," said Eve Turner, Head of Regional and Local Programmes, BBC South.
During 2005 Shirley will also continue working with London 2012 and her personal and premier partner to the London 2012 bid, BT, in an effort to bring the Olympics to Britain. “There would be nothing like competing and hopefully winning Olympic Gold on your home waters”, says Shirley. “If London win the bid it would increase the resource and profile of sport in the UK, not just for the duration of the Games, but also as a lasting legacy for future generations."
Shirley continues to be supported by her title sponsor Volvo as a member of Team Volvo for Life working with Volvo’s grassroot sailing programme and act as an ambassador for her home, the Isle of Wight and long term sponsor Henr