Rawlinson sisters go Yngling

New British women's Olympic keelboat team from the former Youth World Champion sisters

Saturday September 16th 2006, Author: Myrrh Walker, Location: United Kingdom
Skandia Team GBR is to have a new Yngling crew campaigning towards Olympic glory, with Victoria Rawlinson announcing that she’s to helm her own campaign for Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

Rawlinson had been sailing on the bow with Olympic gold medallists Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb this season - a combination which saw them into fourth place at the Yngling World Championships in July - but will now reunite in the boat with her younger sister Emma to recreate the partnership which saw them win gold and silver medals at the Youth World Championships in the 420 class in 2000 and 2001.

Victoria, 22, and 21-year-old Emma will be joined by Rachel Howe as the third member of their crew in the race for Olympic glory, in which they’ll up against Sarah Ayton and Shirley Robertson’s respective teams for the single British qualifying slot.

For Poole-based Victoria, helming her own Olympic campaign has been natural step after time at the front of the boat

“I’ve missed having hold of the stick!” she explained. “I've helmed all my life and that's what I love to do. My sister is the best crew I've ever met and the Olympics is the biggest dream I've ever had. So to be able to sail with Emma again and be heading towards the Olympic goal is so exciting.

“Emma and my greatest strength has always been our teamwork in the boat,” Victoria continued. “We know exactly what each other is thinking and trying to achieve in the boat and so we can always work together to achieve the same goal. We have a very strong relationship, built, I suppose, on twenty years of living and sailing together!”

The Rawlinson sisters trialled for their third crew member this summer, with 23-year-old Rachel Howe’s experience, having been part of a Skandia Team GBR Yngling development team, making her an ideal choice.

“We knew when we got in the boat with Rachel that it was going to be the start of something really exciting. The moment we stepped aboard we were moving together in the boat, working together, and it felt great!” Emma explained. “She’s going to be a great asset to the team – she’s a really intelligent girl and has an invaluable appreciation for the technical side of the class.”

The new trio are now hard at work preparing for their first event - the Sail for Gold Regatta at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (13-15 October) – and then will be putting in some hours both in the boat and on the sponsorship trail during the autumn and winter months,

“Our goal over the next few years is to work hard, on and off the water, and above all to enjoy the sailing,” Victoria explained. “I can't imagine a better feeling than to win a medal when the Games come to the UK in 2012, but there's another Olympic Games to sail for before that, and we're going to give it everything we've got!”

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