Ian Walker

Ed Gorman talked to the double Silver medallist - and madforsailing diary writer!
The secret to Ian Walker and Mark Covell's success in winning a silver medal in the Star class, was the way they approached the Games mentally. In the run-up things were going badly for the pair and it seemed to have been winding them up. It was all becoming too intense, as Walker explained to madforsailing shortly after finishing the final race of the series, when they missed the gold by one point. "If you had spoken to us three weeks ago, I'd have said we hadn't a cat in hell's chance," he said. "Everything we'd done had gone badly in training, the harder we worked the worse we seemed to go. In nearly every tuning run we did with foreign teams we seemed to go badly, and then Mark burned his shoulder in the shower." That incident lost the pair a full week's sailing. They decided to call a "mini-crisis" meeting, bringing in the RYA Keelboat Coach, Bill Edgerton and the new Secretary General, Rod Carr. It was a chance to reassess and it proved a turning point. "We just laid all our cards on the table and we said 'right, the only way we are going to do any good is by being relaxed and sailing well and forgetting about everything.' We didn't even worry about which sails we used, we just pulled the first ones out and got on with it." The notable feature of Walker and Covell's performance was how relaxed they seemed on the water. They were clearly enjoying themselves and Walker said a number of times that he never felt a twinge of nerves, even going into the last race. The meeting seemed to have re-established in his own mind that he was going into the Games as an underdog, an approach which he