Sparky steps into Olympic manager's role
Derbyshire, along with Rod Carr, is widely credited for creating the environment that enabled Britain’s Olympic sailors to bring home five medals from Sydney, and he will be a tough act to follow. The RYA has given itself 12 months to fill the vital role in the build up to Athens in 2004, but Park - or 'Sparky' as he is more popularly known - knows the system and is in a strong position to maintain the momentum created by his predecessor.
The Olympic Steering Group, the RYA’s advisory committee on Olympic matters, has also appointed a new chairman, with Star gold medallist Mike McIntyre stepping aside for Barry Parkin to take up the reins. Parkin - whose suave, cool persona has earned him the nickname of 'James Bond' - has been to the last two Games with Andy Beadsworth in the Soling, so he has plenty of first-hand experience of the pressures and commitment involved in Olympic campaigning.
Other members of the Olympic Steering Group are Olympians David Howlett and David Campbell-James, former Olympic coach Rob Andrews and John Derbyshire. As acting Olympic manager, Sparky will also sit in on the Group’s meetings.