September 20, 2011 16:39
It has been a difficult few days to try and keep it secret but I can finally say I’m qualified and will be on the start line next year.
I received the phone call while out cycling n Palma, I was expecting the call and heard my phone ringing halfway up a climb. I stopped quickly to recognise Sparkys voice, he asked me to get my breath back, I just wanted the news.
It felt great to be told that I had been selected. The rest of the ride I seemed to have a bit of a spring in my step and rode with a big smile on my face.
I feel like I have got over the first hurdle and can now focus fully on retaining my Olympic title, the longer the trials process goes on the more of a distraction it can become.
It has definitely been the toughest trials process since I missed out in 2000 to Ben. Nick has not made it easy and has pushed me hard. I hope that we can start to work together again as we did before Beijing.
Having selection complete allows me the best preparation for the games. I have a good idea of the things I need to change and develop to be in the best place to deliver at the Olympic games.
I will be going out to Perth at the end of the year for the worlds but will now primarily be using this trip for technique change and development before heading back to Europe for the winter.
One of the biggest challenges is going to be making the most of a home games. There are going to be plenty of distractions and staying focused is going to be key.
I would like to thank all my sponsors and people that have helped me to be in this position. With out my sponsors and the great support team the RYA provides I would not be able to achieve the tough goals I set myself on a daily basis. I had such an amazing experience in China becoming Olympic Champion I can not imagine what it would be like to repeat this on home waters in Weymouth and Portland. Exciting times ahead……
September 17, 2011 20:51
I am currently out in Palma for the Melges 32 Worlds with team Red, Wow its smoking hot out here…..
After missing some training together as a team this year we have made good use of the 4 full days training with the race team. The training has been very similar each day with a light sea breeze developing and ranging between 8-12 knots. This has allowed for some nice cycling in the morning as the riding out here is amazing. Tomorrow will be our last day on the water before the Worlds kicks off and there is a change in the weather, a spot of rain and more wind. A bit of variety will be a nice change I suppose.
We are down on training time but will hopefully be able to challenge the top teams. Its going to be a tough regatta but if we can pull together we can do well.
September 21, 2010 16:49
It has been pretty nice sailing in San Francisco bay, the strong winds only showed there force a few days last week with generally 12- 16 knots. The racing has been good although its not a easy place to come and call tactics. The strong tides, the fog which caused some navigational issues in a few races and Alcatraz sitting in the middle of the course in some races caused me quite a headache…..
All went well, after winning race one by a long way thinks were a lot tougher the rest of the week. The fleet is really tough with some great sailors all here getting ready for the big one next week. The Red team did a great job last week Joe drove the boat well and crew work was great, good enough to finish 3rd out of the 27 boats.
Its time now to focus or efforts on the worlds next week, a look at the new sails and a quick polish and we are all set, bring on the breeze….
September 07, 2010 10:53
After a tough seven days of racing in Hayling I left feeling dissapointed.
The week started well opening with 3-1 on the first day. I backed this up sailing solidly over the next four days to go in to the final 3 days in second overall just behind Tom.
The first race on the 5th day was a strong wind against tide race. With a lot of port bias on the line there were several reacalls under blag flag. Unfortunately in one of them the first 3 overall were spotted and had to sit the race out. This was a bit frustarating as most of the fleet were over and I had tried to stay just hidden, but it wasnt to be.
In the second race of the day I was over cautious and started poorley. It was a bit of a game of catch up after that as I pulled back to 17. Coming ashore I felt dissapointed but was still 5th overall and in with a shout.
Day 6 started with a good start and solid beat, I pulled through the fleet steadily. After rounding before the run in 10th I threaded my way through several boats surfing the waves up to 4th. Unfortunatley one of the jury didnt like my surfing action and penalised me with a yellow flag meaning I had to retire from the race ending my title hopes and I now had to count a retired (55 points)
What a disaster I was so frustrated as I felt my surfing action was legal but had been interpreted otherwise. In the second race of the day I finished a frustrated 10th.
After returning a shore i decided to go have a beer with some friends to try and take my mind off things……
It did the trick as I won the first race on the final day, In the second race I broke the top off the center board which cost me a few places before I finally finished the race in 10th.
I was pretty surprised to have finished in 9th overall counting a last!
It all came down to a jury penalty in race 11 that cost me 2nd overall but hey that wouldn’t have retained my title. Congratulations to Tom Slingsby who sailed great all week.
Its a few days rest at home before I head out to San Fran for the Big boat series and the Melges 32 Worlds. Im looking forward to sailing in San Fran after chatting to the Finn guys last night should be a pretty special regatta…..
September 28, 2009 21:27
After a fantastic 12 months of sailing I have been shortlisted for, ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2009. It is a great honour to have been nominated and I am looking forward to the awards presentation and dinner which will take place on Tuesday 10 November 2009. The venue for the event is the Busan Yacht Club, Busan, Korea.
For more details
September 10, 2008 12:49
What an amazing few weeks its been.
Firstly Im sorry for not keeping you all up to date, Ive been pretty busy.
Here are a couple of highlights.
We all had an amazing reception on arriving home back to Heathrow where Saskias sister picked us up. While driving home it was so funny as little Alex held my medal against the window to every car passing by, one was pretty close to swerving in to us.
It was so nice to be home and to celebrate with friends and family.
For me finally getting back home to Rotherham to see my dad was great as he had not been out in China. We sat down and watched some of the olympic highlights together laughing at each other as we were on the tv close to tears or in tears!!!!
I had an amazing party at Ulley Sailing club where it all started many years ago, it was so nice to see some of the founder members who helped teach me how to sail along with school friends and family, wow what a night.
I also had another treet while at home, a trip to Bramall Lane. I am a big Sheffield United fan and they had invited me to down to the lane to lead the teams out and parade my medal. It was so cool to be walking round the stadium and being cheered by 30000 fans, even the Cardiff supporters!!!! What a day meeting the players and being tret like real vip’s even my Nan loved it!!
It was then finally back home to Weymouth over a week after landing back on British shores, it was so nice to be back in my own bed with a little bit of time to go windsurfing. We had an open top bus ride around Weymouth which was amazing, so many people turned out on to the streets to welcome us home, Nick Sarah, Bryony, Saskia and Bart were all on good form as we drove over the cause way nearly getting blown off the top of the bus.
The other real high light I nearly forgot was the Jonathon Ross show.
It was pretty cool being sat in the green room chatting to Kelly Brook!!!! and Mike Skinner from the streets oh. and Jonathon was quite a laugh too.
I feel like an office worker at the moment trying to organise my diary and reply to emails etc…. its quite hard work!!!
Im looking forward to getting back out on the water for a bit of fun with out the huge pressure and intensity, Ill see you out there!!!!