Matthew Sheahan meets three Paralympic sailors who are working together to deal with their Olympic demons

Olympic profile: John Robertson

Early ambitions – “I joined the RAF as weapons mechanic working on Harriers but at 22 I had a motorcycle accident”

How it all started – “After my rehab at Hexham and Headley Court I went on an Outward Bound course where I sailed Challenger trimarans. I was put in touch with Andy Cassell in Cowes and sailed a Sonar with him in 1995. I did my first worlds in 1998 in Newport, RI.
The lottery funding started around then and after a few crew changes I called Hannah in 2000 and we did our first Open event in 2001”

Best/worst quality – “I’d say I was generally a pretty cheerful person, but I am pretty stubborn”

Hobbies and interests? – “Motor racing, rugby, wood turning and tinkering with my Land Rover”

How do you relax? – “I like to watch documentaries”

What picks you up when you’re down? – “Usually going to the pub”

Non-sailing ambition – “Normal family life and a trip into space”

What’s your plan ‘B’? – “I’d like to do some youth coaching, especially up north. There are some good kids up there that could do with some help”

Pet hate
– Musicals and ignorance

Sporting heros
– Valentino Rossi, Roger Federer

Position on boat – Helmsman

First class sailed – Mirror. I then moved onto a number of boats and classes including Flying 15, Fireball, Sonata, Sigma 33 and Oyster41

Favourite sailing venue
– Miami and Perth

Favourite boat
– Sonar and SB3

Current car – BMW 530d

Dream car
– Lamborghini

Personal favourites
FilmsTop Gun, Star Wars, Saving Private Ryan
Band – The Stone Roses
Book – Any Bill Bryson book
Non-sailing – My hand cycle
iPhone app – Restwise
iPod top 3 most playedWinter Winds – Mumford & Sons, One Way – Levellers, Can’t fight the Feeling – REO Speedwagon

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Olympic profile: John Robertson
  3. 3. Olympic profile: Hannah Stodel
  4. 4. Olympic profile: Stephen Thomas
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