Olympic gold medallists Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb announce new Yngling crew member

At the Schroders London Boat Show this morning Olympic gold medallists Sarah Ayton MBE (24) and Sarah Webb MBE (27) announced their new line up and plan for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Competing in the Yngling class in Athens, they were the first Team GB members to secure gold for Great Britain and won themselves the nickname ‘three blondes in a boat’. Sailing with Shirley Robertson, the Sarah’s won gold impressively with a race to spare, to be crowned Olympic champions at their first attempt at gold.

With Shirley Robertson announcing plans to take a year off, the two Sarah’s are keen to get out on the water in 2005 and have their sites firmly set on the Yngling world championship in Austria this July.

Sarah Ayton will move from the front of the boat to the back and take on the role as helmswomen and Sarah Webb will move into the role of the bow person. This will leave a gap in the middle of the boat which will be replaced by former Cambridge rowing blue Annie Lush (24).

Sarah Webb commented, “We have enjoyed some time off after winning gold in Athens, but we are both really keen to get back in a boat again with a view to repeating our success in Beijing. For us Annie was the obvious choice, she was one of our rivals in the run up to the Olympic Games and it will be great to now have her as part of the team and we feel she has many skills and qualities that she can bring to the table.”

Lush said, “I am really excited about the prospects of our new team. I just missed out on selection to the Athens Games and for me that has made me even hungrier to achieve my goal of winning Olympic gold. Their achievement in Athens was inspiring and I think it will really encourage me in our campaign. The girls obviously trained hard and put in a lot of effort to win gold and they have much of the knowledge needed. Hopefully I will be able to bring fresh blood to the team and another perspective which will help us to achieve our goals.”

Despite having two gold medals between them, the new team are in search of sponsorship and will focus on this in the forthcoming weeks before relocating to Palma for warm weather training. From there, they will take part in a number of build up regattas before the main event, the Yngling world championship in July.