RYA unveils its first Beijing nominations at Weymouth today 18/9/07

Following the first phase of its Olympic trials process, the Royal Yachting Association has today (Tuesday 18 September) named the first phase of sailors it will recommend to the British Olympic Association to compete at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Tim Hancock, Chairman of the RYA’s Olympic Steering Group and a member of the RYA selection committee, unveiled the sailors at a reception held at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy – home of the 2012 Olympic sailing competition – where international Olympic Classes sailors have gathered prior to the start of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta on Wednesday (19 September).

The following sailors have been selected by the RYA’s Olympic Selection Committee, and will be nominated to the British Olympic Association at the earliest available opportunity:

  • Yngling – women’s keelboat
    Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson

  • 49er – skiff
    Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes

  • Laser – men’s one person dinghy
    Paul Goodison

The following sailors have been selected by the RYA’s Olympic Selection Committee, and will be nominated to the British Olympic Association subject to the agreement of, and delivery against, certain performance targets:

  • RS:X – men’s windsurfer
    Nick Dempsey

  • RS:X – women’s windsurfer
    Bryony Shaw

  • 470 – men’s two person dinghy
    Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield

  • 470 – women’s two person dinghy
    Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark

  • Tornado – multihull
    Leigh McMillan and Will Howden

In the Laser Radial class (women’s one person dinghy) the trials process will continue for a shortlist of four sailors – namely Charlotte Dobson, Penny Clark, Andrea Brewster and Lizzie Vickers – whose performances will be assessed at a number of regattas in the spring of 2008.

In the Finn (heavyweight dinghy) and Star (men’s keelboat) classes, the RYA’s selectors have deferred their selection decisions, pending further discussions with the sailors concerned.

Hancock commented: “Skandia Team GBR has enjoyed fantastic success on the world stage this summer, and it was particularly encouraging to see such a solid display by the team out on the tricky Olympic waters in Qingdao last month.

“While the team’s performance out in China certainly bodes well for 2008, our sailors will have no time to waste if they’re to achieve their dreams and help us keep Great Britain on top of the medal table for sailing next year.”

Hancock continued: “We recognise that for the sailors named today, once accepted as part of Team GB by the BOA, Beijing 2008 will be the challenge of a lifetime for them. But new challenges also await other sailors for whom the trials are now at an end.

“As always at this stage of an Olympic cycle, there will be some who will choose to call time on their years of Olympic campaigning, and to those people we would like to express our thanks for their commitment to the World Class Programme. Their passion, dedication and contribution to Olympic Classes sailing in the UK has elevated our sport to the levels of success it enjoys today, and has raised the bar both for existing squad members and for future generations.

“Many of our sailors will now take on a role supporting these nominated sailors between now and August 2008, although their personal ambitions to compete in home waters at London 2012 will now become the primary focus and they will have an excellent opportunity to race in the 2012 venue against international competition here at Weymouth and Portland at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta this week.”