Statement and podcast interview from double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson on today's Olympic nominations by the RYA 18/9/07

It was announced this morning at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy that Team Shirley Robertson will not be competing at the 2008 Olympics. See earlier news story here. 

Shirley commented on the decision today…

“I am very sad and disappointed following today’s decision by the RYA not continue the Olympic trials for the Yngling’s. Whilst Sarah Ayton and her team have had an excellent year, we were the only British class where the top two teams were so close, with both teams finishing on the podium at the ISAF World Championships in July. Having had just 8 months preparation for the World Championships I truly believe we haven’t had the chance to prove ourselves in the crucial Olympic year.

“In not extending the trials today I believe the RYA has taken the easy decision. Anything less than a gold medal in the Yngling class at next years Olympics will leave questions unanswered about the RYA’s selection process.

“I have no regrets about our campaign in the last year; I enjoyed it and feel humbled by the support I was given by my family and sponsors Volvo, JPMorgan Asset Management, Isle of Wight Economic Partnership, BT.

“Lots of people will view this as my retirement, however sailing is one of the few sports that reward’s age and experience. Sailing with Annie Lush and Lucy Macgregor has been one of the best experiences of my 16 year Olympic sailing career and we are left feeling like there is unfinished business.

“Who knows where my future lies, but for now I will continue to race professionally away from the Olympic circuit at selected events on the JPMorgan Asset Management Extreme 40 catamaran, present CNN’s monthly sailing TV programme and enjoy spending more time with my one-year old twins.

“I would like to add my congratulations to Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson and hope they continue their current form and bring home gold next year.”

Click here for Event Broadcast’s interview with Shirley Robertson earlier today.