Steve Mitchell has joined Team Shirley Robertson to prepare for the 2008 Beijing Olympics 2/2/07

Steve Mitchell has joined Team Shirley Robertson as a key member of their coaching team. Mitchell will work with the Yngling trio’s current coach Andy Beadsworth, as they prepare to qualify for and compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Mitchell is 36 years old and has successfully raced in small keelboats for many years. In 1997, Mitchell won the Etchells World Championships. Then in 2002, sailing with Iain Percy, became the first British team to win the Star Class World Championships. Percy and Mitchell went onto represent Great Britain in the Star class at the Athens Olympics.

Mitchell describes himself as a “poacher turned gamekeeper” and is looking forward to getting the coaching underway. “I’m excited about the season ahead and the great opportunity I have to work with Shirley, Annie and Lucy, who are a very talented and professional team. We have some goals this summer and I want to help them achieve those. I can’t wait to get started.”

Robertson said: “Stevie is an exceptional sailor and a true professional used to winning at the highest level, and his attention to detail is the envy of all Olympic sailors. Annie, Lucy and myself are delighted that he will be joining our team.”

Beadsworth, is a past youth World Champion in the Laser class and Olympian, competing for Great Britain at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics in the Soling three man keelboat.

Mitchell and Beadsworth will continue to coach the team in Palma for the remainder of their winter training programme. In April, the team will compete in their first international regatta of the season; the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma, followed by Olympic classes regattas in Hyeres, France and Medemblik, Holland.

Their main goal of the 2007 season is to qualify at the ISAF World Championships at Cascais, Portugal in July, and to represent Great Britain at the Pre Olympic Regatta this August at the 2008 Olympic sailing venue in Qingdao, China.