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Shirley ROBERTSON, Sarah WEBB & Sarah AYTON (GBR)

Shirley ROBERTSON, Sarah WEBB & Sarah AYTON (GBR)The women's keelboat event made its Olympic debut in Athens this year with the Yngling, and it was the British trio who took the gold with an outstanding performance. Shirley, Sarah and Sarah won the event with a race to spare having sailed a very consistent series - their worst result was an eighth. In doing so, Shirley ROBERTSON made history by becoming the first woman to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in different Olympic sailing events.

The 'golden girls' have enjoyed an outstanding year with top ten finishes in virtually all the ISAF Graded events they have entered, including a win at Semaine Olympique Française.

The teams' performance has propelled them up the ISAF World Sailing Rankings sit at number six at the end of the nomination period.

ISAF World Sailing Ranking at the end of the nomination period (3 August 2004) - 6

Current ISAF World Sailing Ranking (2 September 2004) - 3
1st - Olympic Sailing Competition, Grade W - August 2004
3rd - SPA Regatta, Grade 1 - May 2004
16th - Yngling Women's World Championship, Grade W - April 2004
1st - Semaine Olympique Française, Grade 1 - April 2004
4th - XXXV Princess Sofia Trophy, Grade 2 - April 2004
7th - ISAF World Championship, Grade W - September 2003

Name Shirley ROBERTSON Sarah WEBB Sarah AYTON
Date of Birth 25034 28138 29320
Place of Birth Dundee, Scotland Weybridge, Surrey Ashford, Middlesex
Profession Sailor Sailor Sailor
Age started sailing 7 7 6
First boat sailed Mirror/Miracle Optimist Optimist
Age started racing
8 10
First boat raced
What inspired you to take up sailing? My father My parents started I just loved it
How did you buy your first boat? Pestering! My parents bought it With a bank loan
Which was your first sailing club? Loch Ard Sailing Club Littleton SC/Queen Mary Sailing Club Queen Mary Sailing Club
First Event competed in and Year
Optimist Nationals, 1985 Cadet Nationals
First Event won and Year

Laser Radial Nationals, 1998
Principle achievements 2 gold medals
Olympic gold medal - Yngling 2004
Principle achievements 2 gold medals
ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship, 1998
Detail the personal highlights of your sailing career to date 2 gold medals Olympic gold medal Gold medal in Athens
What are your future sailing aspirations? A third gold. Become a better sailor, principally become a better big boat sailor and win offshore. Continue to enjoy the sport, encourage greater participation in watersports especially within my country. Do it all again in China More Olympic medals
Briefly state what sailing means to you It has been a privilege to enjoy my passion for so long at such a high level. I love being on the water and I love doing it as well as I can. Everyday is a learning day, it's never boring, I have made friends around the world, and had the pleasure of working and sailing with some very special people. I love being outside and being in the elements everyday and I live for the racing! I love the sport but I really get a buzz from racing. It is such a challenging sport and you never stop learning.
Who has had the greatest impact or inspiration in your sailing career and why? Different people at different times. In the Yngling campaign Ian WALKER our coach. Everyday he impressed me with his knowledge and enthusiasm. It was an honour to work with him. Ian WALKER, our coach - double Olympic silver medallist and skipper of GBR Challenge. He coached us when I sailed a 470 and brought me into the Yngling team and is the most knowledgeable sailor I have ben able to work with on a regular basis. It has to be our coach Ian WALKER. If it wasn't for him we would have struggled to win our medal.
Who do you consider to be your sailing hero? There are a few sailors who really impressed me. Jochen SCHUEMANN, he could always turn it on when it mattered. Torben GRAEL - so many medals over such a long time. Ben AINSLIE - I'll always be impressed by his raw talent. Rodney PATTISON - until recently our greatest ever champion.

What other sports do you participate in outside of sailing? Golf, hopefully skiing again this winter. Skiing and golf Windsurfing and golf
Who do you consider to be the greatest sailor in the World and why? Torben GRAEL - exceptional at so many areas of the sport. Ben AINSLIE - both his gold medals have been an inspiration. Ben AINSLIE because he is a legend.
Briefly state what being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award 2004 means to you It's the nearest thing to an oscar we have. To be nominated by your peers, the people you respect in your sport is very rewarding. It's great, not something I had ever imagined! It is great to be recognised for your achievement iin sport.
If voted as the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2004, briefly say what will this mean to you? I have won before as a single-handed sailor but to win again in a different discipline with my team would be an incredible reward for all our hard work and dedication and the dedication of the team of people who made it happen for us. To be recognised internationally for something which I love doing would be a great honour. It would be great.


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