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13 October 2006, 07:20 am
Rankings Boost And A New Crew For AYTON And WEBB
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Beijing 2008

Olympic gold medallists Sarah AYTON and Sarah WEBB (GBR) have cause for a double celebration - not only have they been announced as world number two in the latest Yngling ISAF World Sailing Rankings, but they have also secured a new crew member to join their quest for Beijing gold.
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AYTON and WEBB's search for a world class sailor to fill the spot on the bow left vacant by Victoria RAWLINSON has resulted in 470 sailor and Pippa WILSON (GBR) making the transition to the Women's Keelboat Olympic event in a bid for Olympic glory in two years' time.

The 20 year old WILSON is an accomplished double-handed sailor, winning gold and bronze medals in both the 29er and 420 at the ISAF Youth World Championship in 2002 and 2004, and coming fifth at the 470 Worlds in San Francisco, USA last year.

Switching Positions

Although the switch to the Yngling represents a marked change of both boat and position - WILSON was previously a helm - the Lymington sailor is ready for the change and is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

'It is a great opportunity for me to work alongside the girls and we are all really excited about the challenge ahead,' enthused WILSON.

'I felt that I needed a change from my 470 helming and this position for me, although very different, is just what I need to up my game and hopefully I can bring my experiences to moving our team forward to being number one in the world.'

The AYTON, WEBB and WILSON trio will race together for the first time at this weekend's ISAF Grade 3 Skandia RYA Sail for Gold Regatta, which runs from Friday through until Sunday, 13-15 October.

Ranking Reward

AYTON and WEBB's world number two position caps off a successful season for the Skandia Team GBR sailors, who secured podium positions at the Miami, Princess Sofia, Hyeres and Holland Regattas with a variety of team mates on the bow.

The Yngling girls are excited to have WILSON joining their Mirabaud sponsored campaign trail and have a busy winter schedule of training planned to ensure they are in the best possible shape ready for the 2007 season - a vital one in the selection process for the 2008 Games.

'When Sarah and I sat down after Athens and planned our Yngling campaign, Pippa was the first on our list of potential bows,' WEBB explained.

'It has taken us two years to convince her to join us and we are thrilled she has decided it's the right move for her. We know she will bring a great deal to our team and we are really excited to get going.'

Lindsey BELL (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Sarah AYTON and her crew in action in Qingdao:© Richard LANGDON/Skandia Team GBR
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