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Sarah AYTON, Sarah WEBB & Pippa WILSON (GBR)

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© Richard Langdon/Skandia Team GBR
It has been quite a year for this talented British trio and their results in the Yngling at ISAF Graded events are a clear indicator of their hard work. Sarah AYTON, Sarah WEBB and Pippa WILSON have finished on the podium at all of the ISAF Graded events they entered during the nomination period and at four of those they took home the gold medal. However, the ultimate prize for the team came at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais. After an extremely close Championship, the team went into the Medal Race with a slender one point lead over their British rivals and did just enough to clinch the gold medal and their first Yngling World title. They followed up their victory in Cascais with another gold medal at the Qingdao International Regatta.

The icing on the cake at the end of the nomination period was making the # 1 position on the ISAF World Sailing Rankings for the first time, a fitting end to a fantastic 12 months of sailing.

3 - Sail for Gold, Weymouth, GBR - ISAF Grade 3 - Oct 2006
2 - Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA - ISAF Grade 1 - Jan 2007
1 - Yngling North American Championship, Miami, USA - ISAF Grade C1 - Jan/Feb 2007
2 - HRH Princess Sofia Trophy, Palma, ESP - ISAF Grade 2 - Apr 2007
3 - Semaine Olympique Française, Hyères, FRA - ISAF Grade 1 - Apr 2007
1 - Breitling Regatta, Medemblik, NED - ISAF Grade 1 - May 2007
1 - ISAF Sailing World Championships, Cascais, POR - ISAF Grade W - Jul 2007
1 - Qingdao International Regatta, Qingdao, CHN - ISAF Grade 2 - Aug 2007
ISAF World Sailing Rankings position at the end of the nomination period (29 August 2007) - #1

Name Sarah AYTON (helm) Sarah WEBB (crew) Pippa WILSON (crew)
Place of birth England London Southampton
Date of Birth 9 April 1980 13 January 1977 7 February 1986
Profession Full time Olympic Sailor Sailor Sailor
ISAF Sailor ID GBRSA16 GBRSW18 GBRPW25
What inspired you to take up sailing? I don't come from a sailing background but my parants were keen for my brother and I to have a hobby. After trying lots of different sports and activities we found sailing and never looked back. It was a hobby I started as a child and I was inspired to go Olympic Sailing when I watched the Games aged 14 my parents
What was the first boat you sailed and how old were you? Oppie at the age of 6. An Optimist aged 6 Oppie, 8 yrs
How did you buy your first boat and what was it? I crewed for many years before owning my own boat, my mum and dad bought my brother and I a cadet but that didn't last very long, I think it was the brother and sister thing! Eventually I bought a Laser Radial with the help of my saling club and the help of a family friend. A Laser Radial for the Youth Programme, from my evening job. My parents, Cadet
Name your first sailing club Queen Mary SC Queen Mary SC Salterns Sailing Club, Lymington
What was the first event you competed in and when? The Mary Ellan trophey, which is a race around Queen Mary. Optimist Nationals, Bathenthwaite 1987 Cadet Nationals, age 10
What was the first event you won and when? Youth Nationals In the Laser Radial in 1998 Optimist European Championship Trials in Weymouth1990 Cadet Nationals, age 15
What are your personal highlights of your career to date? Winning Gold in Athens has been biggest highlight so far, having one Gold definitley plants the seed to go and get another!! Since Helming the Yngling different challenges have come along. Since teaming up with team mate Pippa last year our campaign has gone from strength to strength and whilst we get results we have planty of fun along the way making winning the ISAF worlds a particully sweet victory. Of course China this year was an important win for us and has given us the motivation we need to ensure we're back in the same spot next year! Olympic Gold Medal 2004

4th Cadet Worlds 2000 and 2001
29er Youth Nationals and ISAF Worlds 2002 - Gold
420 Youth Nationals 2004 - Gold,
420 Youth Worlds 2002 - Bronze
420 Europeans 2004 - Gold
470 8th Europeans, 7th Worlds 2005
ISAF Worlds 2007 Yngling - Gold
Pre Olympics 2007 Yngling - Gold

What are your future sailing goals? I'd like to continue Olympic sailing and win another couple of medals before I discover what big boat sailing is about. A second Olympic Gold Medal Gold Medal at the Olympics. Move women's sailing forward
Who has had the greatest impact on your sailing career and why? One of the great things about Olympic sailing is that it is very challenging and daily we're faced with new problems or questions that need to be resolved or answered so we can learn and move forward. Having a strong support team around us is vital to developing our campaign along with our coach who allows us to grow as individuals and as a team meaning we can perform to our potenial. Our coach Paul BROTHERTON - he was my first coach when I became an Olympic Sailor in a 470, and has now coached our Yngling Team for the last year. Malav SHROFF and Paul BROTHERTON. Both have been mentors to me from when I met them in Youth Sailing and have believed in me and supported me from Day 1. They have both helped me grow in ways I never knew were possible and have always been so positive and encouraging
Who is your sailing hero? Russell COUTTS When I was a kid - Lawrie SMITH
What other sports do you enjoy? Windsurfing, cycling and running. Cruising, Cycling, Golf Windsurfing, cycling, swimming, running
What does being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards mean to you? It has been a honor to have nominated for ISAF sailor of the Year. If we win this award it would really complete our year as a team. It would be honour to have our commitment to Olympic Yngling Sailing recognised on a World stage It is an honour to be nominated and be recognised for our achievements this year that we have put our heart and soul into. We have had a fantastic year and to be recognised is the cherry on the top!
If you were voted as the winner, what would this mean to you? There were three things on my list when growing up, the first two are ticked off so I'm keeping my fingures crossed for the third! To join the list of distingushed yachtsmen and women who have won this award in the past would be fantastic

To win this prestigious award would be a perfect ending to an incredible year and a huge landmark in my life and career. It would be an honour to accept the award with my amazing team mates and to celebrate the ups and downs of this year, bring recognition to our class and hopefully inspire people both in and out of the sailing world. It would mark the end of this year and the beginning of an exciting new year to face new challenges and hopefully push the boundaries further within Olympic sailing.


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