Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Britain's "three blondes in a boat" have confirmed that they will no longer race together as a trio after the Yngling class boat in which they won gold at the Beijing Olympics was removed from the sailing program for the 2012 London Games. The International Sailing Federation decided last month to introduce a women's match racing event for 2012, in modified Elliot 6 metre boats in place of the Yngling.
British Olympic sailing gold medalists (L-R) Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson.The trio of 28-year-old Sarah Ayton, 31-year-old Sarah Webb and 22-year-old Pippa Wilson are considering their options for 2012 in the remaining women's Olympic classes. The three said on the Royal Yachting Association's website they would announce their future plans in the New Year, but ruled out match racing in the Elliots. "Our strengths are definitely in fleet racing and as there's no fleet racing option for three women any longer, that effectively means the end of the line for us as a team," Ayton said. The three have been an integral part of Britain's recent domination of Olympic sailing.The British team won six medals - four gold, a silver and a bronze - at the Beijing Games, making Britain the most successful sailing nation for the third straight Olympics. "It's been an incredible journey for the Yngling Girls and for everyone who has helped and supported us in our mission to dominate the fleet and be the best in the world," Ayton said. Ayton and Webb won gold in the Yngling class with Shirley Robertson at the Athens 2004 Games, but became an even more dominant force on the world circuit after joining up with Wilson at the end of 2006.