Mersea's Saskia set for Beijing Olympics

IT'S official - the Royal Yachting Association has named Mersea's Saskia Clark as one of the sailors it will recommend to the British Olympic Association to compete at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

IT'S official - the Royal Yachting Association has named Mersea's Saskia Clark as one of the sailors it will recommend to the British Olympic Association to compete at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

She and team mate Christina Bassadone will represent Great Britain in the women's 470 class, one of 11 classes competing for medals in August next year.

The announcement came at a reception held at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy - home of the 2012 Olympic sailing competition - just before last weekend's Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta.

Saskia said: “Christina and I have been so focused on this moment for the past three years that now that it's come it hasn't quite sunk in.


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“I think that rather than excitement we are both just keen to get on with the training and proving that we can perform when it matters.”

Saskia started sailing as a six year old from West Mersea and went on to win the European Youth Championships in the Laser Radial Class.

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In 2005 she teamed up with Christina.

In their first season together the partnership won silver at the women's 470 World Championships and subsequently performed consistently at the top of the international fleet.

They won bronze at this year's worlds and have spent most of the past 18 months ranked number 1 in the world.

Announcing the nominations, Tim Hancock, chairman of the RYA's Olympic Steering Group, said Skandia Team GBR had enjoyed fantastic success on the world stage this summer.

“While the team's performance bodes well for 2008, our sailors will have no time to waste if they're to achieve their dreams and help us keep Great Britain on top of the medal table for sailing next year.

“For the sailors named today, once accepted as part of Team GB by the BOA, Beijing 2008 will be the challenge of a lifetime for them.”

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