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Team GBR Fail to Peak, but it's OK

They can now turn their attention to perfecting their skills and processes so that they peak just at the right time

Aarhus promised so much and, apart from some dodgy weather conditions, it delivered. The facilities, the organisation,the quality of the racing, the crowds, all fine.

Unlike the British Sailing Team perfomance which was less than overwhelming.

But all is not lost, because it seems this was just another training experience for the real thing - Tokyo 2020.

As British Sailing Team boss Mark Robinson explained,

"The British Sailing Team athletes met the qualification criteria in every class. In terms of guaranteeing that British sailors will be on the start line of every sailing event at Tokyo 2020, it’s job done,”

"With two years to go until Tokyo 2020, we can now turn our attention to perfecting our skills and processes so that we peak just at the right time.”

You might want to read that again . . .

"we can now turn our attention to perfecting our skills and processes so that we peak just at the right time.”

It seems that the Aarhus World Championships - Olympic Sailings biggest event outside of the actual Games - were really all about meeting the qualification criteria for 2020.

So £25 million* well spent then, now we just have to do some more 'non-peak' events to make sure that we 'peak just at the right time'.

Apparently the British Sailing Team only need to peak once every four years to justify their position on the Sport funding ladder.

All this season the after-race comments have been about how the real focus was the Aarhus World Championships.

So we were ready for all this preperation to finally payoff and for the British Sailing Team to storm the medal podiums, the Aarhus Worlds was the big one.

The RYA media/publicity machine obviously saw this as the kick-starter for Tokyo 2020 and rolled out the usual cringe-worthy, posed images they save for these really big events.

A 66 strong squad was assembled, a squad that managed two medals - a bronze in the women's 470 and 49erFX (top image) - out of thirty up for grabs. (plus a silver in the kite board event).

Britain placed 11th in the Worlds medal table (counting the kite medal).

The Netherlands topped the medal table with three golds, two silvers and one bronze from the ten Olympic classes, with a team of half the squad numbers entered by Britain.

A squad where in seven of the ten events the "No.1" Brit was beaten by a "podium potential" competitor - RYA speak for young, rising star.

But the bright side of this depressing result is that we did see some great performances from these keen, young faces.

So maybe all is not lost, we are seeing a changing of the guard, it may be cutting it fine, but it was good to see the enthusiasm of the 'podium potentials' compared to the rather bewildered looks of the more senior members.

The downward trend has been obvious for some time.

The 2012 Olympic team had reached a natural end that had started in 2000 with 3 gold, hit a peak of four golds in 2008, and finished at a low-point of one gold in London 2012.

Rio was to be the new beginning, and we did see two fine gold medal perfomances, from Giles Scott and Mills and Clarke.

But no matter how you talked it up, it was obvious that the fabled British system was not producing, and the rest of the world was not only catching up but moving on.

Let us hope that we have hit the bottom and that indeed we can now turn our attention to, 'perfecting our skills and processes' so that we peak just at the right time.

*Note: The funding from UK Sport is spread over the four-year Olympic cycle.

Related content:
GBR Limbo to top Olympic sailing nation

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