Past Olympian: Adrian Jardine 

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Major Adrian ‘Ado’ Jardine attended three Olympics in the Sixties; a reserve for Rome 1960 and competing in the 5.5m keelboat at Tokyo 1964, he claimed 5.5m bronze with Robin Aisher and Paul Anderson at Mexico 1968. Ado's twin Stuart also competed in the Star in Mexico and at Munich 1972. Now 76, sailing remains Ado’s life and he is heavily involved in X One-Design (XOD) class boats.

“I campaigned for Rome 1960 in the Flying Dutchman (FD) with Angus Fryer but we suffered a major disappointment, when despite having enjoyed considerable success in the pre-Olympic year including silver at the Worlds, we weren't selected. After that I made the pledge I was only ever going to sail to enjoy it and never take it too seriously again, it just happened sailing was my life.

“I teamed up with Robin Aisher in 1963 to campaign for Tokyo in the 5.5m because I thought we were at least just as good as anyone else and if we put our minds to it we would be selected. In the Olympic year we had a boat that was winning but the designer convinced us he had a boat that was faster. We switched, which was the biggest mistake we could’ve made as it was nowhere near as quick as our original. Once we qualified for Mexico 1968 there was no danger of us repeating that.

“We thought we would get a medal in Mexico. If you’re going to win a medal at an Olympics you really have to be on the podium at most of the lead in regattas and building up to Mexico we'd always been in the top three and won silver at the Worlds. We thought we were likely to win silver but the Swedes, who’d been hopeless all season and couldn't get their boat to measure in Mexico causing them to have to cut a hunk out of it just to get it to measure, ended up sailing brilliantly and won gold! We were still very happy with bronze because we’d achieved our main aim of a medal.

“During my first two campaigns I was lucky because I was in the Army and provided you kept winning the Army were quite happy to let you keep campaigning while paying you your normal wage. I left the Army in 1967 and although I was working for Kit Hobday's marine PR company in the run up to Mexico I was able to campaign as good as full time. We didn’t receive any national funding for any of the campaigns however; when campaigning the FD with Angus we were stationed in Germany and had a campervan that we used to drive all over Europe to compete at the weekends. In two years we did 300,000 kilometres – it helped that petrol was only 12p a gallon!

“The great thing about going to Olympics is seeing how other athletes operate. The great Rodney Pattison seemed to do most of his fitness training on the dancefloor! He was amazing to observe because once he put his mind to something, combined with his attention to detail, he was unstoppable. I don't know how much difference winning an Olympic medal made to my life; maybe more people asked me to sail their boats but my brother never won a medal and he gets asked as much as I do? After Mexico I didn’t feel the need to campaign for another Olympics, children had arrived and I was satisfied.

“I’ve done a lot of Championship sailing at Weymouth there’s no doubt it's the best sailing area in the country. I hope Ben Ainslie will do a Finn campaign for 2012, I’m sure he can win gold again and I would love to see him do it. I also think Lucy Macgregor’s match racing team are a real medal hope and Nick Thompson in the Laser is an excellent prospect and could yet be selected for 2012.

“The format of the racing may have changed and the sport may have become more professional but I don’t think the sport has really changed that much from my day. Sailing is still sailing and regardless of the boat you have still got to be able to do the fundamentals well to win. That's the enjoyment.”