Robertson ready for World Championship action 

Sunderland sailor John Robertson is looking forward to putting a ‘stressful’ 12 months behind him.

He takes to the water next week at the IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championships in Kinsale, Ireland (26-30 August). The three-time Paralympian Robertson missed out on a Sonar class medal at the Games last year with teammates Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas after a controversial jury decision went against them.The trio, which had been in the bronze medal position prior to the incident, was penalised following a misunderstanding between an event official and a member of their shore crew who was undertaking repairs to the boat.  

The case went all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in an attempt to get the decision overturned. Although ultimately unsuccessful, the 41-year-old Robertson is focussed on the road to Rio 2016 where they will attempt to set the record straight. A new competition cycle, and working under a new coach, Simon Rosier, Robertson is looking forward to next week’s Worlds which is the peak event of the Paralympic classes calendar. 

“Our aims are to sail well and have fun I think after a  pretty stressful 12 months after the Paralympic Games last summer. It will be nice to compete at the World Championships and just enjoy it,” he explained.“Preparations for the event have been really good. We have done a lot of good work over the past few weeks so we are quite excited to get out there and see if we can ‘smash it down’ and bring home a gold.” 

Robertson and his team have won the IFDS Worlds title twice before, and have finished on the podium in the last three editions.  It will be the trio’s tenth World Championships together, but the Sunderland sailor acknowledges that competition will be tough “It’s going to be a tough event with quite a few new teams out for the first time as well as all the medallists from last year in London so it is shaping up to be a good competitive fight!” He continued: “We have been to the [Kinsale] venue once before, we went before Beijing and it was really good. It’s a nice open sea venue with a nice sea swell running and lovely countryside. It could be anything from five to 25 knots so we are just really looking forward to a good mix of conditions.” 

The five-day IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championships also sees racing in the two-person SKUD 18 class, where the British Sailing Team’s Paralympic bronze medallists Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell will be chasing their fifth consecutive world title, and in the one-person 2.4mR class Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas and 2.4mR Open Worlds bronze medallist Megan Pascoe will be in the hunt for podium honours.A ten-race series is scheduled for the event, with two races per day from Monday 26 August through until Friday 30 August set to determine the new World Champions.

For further event information, visit www.ifdsworlds2013.comFor the latest news and information from the British Sailing Team visit www.britishsailingteam.com, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter@BritishSailing.

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Article Published: August 22, 2013 14:55

 

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