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Katrina Hughes helping Olympic medal hunters
Dinghy racing ace Katrina Hughes — who narrowly missed out on a slot at the London 2012 Olympics — will play a part in Britain’s race for sailing medals at this summer’s Games.
Despite the heartache of missing out on selection in the 470 class to Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills, Hughes and her 470 partner Penny Clark have been asked to help with boat tuning and coaching for the Olympic representatives.
Hughes said: “We’ve been helping out a lot of the other teams and have been working really closely with the Paralympic sailors.
“Hannah and Saskia pencilled in some training with us for the end of the month, so we thought it was only fair to get back up to speed before we go and train with them.”
As part of those preparations Hughes, 22, and her helmsman took to the water at last week’s Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta at the London 2012 venue — Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.
And the pair placed 19th overall. The performance follows a few months off for Hughes and her helmsman.
“We hadn’t actually been in the 470 for six months before Sail for Gold, so we were just trying to get back into it,” she said.
“At the beginning of the year we were ranked number one in the world, Hannah and Saskia were second and that shows where 470 sailing is in the UK.
“It’s fantastic that they are world champions and they will go to the Games as one of the medal favourites, and we wish them all the best for that and are more than happy to give them a hand.
“We’re going to take a little bit of time to think about our future plans, and wait until we have got the Olympic Games out of the way and done all of that, before we commit to anything in particular.
“But there’s a new women’s skiff event that looks like it’s coming in and that’s really exciting for all the girls, and we are pretty keen to have a look at that and keep the 470 in reserve just in case.”
Investment specialist Skandia is the principal sponsor of the British sailing team. For more information go to www.skandiateamgbr.com.
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