Our Olympic team: Steve Thomas of Portland’s Sonar Team
SKANDIA Team GBR is the British Sailing Team in the Olympic and Paralympic classes.
The team consists of the Performance Squad and Development and Transitional squads, which jointly total around 70 sailors.
The sailors train and compete across 10 Olympic Classes and three Paralympic Classes.
Great Britain is the world’s top Olympic classes sailing nation with the British Olympic team sailors topping the medal table at the past three Games in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
In a Dorset Echo column, Britain’s sailors are bringing an insight into their campaign for glory at the London 2012 Games.
Here’s Portland’s Sonar Team crew Steve Thomas, who won gold at the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta with John Robertson and Hannah Stodel. TODAY we’re going up to London for a team sponsored day with Accenture, doing some corporate meet and greet with those guys.
It’s the day before the Sail for Gold Ball, which is the big send off before everyone goes to the Games.
It’s a great opportunity to present the team to the world and the British public.
Princess Anne will be there and I think John’s on the top table.
The Sail for Gold Ball is every four years and each time one Paralympian and one Olympian get chosen for the top table.
I did it last time. It was a bit nerve-racking, watching my Ps and Qs and keeping my cutlery in the right place. I made sure I addressed the Princess as Ma’am. She was very nice.
I’m sure John will charm her, he’s great with people.
Looking back at the Sail for Gold regatta we’ve learnt our speed is pretty good. There’s still a couple of areas we want to work on before the Games.
I was quite disappointed we couldn’t go racing on the last two days of the regatta, due to the extreme wind. It would have been good to get some more race practice There was tough competition – all the guys competing at Sail for Gold will be here at the Games.
It was a strong fleet and everyone sailed well.
Now it’s just a matter of trying to keep up with them and improving for the Games.
There’s a lot still to work on between now and London 2012.