The BBC is set to broadcast two documentaries on Olympic Classes sailing, produced by Sunset+Vine|APP in association with BBC Sport. Part 1 of “Olympic Sailing” will air this Saturday, 21 August , at 1300 on BBC 1. It tells the story of Britain’s medal winners at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta where nearly 1000 sailors from 57 nations competed at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, the venue for the sailing competition for the London 2012 Games.
The documentary will follow the highs and lows of this international competition that includes Britain’s Beijing gold medalliists Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy and Sarah Ayton plus a host of medallists from the 2008 Games, as they compete on home waters exactly two years ahead of the London 2012 sailing competition.
BBC cameras were invited behind the scenes into the Skandia Team GBR camp for an exclusive tour of the new team accommodation just metres away from the Olympic venue where Shirley Robertson – herself a double Olympic gold medallist – discovers the systems the British team have put in place in order to have the best chance of winning medals. She meets Skandia Team GBR’s newest support crew member, falconer Brian Williams, who with his birds of prey at six o’clock in the morning take on the dawn chorus of local seagulls in a bid to provide the sailors with their last hours of valuable sleep.
The documentary catches up with medal-winning husband and wife team Nick Dempsey and Sarah Ayton, and joins Ainslie, Percy and his crew Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson for an insight into what makes this renowned team tick. Shirley also meets the young British team sailors struggling to get into the elite squad and earn themselves a place in the main squad where no stone is left unturned in the quest for medals.
The Skandia Sail for Gold regatta was the largest ISAF Sailing World Cup event in 2010, and provided an insight for many 2012 teams into the future Olympic venue.
On Sunday 5 September at 1400 on BBC 2, “OLYMPIC SAILING” (Part 2) will come from Hayling Island on the final day of the Laser World Championships where Beijing gold medallist Paul Goodison is out to defend his title. The programme will also include features on the man to break Ben Ainslie’s six-year winning record in the Olympic Finn class, 23 year-old British sailor Giles Scott, and on perhaps the happiest medal winner of all at the last Games – Britain’s Britain’s Bryony Shaw who windsurfed to bronze in China.
“OLYMPIC SAILING” (Part 1) Saturday 21 August 1300 – 1350, BBC1
“OLYMPIC SAILING” (Part 2) Sunday 5 September – 1400, BBC2
BOTH PROGRAMMES CAN BE WATCHED ON BBC iPLAYER after transmission dates