An incredible few weeks

Thursday 13th September, 2012

What an awesome summer it has been in Great Britain this year! As the Paralympics comes to an end and the victory parade takes place we can’t but help as both competitors and spectators feel the Olympic Blues a bit and just hope performances like Andy Murray’s in the US Open keep coming in!

There are so many thank yous we would like to make to so many people for supporting us to have the most incredible few years and Olympic experience. To all our sponsors however big or small but especially our title sponsor Volvo and to Sperry Top-Sider, Oakley, Brittany Ferries and Skandia thank you for enabling us to do all the training we felt necessary in the past four years to get us into the potential medal winning position we achieved. This was also significantly helped by everyone that helped us raise extra funds and have supported us for so long so thank you to City Livery, Royal Thames, South West Shingles, Royal Motor , Poole and Parkstone Yacht Clubs.

Ultimately we are very disappointed with our final result at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Going into the event and now in hindsight we believe we were capable of winning an Olympic Medal last month. As it was we had some fantastic racing in the quarter finals against another great team and we missed out on a semi final place by the very narrowest of margins. In the past if you had said we were going to enter the Olympics with the form we had and only walk away with 7th place we would have been incredibly disappointed in ourselves, we knew it would be tough but we were there to win an Olympic medal. However something happened over the last year and in particular, the last two months which was not unexpected but the shear size of it was. The support our amazing families, friends and the Great British public have shown us before, during and since the Olympics finished has been absolutely incredible. Thank you all for helping us to have the most amazing weeks of our lives and help us realise the extent of what we have achieved as a team. We are very proud of the way we sailed at the Olympics, we stepped up our game when we needed to and gave the Russian team a fantastic fight. We also hope we helped inspire a generation. Sailing together and having Maurice Paardenkooper as our coach has been brilliant, we’ve worked hard but had an awesome time along the way, thank you for everything Maurice! We were also part of a much bigger team this summer, the British Sailing Team including all the Olympic team, the non selected sailors and in particular the support staff has been a privilege to be a part of and we look forward to working with them all more in the future. Also to all the other British Olympic Athletes who have put in some fantastic performances this summer to make it our most successful team ever, we are very proud to have been a part of it.

So what is next for the Match Race Girls? Well, at the end of the day we are doing what we love, racing in a sport we love at the highest level and we absolutely plan to continue doing that. We are off next month to race with each other in a Grade 1 women’s match racing event in Korea and are currently working out what other events we can fit in. Unfortunately match racing is not going to be a discipline in the Olympics in Rio 2016 so in terms of Olympic Sailing the three of us are going to have to split up. There are a number of aspects of professional sailing that we hope to do a bit more of within the next year however we all have the Olympic bug and are looking at potential options for campaigning for 2016 so keep checking in for what we are up to next, we’ll be back!

Thanks again, its been incredible.

Lucy, Annie and Kate x

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50 days to go…

Thursday 7th June, 2012

Just a quick note to say that today is 50 days until the start of the Olympic Games!

To get in the spirit, why not have a go on the new Sail for Gold Game… available on iOS, Android and online!

After quite a light start to the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta on Monday the wind has been steadily increasing, bringing with it quite cold conditions and torrential rain! Yesterday we finished top of the opening round robin on 10 wins out of 12, and should complete the gold fleet round robin today to determine who we will be sailing in the quarter finals.

The forecast however isn’t looking too promising, with strong wind warnings in force for this afternoon and it gets even worse overnight and through tomorrow when it’s touch and go whether there will be any racing at all… the South Coast is in for a bit of a battering!

Update: Skandia Team GBR catches up with Lucy and Kate in the video interview below as racing is curtailed mid afternoon due to the increasing winds

Lucy, Annie and Kate x

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Full steam ahead…

Thursday 31st May, 2012

Incredibly another month has flown by as we enter the final stages of our Olympic campaign. We’ve been extremely busy with our training schedule here in Weymouth, focussing on fine tuning the little things that will with any luck make all the difference! Thanks to all our training partners who have helped push us over the last few weeks.

Our last World Cup event — the Semaine Olympique Française in Hyeres, France — finished on a slightly frustrating note with the weather playing havoc with the schedule. With seventeen teams a giant round robin consisting of 136 matches was scheduled before knock-out stages, however strong winds hampered progress and produced some pretty brutal conditions. We ended up being just one match short of completing the round robin, which turned out to be us against long term rival and training partner Sally Barkow, so the overall positions were determined on percentage wins putting us in 4th. Had we managed to sail (and win) our last match then the tie-break would probably have put us on the podium, unfortunately it’s just one of those things. However, we felt we were sailing pretty well in the conditions, winning 12 out of the 15 matches we sailed. Check out the gallery for some great pictures in the epic waves!

Since returning from France we’ve mostly been in Weymouth, spending a couple of weeks training by ourselves and some two boat sessions with a variety of partners. For once the weather has been pretty good and we’ve been enjoying some glamour days on the water :)

Media interest is also cranking up as the Games draws closer. You may have seen recently the rather amusing video interview on the Guardian website, and there’s an in depth article if you are a subscriber to The Times online. A couple of weeks ago we did a helicopter film shoot, which should hopefully produce some awesome footage, and earlier this week Skandia Team GBR hosted a media day consisting of interviews and photo opportunities with all of the team both ashore and afloat. Check out the media day gallery.

There are now only two major events before the Olympics, Skandia Sail for Gold next week and the Women’s World Championships in Gothenburg at the end of June. Sail for Gold is especially important as it is the last chance for everyone to compete at the venue on our home waters in Weymouth before the Olympics themselves.

We’ll try to keep you updated, but take a look at SkandiaSailForGoldRegatta.co.uk for coverage of the event including internet radio. The results and live updates on all the action will also be on MatchRacingResults.com. For those on twitter it’s worth following @matchracegirls, @skandiateamgbr, @sailforgold, @ssfg_wmr and @wimra… phew!

I’ll leave you with a quick video of our recent quick-fire question round with Team Volvo for Live, but not without mentioning the latest member of the Macgregor clan and our new mascot — Archie, our new but rapidly growing rough collie puppy!

Cheers,

Lucy

Back to Weymouth

Monday 16th April, 2012

I have a bit of an apology to make! While having dinner with one of my friends and biggest supporters the other night, I was reminded how long it has been since I wrote a blog, the tweets have been coming in but no blog. I am very sorry and thought seeing as it was Monday morning and she would be heading into work where no doubt she will spend some time going through the sailing websites sneakily behind her boss’ back, I’d get something up for her to read, so…..

Morning! Today is our first day sailing back in Weymouth this year. October when we were last sailing here definitely feels like quite a long time ago and actually I think all three of us are looking forward to getting settled back down here and getting some good hours in on the Olympic waters. In many ways we are now heading into the next phase of the year, the last two months we have spent in our own little world really, training in Cadiz. We are really happy with what we achieved out there. Apart from the final week which with a lot of breeze and a quick trip to hospital turned out not to be the most successful week, the venue was great and everyone we had come and join us as training partners added a huge amount to the training.

When we left Cadiz it was to head straight for Palma to the second World Cup event of the year – Trofeo Princesa Sofia. Finishing 6th there wasn’t our best event but we were not too disappointed really, we sailed very well in the opening rounds and although the quarter finals did not go our way we learnt a lot from the week so can’t really complain.

Since then it has be back home sweet home for the week. A ‘week off’ doesn’t seem to really exist any more, there is always plenty to do including a trip to Ipswich with Team Volvo for Live to see the kids at Alton Water – awesome to see so many out sailing during the Easter holidays.

I also did a spot of team building with the rest of Skandia Team GBR trying to improve my clay pigeon shooting skills and Annie, Kate and I had a fantastic night down at the Royal Motor YC in Poole this Saturday where once again we were taken aback by the amount of local support we have. Thank you to everyone who turned up, it really does mean a huge amount to us.

As I said, now we are in sunny Weymouth ready for a weeks training before heading out on Friday to Hyeres for our next event, the Semaine Olympique Française. We have an American and Russian team to train against this week, forecast is looking fruity at times but generally good so fingers crossed it will be a good week!

Keep you posted,

Lucy x