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Good start is key for gold medal hopeful Saskia
A good start is crucial for Saskia Clark as she begins her quest for a gold medal today, according to former Olympic sailor Jeremy Newman.
The West Mersea sailor, together with helm Hannah Mills, gets her London 2012 challenge under way today in Weymouth.
The pair will compete in the 470 class, hoping to still be in contention when the medal race takes place next Friday.
Newman has first hand experience of the Olympics, having competed alongside fellow Brightlingsea sailor Rob White in the Tornado class at Seoul 1988.
The Brightlingsea Sailing Club member believes starting the event well could be the key to Clark and Mills achieving success.
Newman said: “They’ll be trying to stay focused and fingers crossed, they’ll get off to a good start.
“That always does wonders for the confidence, at any event you compete in.
“If you make a poor start, you’re having to play catch up.
“I’m sure that they’ll be dying to get out on the water, after all of the wait and build-up.
“They’ve done all of the training and preparation and will want to get going and get into it.
“Saskia and Hannah will have been carefully watching their colleagues and how they’ve been getting on, over the last few days.
“The likes of Ben Ainslie and Paul Goodison have been out on the water, with mixed results.
“I don’t think we should over-egg their home advantage.
“It’ll be nice for them to be in Weymouth but I’m not sure how much of an advantage it will play.
“The weather will vary daily and everyone else will have to deal with it.
“It looks as though the weather has been quite windy down there.
“They will prefer a lot of breeze, because they’re slightly heavier than some of the other competitors.”
See Friday's Gazette for more on this story and all of the latest Olympics news.