Southampton sailing duo earn Olympics call-up

Daily Echo: Ben Rhodes Ben Rhodes

Great Britain's sailing line-up for London 2012 was completed today with the announcement of the final three sailor selections.

The British Olympic Association has confirmed the Royal Yachting Association's nominations of Stevie Morrison and Southampton’s Ben Rhodes - veterans of the 2008 Games - in the 49er class, while Alison Young will make her Olympic debut in the Laser Radial event.

Southampton’s Helena Lucas joins the ParalympicsGB ranks in the one-person 2.4mR event and completes the line-up for this summer's Games at Weymouth and Portland.

"We've now got 13 teams in the 13 events - Olympic and Paralympic," said Stephen Park, RYA Olympic manager and sailing team leader.

"As we go into the Games, I can honestly say hand on heart that we've got people who've got potential to medal in every single event. We've never had that before.

"That doesn't mean to say that we'll medal in every event - far from it - but in terms of preparing a good team, the sailors have done an incredible job to date.

"Having teams selected at this stage provides us with an opportunity for them to pull together, to bond as a group and really allows that to add an extra dimension to their preparation in the last weeks up until the Games."

The four sailors are the final additions to the British team for the Olympics and Paralympics.

Three-time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie will represent TeamGB in the Finn class, Paul Goodison will be the Laser representative and Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson will race in the Star class.

Nick Dempsey and Bryony Shaw are the selections for the male and female RS:X events respectively, while Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell team up for men's 470.

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark are the women's 470 representatives, while Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor will compete in the women's match racing event.

Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell will represent ParalympicsGB in the SKUD class, while John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas have been chosen for the Sonar event.

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