Olympic champion Wilson at home as she returns to sailing

30 March 2013 / 14:42

Pippa Wilson admits she is back where she belongs as she prepares for her first international sailing regatta in almost four years at the upcoming Princess Sofia Trophy.

The 27-year-old last took to the water competitively at the Sail for Gold Regatta at the London 2012 Olympic venue of Weymouth back in September of 2009.

There she was attempting to get to grips with a new boat, the women’s 470, and a new partner, Saskia Clark, after the Yngling class was dropped for London 2012.

At the Beijing 2008 Olympics Wilson was one of the ‘three blondes in a boat’ with Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb that won gold in the Yngling in Qingdao.

However she called time on the fledgling partnership with Clark, who went on to win silver in the women’s 470 with Hannah Mills at London 2012.

But, after time spent away from the sport, Wilson is back and sailing the mixed multihull Nacra 17, new to the Olympic programme for Rio 2016, with John Gimson.

They will make their debut together at the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma next week and for Wilson the feeling of sailing again is homely.

“I felt that I just didn’t have the motivation emotionally or physically to give the campaign what it deserved,” said Wilson. 

“I was fearful of compromising Saskia’s chances of winning the gold in 2012 and I wanted to commit fully to her, but in my heart I couldn’t. I needed some time to develop away from sailing.

“I knew the decision I was making meant missing London 2012 – time just goes too quickly – and I knew that it would be an incredible Olympic Games, but I felt I had no choice.

“I needed space, new motivation and some fresh air away from the sailing circuit. It is fantastic to be faced with such a difficult challenge, mentally, physically and with a new teammate.

“That is what the Olympics and life is all about – so John and I have accepted the challenge and every day is focussed on trying to become the best in the world in this new discipline.

“It is a very large mountain to climb, and the road will be full of highs and lows, but at the moment it feels like home to be out on the water following a new dream and trying to make the best of every day.”

© Sportsbeat 2013