Olympic bronze medallist Bryony Shaw believes her close knit support team are the secret behind her 2013 successes after she was named as the British Sailing Team’s Athlete of the Year.
The 30-year-old was handed the honour after claiming seven podium finishes from nine in 2013, including her first ever RS:X World Championship medal when she took silver in Buzios in March.
A bronze medallist at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, Shaw had hoped to go even better at London 2012 last summer but a chest infection hampered her preparations as she finished seventh.
But she bounced back in style this year, following up her silver in Brazil with gold at the Hyeres leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, the Brest Open Europeans and the Sail for Gold Regatta.
There were also silvers at the Palma World Cup, the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup event in Garda, the European Championships and the Santander 2014 World Championship Test Event.
But despite her achievements Shaw, who picked up the Athlete of the Year prize ahead of the likes of London 2012 silver medallist Nick Dempsey, admitted it had still come as a shock.
“It’s a complete surprise as I thought Nick would win this award, but it’s fantastic,” she said.
“2012 was obviously a really difficult year for me but I’m really grateful to my coach Dom Tidey, the sports science guys, Izzy Hamilton and my little training group.
“We’ve got a good team there all pushing each other on and it’s really paying off with results on the water.”
© Sportsbeat 2013