Ex-Otter Katrina Hughes, crewing for Penny Clark in the 470 class, stood on the podium in silver position at the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta last month. It has been a long haul back to a competitive position since Penny succumbed to a sudden illness at the end of 2009 which obliterated her immune system. She admits it has been a long, hard slog to get back to racing fitness, but now back in the game Penny declares she has no intention of things sliding again as 2012 selection looms.
The real turning point came in November when, following a solid two months of hard slog on UK waters, the duo went to Australia for a period of warm weather training before and after the Perth International Regatta. Training with some of the World’s top international teams, Clark and Hughes were able to refine their boat handling in testing conditions and pressure situations.
They may have the early medal to their credit but Clark and Hughes also have the small matter of Olympic Yngling champion Sarah Ayton and Saskia Clark, who are equally eager to win the 470 race for 2012, to overcome.
Both Penny and Katrina are under no illusions as to the task ahead. "Aside from Sarah and Saskia we know that if we want to be standing on the podium at 2012 then we have to be getting on the podium this year. We have had a great start but it is only the start.”
Congratulations from the Royal Corinthian and we will take much pleasure in watching your progress!
This report contains extracts from an RYA report which you can read in full via the link in the right hand column.
Sarah Ayton has decided to withdraw from the 470 Olympic campaign - RYA Team Blog 17th February