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WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS WILL DETERMINE THOMAS’ FLIGHT TO BEIJING

23 Aug 2007

Aside from an aggressive field of opposition, his crew will be up against the elements:

"Sailing isn’t like sprinting where you can gauge exactly where you are in your development. There are so many variables that can affect the outcome no matter how much you train – weather conditions, opposition, even luck. Two freak incidents could ruin your race."

He continues: "But that’s the beauty of it. In sprinting you can have a really bad start and know your race is over, but in sailing you can really turn it around.

"You have to make educated guesses. Ten minutes before the start you devise the best strategy depending on the weather and just try to execute it the best you can in the race. It’s all about management. You have to be prepared to adapt and improvise in a split second, and accept that sometimes your decisions might be wrong."

Such inconsistencies are, however, little to a man who harbours a unique passion for the sport and is determined to make it to Beijing:

"I love sailing because it’s raw. You use the equipment and the elements to drive you wherever you need to go so you’re harnessing the elements."

He admits: "It’s not one of the most glamorous sports in terms of participation. It’s a lot easier for people to just get on a bike, or kick a football, but there are so many new programmes starting in Wales, for instance in Cardiff Bay, and the numbers are slowly improving. That’s why our performance is so important because with more success at GB level, its profile will be lifted."