12 Sep 2007

Aside defending their position from fierce contenders Israel (2nd and 4th), USA (3rd and 6th), Ireland (5th) and Germany (7th), the GB crew will be continue to be up against the elements over the next three days of competition, which holds nine more races for the crew.

"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," Thomas explains.

"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."

Thomas plays an important role in the boat, as the central voice between Robertson on the steering tiller, and Stodel, the tactician.

With responsibility for the main sail sheet, Thomas’ premier job is to keep the boat moving fast, pulling the main sheet to affect the crew’s direction and ensuring messages are passed between the crew.