Sunderland Paralympic sailor aims to lead team to victory

Sailing - Para World Sailing Championships 2015, Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, Williamstown (Aus). 2/12/2015.  Photo: Teri Dodds.
Sailing - Para World Sailing Championships 2015, Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, Williamstown (Aus). 2/12/2015. Photo: Teri Dodds.
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A Sunderland paralympic sailor is hoping to lead his team to championship victory when they take on the best in the world.

John Robertson is part of the sonar trio who are competing in the Para World Sailing Championships in the Netherlands.

This is a great test of the pressure we’ll be under in the games

Hannah Stodel

The contest, which gets underway today, gives the crew an ideal chance to assess any final campaign tweaks ahead of the Rio regatta in September.

He will be joined by Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas, who claimed their third World Championship title at the 2015 edition in Melbourne.

The trio were crowned champions by a single point over the Australian crew.

Stodel said: “It is such a good event in the run-up, it’s the first event where we’ve got the same number of boats that we’ll have at the Games.

“It’s just really good to see where we are, especially having our new coach on board. We’ve done two great events together, finishing on the podium both times, so this is really a good test for us in terms of the pressure that the Games will bring and see how everything holds together and what will still need to work on before the Games in training.”

“The Norwegians are sailing really strongly at the moment so they’ll certainly be ones to watch, and the Aussie as always – especially as it’s initially looking quite breezy. I’d expect us and those two boats to be up there in the breeze. Later in the week it’s looking a bit lighter so we’ll have a few more players joining in by that point.

“I think it will be a typical Sonar Worlds with everybody in and amongst the mix, the top five or six will be pretty close. It will be some good racing and I’m looking forward to having a good fight.”

The Para World Sailing Championships runs from Tuesday 24 May until Saturday 28 May, with ten races scheduled.

Results will be at available at http://www.deltalloydregatta.org. For news and British Sailing Team updates, visit us at www.britishsailingteam.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @BritishSailing