As the Games get closer, the media hype grows; this month a lot of my spare time has been taken up with interviews for various press. This kind of attention from the national media is something that I never thought would happen in windsurfing.
There is no doubt that the focus on Britain’s Sailing Team has come about due to their success from the Sydney and Athens Olympics. Sailing won five medals at both these Games, and many of those medal winners will be competing in China. I am lucky enough to be joining such a high profile team, and combined with my win at the Pre-Olympics the national press are taking notice.
Looking at my training for China, my main focus has been on fitness, and I have been working hard to improve my speed on the RS:X. All of my UK training will be from Hayling Island, because it is tidal and choppy like China, and I am training with Elliot Carney, who is great because he is young and enthusiastic, which is good for motivation. Although he has been getting some great results in the Men’s 9.5 fleet, he is still only 63 kilos so not too heavy for the 8.5 kit. I have also lined up a week with Ali and Jacob, our two top youth boys, who both go extremely well in light winds. It is great to train with lads as they are able to push the kit further than the women so I have the opportunity to get a good jump ahead.
"Speed is mainly down to good technique, but speed in China will come from one main thing and that’s fitness."
Speed at the main tour events is down to good technique, but speed in China will come from one main thing and that’s fitness. My road cycling and running has really jumped up a gear. Instead of fat burning rides I am now pushing to maintain at least 80% of my max heart rate for my two hour rides that I do every day. I am now in overload training, which will last for the next month; it simply means that all the training I do is about as hard as I can go, jogs now are becoming like long sprints. The training is getting really tough on the water too, but knowing that the Games are so close gives me all the motivation I need.
I will be training in China for two weeks in June then I have some time in the UK training at Hayling, before I finally head out to China on 21st July. The windsurfer's first day racing is 11th August, so not long to go now!
Finally, I have a new title sponsor, Skandia, who will be a massive financial help for 2008 and through till 2012. They are a large pensions and investments company whose owners have a big interest in sailing. I am also working closely with Fat Face, and have just designed my own bikini and female board shorts, which I will be competing in at the Olympics. You will soon see my designs in their stores.
Keep a look out over the next few months for upcoming articles in The Independent, The Observer and Saturday Times Magazine. Follow my progress on www.bryonyshaw.com and of course my monthly column with Boardseeker.com…
The Beijing Olympic Games start on 8th August and runs through to 24th August. The windsurfing event begins on 11th August.
For more about Team GBR go to: www.skandiateamgbr.com