Great Britain is the most successful nation ever in Olympic sailing having won a total of 54 medals at the Olympic Games, 25 of which are gold. Ben Ainslie, the most successful sailor in Olympic history, has won four of these gold medals as well as a silver.
The British Sailing Team topped the Paralympics sailing medal table at the London 2012 Paralympic Games with one gold medal and one bronze medal.
The English Institute of Sport (EIS) provides a range of sport science and medicine services in support of the British Sailing Team. These are predominantly delivered from the RYA Performance Unit in Portland, Dorset, or at camps and regattas overseas. Practitioners that work with sailing are based at the centre on a full-time basis.
The multi-disciplinary team works closely with the sailors, coaches and the wider programme to provide performance focused and solution based approach to support. This has the overall objective of impacting on human and boat performance through the delivery of targeted support. The unpredictable nature of sailing creates unstable conditions for athletes, who must contend with a variety of conditions including the weather, complex decision making and technological and equipment developments. EIS practitioners work within sailing to implement targeted strategies that support human (physical and mental) and boat performance (technological and equipment). Data is critical in informing and monitoring the effectiveness of these strategies and interventions.
Sailing uses both human, boat and performance related data to help sailors and coaches formulate their competitive and tactical approach with as many key relevant facts as possible.
Decision making on the water is a critical factor in success within the sport so Performance Psychology works closely with coaches, sailors and identified experts, supporting athletes make the right decisions at critical moments within a race.
The EIS support provided to sailing operates throughout the Performance Pathway. This model of support focuses on the education and development of young sailors as they work towards the opportunity to represent GB on the world stage.