NI sailors ready for Olympic Games at Weymouth
As the Olympic Games in London rapidly approach, three sailors from Northern Ireland are making their final preparations for competition at Weymouth in Dorset.
The journey by road from Bangor to Carrickfergus is about 20 miles by road, but it is a lot shorter by sea.
The coastal towns each boast an Olympic sailor. Matt McGovern and Ryan Seaton are crewmates in the 49er class.
The boats in this event are easily recognised by their big colourful sails and their speed, as Ryan Seaton points out.'Take no prisoners'
"We're the formula one and usually the cool guys in the fleet," he joked.
"All the guys in the fleet get on really well. Obviously once it begins, it's game-on and you take no prisoners but we all hang out together."
McGovern said there was a close bond with rival teams because of the dangers posed by the event.
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"I think because of the speed, and there's a lot of crashes, when you get back to the beach you're just happy to have survived," he said.
"Our sails are so much bigger, hence the speed, and that brings some carnage into it, but that's why we're all so close."
In all, five boats will be sailing for the Ireland team at the Olympics, two of which are from Northern Ireland.
Ballyholme's James Espey will be competing in the Laser class, and he says qualifying for the Olympics fulfils a childhood dream.'Gentleman's sport'
"It's tough out there - you hear a lot of different languages and you have to learn quickly what they mean," he said.
"Once we're off the water, we're all friends - it's a gentleman's sport really."
The deciding factor in the race for Olympic sailing medals is not just about how well you handle your opponents or your own boat - the weather also plays a huge role.
Ryan Seaton said they were ready for whatever was thrown at them.
"We're not really scared of the weather - we look at the rain and big winds and think it's a good advantage for us," he said.
"The Australians are putting on extra layers of clothing which takes away their feeling for movement around the boat, but Matt and I are used to that from living in Northern Ireland all our lives.
"I would say we'll be pretty happy no matter what we get."