It seems China's finest Tsingtao may have to wait a few days.

The British team are away in Shanghai at the moment for some serious rest and relaxation before competition begins. It's been pretty full-on for the guys so this is their final chance for a proper get together.

Manager Stephen Park says that one of the most draining things about the Chinese summer is the 100% humidity which means the temperatures of around 25C feels more like 40!

I'm sure Team Mirabaud will have hit the spa by now..

The 'three blondes in a boat' will be defending the Yngling gold medal that Britain won four years ago, and while the affectionate title might sound like a setup to a punchline, Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson are no joke.

They are the reigning holders of all three major titles in their sailing class and white hot hopes for a second gold.

The trio are careful to avoid outside distractions preferring instead to solely concentrate on the task that lies ahead. If you do manage track them down it's like having a giggle and good old chinwag.

Getting ready for an Olympic campaign is hard enough but imagine having to plan your own wedding at the same too.

The break from training has given Sarah Ayton and her fiancé Nick Dempsey (windsurfer, bronze medallist in Athens) the chance to do just that.

Believe it or not they don't see each other very often. Being away is just part of the course.

They will marry this autumn having been together for more than nine and a half years. But will it be Mr and Mrs Dempsey or Mr and Mrs Ayton??

"The biggest challenge for Nick and me now is that whoever wins gold keeps their family name" says Sarah. "So, if he is not careful, we could be known in the future as Mr and Mrs Nick Ayton".

Talk about pressure!

Three girls is a difficult number for anyone to work with, but they clearly get on well and being a team is the most important thing to achieve.

Ayton is at the helm, Webb controls the spinnaker, and in Pippa the Nipper (at 21, the youngest of the British sailors to be competing in Qingdao) you have the eyes of the boat at the front.

Or, as she puts it - bow spice! Sit at a stupid angle with bum in water and waves breaking up your nose and over your head whilst trying to concentrate on something useful.

You can't say fairer than that.

Juliette Ferrington will be reporting on sailing at the Beijing Games. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


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