Sailing documentary from the Olympic venue in Weymouth starts Saturday

The BBC is set to broadcast two documentaries on Olympic Classes sailing, featuring Shirley Robertson investigating behind the scenes at British sailing’s headquarters, plus action from August’s international regatta at WPNSA.

Part 1 of “Olympic Sailing” will air this Saturday, 21 August , at 1300 on BBC1.

It tells the story of Britain’s medal winners at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta (9-14 August) where nearly 1,000 sailors from 57 nations competed at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, the venue for the sailing competition for the London 2012 Games.

Robertson – herself a double Olympic gold medallist – discovers the systems the British team have put in place at Weymouth in order to have the best chance of winning medals, including an interview with falconer Brian Williams, who uses birds of prey to silence the local seagulls every morning so the sailors get uninterrupted sleep.

The documentary catches up with medal-winning husband and wife team Nick Dempsey and Sarah Ayton, and joins three-time Finn class gold medallist, Ben Ainslie, Star class gold medallists, Ian Percy and his crew Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson for an insight into what makes this renowned team tick.

Shirley also meets the young British team sailors struggling to get into the elite squad and earn themselves a place in the main squad where no stone is left unturned in the quest for medals.

The Skandia Sail for Gold regatta was the largest ISAF Sailing World Cup event in 2010, and provided an insight for many 2012 teams into the future Olympic venue.

On Sunday 5 September at 1400 on BBC 2, “OLYMPIC SAILING” (Part 2) will come from Hayling Island on the final day of the Laser World Championships where Beijing gold medallist Paul Goodison is out to defend his title. The programme will also include features on the man to break Ben Ainslie’s six-year winning record in the Olympic Finn class, 23 year-old British sailor Giles Scott, and on perhaps the happiest medal winner of all at the last Games – Britain’s Britain’s Bryony Shaw who windsurfed to bronze in China.

“OLYMPIC SAILING” (Part 1) Saturday 21 August 1300 – 1350, BBC1
“OLYMPIC SAILING” (Part 2) Sunday 5 September – 1400, BBC2