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Saskia's Olympic achievements can boost Mersea Island sailing
Paul Jackson believes that Saskia Clark’s Olympic success will be a boost to sailing on Mersea Island.
Jackson, a past president of Dabchicks Sailing Club in west Mersea, and the current chairman of the Sunset Series, where Cark began her sailing, was thrilled by her Olympic medal.
He said: “I don’t think you can measure the boost that Saskia’s success will give to local sailing.
“She’s always been a role model.
“She’s always been the one who spent a few hours or a bit of her time speaking to the kids down in the dinghy park and coaching some of them.
“So her success is invaluable, you can’t value it.”
Clark, and helm Hannah Mills, had been in with a chance of an Olympic gold medal but were battled back to silver by the New Zealand pairing of Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie in the final medal race of the Women’s 470 dinghy class in Weymouth last Friday.
Jackson said: “We shouldn’t be disappointed that she didn’t get the gold.
“It takes a lot of dedication to get to a silver, any medal, so it’s a fantastic thing.”
But Jackson himself has had his own part to play in the success of the London 2012 Games.
He was involved in the sailing events in Weymouth and had just returned to Mersea and was able to watch Clark’s medal race at the Dabchicks Sailing Club.
Jackson said: “I was working with the race management team for the windsurfers.
“I was down there for ten days as part of one of the teams “We’ve been working four years together to get selected to do it.
“So that was a great achievement for me as well.”
Jackson also believes that the organisation and the effort put into the sailing events at Weymouth will leave a lasting legacy.
He added: “From a technical viewpoint it will improve sailing and racing in the whole of the country, let alone just the Blackwater, it’ll be fantastic.”
See Monday's Gazette for seven pages of Olympic Games coverage.