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Saskia sees signs of success
West Mersea’s Saskia Clark believes her sailing partnership with Penny Clark is beginning to show signs that it could be an Olympic success.
The duo have made a solid start to competing together in the women’s 470 class after linking up at the start of this year and had a top five finish at the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma, Majorca, followed by a 14th place at the Semaine Olympique Regatta in Hyéres in France.
Saskia and Penny began working together in the Olympic women’s two-handed category after Saskia’s former helm, Christina Bassadone, decided to make a switch into the single-handed Laser Radial class following the Beijing Olympics last year.
Bassadone and Saskia finished sixth at the Games and now Penny and Saskia are bidding to build a relationship in the boat that could carry them to glory at the London event in 2012.
The fifth-placed finish in Majorca showed it is a partnership that could work, but Saskia said conditions were more testing in France.
“We did really well in Palma, probably better than was expected,” said the 29-year-old West Mersea Yacht Club member.
“I think it made expectations overly high for Hyéres, but conditions were more difficult as we had light winds.
“Penny has just made the switch from the Laser Radial and it takes time to settle.
“It is all about getting a feel for the boat and we just need to be doing speed testing and getting hours on the water.
“We have done five weeks together and we are both very positive.
“Nothing has sprung up that troubles us and things like tactics and strategy are all there so we are just learning to get faster.
“We have time and are happy where we are.
“We are setting high targets as we don’t want to waste each other’s time.
“Both of us want the gold medal and as long as that is achieveable in the time we have we will keep working.
“We are due to review things at the end of the season, but it is going well at the moment.”