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London 2012: 'Baby' Kate looks to draw on Ainslie experience
7:00am Saturday 28th July 2012 in Sport
TEAM GB sailing ‘baby’ Kate Macgregor has vowed to draw on the experience of illustrious team-mate Ben Ainslie when Poole’s match-racing trio get their London 2012 campaign up and running tomorrow.
Kate, alongside elder sister Lucy and 32-year-old Annie Lush , is the youngest member of the Great Britain sailing team at 21 and was just five years old when Lymington -based team-mate Ainslie won his first Olympic medal in Atlanta 16 years ago.
Ainslie will be looking to seal his place among the Olympic greats when he challenges for a fourth gold medal in Weymouth and Portland.
But for the Macgregors and Lush, the Games is a totally new experience with all three women making their debuts on home waters.
Kate Macgregor said: “It’s great to be around people like Ben Ainslie. It’s an amazing experience to try and learn as much as possible off them.
“When Ben won his first medal, I don’t think I even realised the Olympic Games existed!
“Even three years ago, I never would have thought I’d be going to the 2012 Games. Ben has just got a talent that no-one else has got – he’s just so committed and I don’t think anyone could describe him in a horrible way.
“He’s incredible and I think he’s one of the best sports people ever. To be in a team with him, I can’t really describe how amazing it is.”
The match racing trio begin their campaign at midday tomorrow, while Ainslie (Finn) and Sherborne’s Andrew Simpson (Star) will also take in their first races on the Nothe course and Weymouth Bay West.
Lucy Macgregor said: “Everyone is looking forward to competing and we know we’re a strong team but I don’t think anyone is complacent about it.
“Everyone knows we have got to keep pushing to make sure we remain the top sailing nation in the world and to be a part of that is awesome.
“I think momentum helps the team a lot – if you are winning lots, you get that much more confident and you start really believing you can pull off anything.”
Lush added: “It’s amazing but it is a double-edged sword because you can believe that, just because you are part of the team, you should win and that’s not true.
“When we are out there it’s just the three of us and I think it’s important that we remember that.”
The match racing class is a new discipline for London 2012, taking place in Elliott 6m keelboats.
The event sees two identical boats racing against each other in a series of one-on-one duels, progressing through round robin and knockout phases before the top two boats fight it out for the gold and silver medals.
The class is in action on more days than any other boat, with the match racing final bringing the curtain down on the 2012 Olympic Regatta on Saturday, August 11.