ince winning the Finn Silver Cup (the Junior World Championship) in 2008, Giles Scott has been pushing the front of international fleets. After finishing third at the 2010 Finn Gold Cup, everyone was expecting bigger and better things in 2011. His main goal for the year was winning the GBR slot at the Olympic Test Event in Weymouth. However after being beaten there by Ben Ainslie, he travelled to the Europeans in Helsinki with only one thought in his mind. FINNFARE spoke with Giles to reflect on the season past and to look ahead to what’s next for the new European Champion.
Giles Scott Interview Reflecting on the Europeans, what do you put your win down to this year? I believe I’ve made big improvements in my sailing generally this year. I feel my strengths at the Europeans were managing the fleet especially on windward legs and sailing conservatively at the appropriate time. This was key at this event because at times conditions were very unpredictable making it extremely difficult to be sure of either side. You looked relaxed going into the event – were you? I’m not sure I was that relaxed. In fact, it was almost quite the opposite, what with Sail for Gold going the way it did. I really felt it was important to me to prove myself as being a competitor capable of winning major regattas. I don’t like to go into regatta too relaxed, I feel it risks making you complacent. Has it improved your confidence going forward? Definitely. Every win gives a competitor a huge confidence boost and I’m no different. I hope to take it with me to the Worlds in Perth and keep focused. What is the plan for the rest of the year and the lead up to Perth? I’ve just had 4 weeks off, which has been much needed and great fun. I did the D-one Worlds in Garda, and Cowes Week on a SB3, both good party-like sailing events but with a competitive edge. It was good to do some sailing in a much more relaxed environment but still be learning new skills from different kinds of sailing. So now I’ll slowly begin to get back in the boat and in shape for Perth. I’ll be training in Weymouth until November then we’ll be out there for
FINNFARE AUGUST 2011
a month of training and getting familiar with the conditions. How have you dealt with the disappointment of losing the UK trials for the test event and refocusing on trying to qualify the Olympics next year? After not winning Sail for Gold I was naturally disappointed but I decided that the best way to deal with the disappointment in the short term was to go and prove that I could win the Europeans, which was great to do. Currently I’m trying to stay very realistic. Ben has just won the Test Event by some margin so is the clear favourite for team selection. However, I am confident in my abilities and love a challenge so I am concentrating on being successful in Perth. Whether or not the UK trials will still be on is out of my control and in the hands of the British Selection Committee. Either way I will be going to Perth to do as well as I can, and after that we’ll see. Was there anything you look back on at Sail for Gold that you might have done differently? Yes, there’s always things that I would have done