Chasing Tokyo: The story of Team GB
Published on July 10th, 2022
The Royal Yachting Association’s racing director Ian Walker hopes a new documentary following the British Sailing Team will break down the sport’s elitist stereotypes.
The feature-length film ‘Chasing Tokyo’ follows Walker and his charges as they gear up for Tokyo 2020, an Olympic Games thrown into uncertainty by COVID.
It also shines a light on some of British sailing’s brightest characters who come from a variety of backgrounds, all set on continuing their country’s sparkling legacy in the sport.
“I think a lot of people’s perception of sailing is that it’s incredibly elitist and that just isn’t the case when you look at our athletes in the Olympic team,” said the double Olympic medalist who will be moving from the RYA to North Sails on August 1, 2022.
“And I think you can really see the background and start to understand, it’s almost quite dark at times in terms of the pressure that the athletes are under, which I’m sure is true across many other sports.
“I like getting the idea across, there were real people who are working incredibly hard, who don’t get the rewards, in fact quite the opposite, of that you get in other sports.
“But what we get in sailing is something very different to that we get a very rich experience, in terms of, knowledge and teamwork, and resilience, and dealing with the weather and the challenges and the technology of the boats.
“And you’re getting the best out of your teammates, even if you’re in a single-hander, working with all the different people who contribute to your performance.
“So that’s one of the reasons I’m so keen for my children to sail. Not because I want them to win gold medals necessarily, but because it’s just so good for their development of themselves personally and their characters.
“I think generally sailors are incredibly rounded people who I think are then really well placed to go into other walks of life.”
Team GB finished at the top of the sailing medal table with three golds, a silver and a bronze apiece in Tokyo 2020. The film will be released July 28 on Olympics.com. To watch the trailer, click here.