London 2012: Nick Dempsey confident of windsurfing gold
Nick Dempsey is confident he can secure windsurfing gold at the London Olympics despite fierce competition
Nick Dempsey believes windsurfing gold at the 2012 Olympics will be won by one of three men – and he is confident he could not be better prepared to come out on top.
Norwich-born Dempsey is aiming to better his bronze medal at Athens 2004 in this, his fourth Games, held in Weymouth.
The 31-year-old sees Frenchman Julien Bontemps and Dorian Van Rijsselberge, of the Netherlands, as his main rivals for gold having finished behind both in the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta earlier this month.
That was the last competition ahead of the Games for Dempsey, and he is now entering his vital final few weeks of preparation before July 29, and the start of Olympic competition at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.
“At Sail for Gold generally I got away with not sailing at my best and I learned a lot of lessons,” said Dempsey.
“Third place is fine, but it’s not winning. I’ve certainly got to make a few changes over the next six weeks but I’m confident that everything is on target and I’m looking forward to it.
“I think the three of us on the podium this year, the French (Bontemps, who got silver), the Dutch (Van Rijsselberge, who claimed gold) and myself, I think one of us will win the gold medal and hopefully it will be me.
“My schedule now is a bit more than just getting out on the water. It is a detailed daily plan.
“It is all there ready to do. I just need to be careful, don’t get ill, avoid injury and stay on top of my game.”
Following a 16th-placed finish in Sydney in 2000, and then bronze in Athens, Dempsey agonisingly missed out on a medal in finishing fourth in Beijing four years ago.
This time, competing in his current hometown, Dempsey admits the stakes couldn’t be higher.
“This is the biggest. Your home Olympics and the Olympics where I certainly feel the most prepared that I have felt,” he said.
“Going in and trying to win a gold medal this is the Games that could happen so it is a big event, as big as it gets and it is going to be good.
“I started windsurfing when I was seven, and I’m 31 now and you would think I would be quite good at it by now and hopefully I am good enough.”
SSE is a supporter of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy helping them to generate 20% of their energy through renewable sources by this summer. For more information on making your home greener visit sse.co.uk/beinggreen