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Page last updated at 12:22 GMT, Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Andrew Simpson cautious over London 2012 expectation

Andrew Simpson (l) and Iain Percy (r)
Simpson and Percy won a gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Dorset's Andrew Simpson says training at the Olympic sailing venue will not guarantee him a medal at London 2012.

Simpson and racing partner Iain Percy, who won the Star class gold at Beijing 2008, train at Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour in Dorset.

"The home support is great but there's pressure with that," the Sherborne-based athlete told BBC Radio Solent.

"The reality is that the other teams train on the same waters as us the whole time too so it's no advantage."

The Chertsey-born athlete continued: "We used to do a lot of sailing in Weymouth so we have a fair feeling of the place and the conditions but we have to learn it all at a higher level than before.

Percy, 35, who is from Southampton, was in agreement with his teammate, saying the pair will have to work even harder to gain home advantage.

"The top teams have spent the last two summers in Weymouth including the top 100 in the world from every class and fulltime athletes have spent as much time here as us.

"Where we can get little advantages we will as in feeling more at home and having links to some of the local meteorology surveys.

"So there are little bits like that but you have to learn for yourself and look at Weymouth as if you haven't been there before."

The sailing duo will defend their World Championship crown at Perth in September but with qualification for London 2012 taking place in August Percy says the Olympics remain their priority.

"There are a lot of events on the way such as the World Championships and European Championships and they are special events within the class," he said.

"But me and Andy structure everything we do with trying to win the Olympics because the fact that it's in our home makes it even more the stand out event.

"We have been going really hard for the last three months and it's going to be nearly a two-year campaign where we live and breathe sailing everyday.

"There is a hell of a lot of work ahead of us and in a lot of ways we are playing catch-up because we have decided to do it this way. It will be like going up a hill and we are at the beginning of that journey now."

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