ALAIN Sign believes learning from his heartbreak of four years ago was the key to sealing a place at Rio 2016.
And he is looking to fine-tune his preparations on home water this week – in the final major competition before the Olympics.
After a hard-fought selection battle with John Pink and Stuart Bithell, Lee-on-the-Solent sailor Sign and partner Dylan Fletcher were confirmed as being Rio-bound as Team GB’s 49er pairing last month.
That confirmation was redemption for the duo and vindication for the work they put in after narrowly missing out on London 2012.
The pair’s impressive bronze at the World Championship earlier this year may have sealed their place in the minds of the selectors and this week they are trying to lay down another marker at the Sailing World Cup regatta in Weymouth.
Sign admitted the regatta is the perfect opportunity to implement small changes.
‘Rio definitely feels like it is round the corner but we have to make the most of all the time we can get on the water,’ he said.
‘This is a good week to put our sailing to the test, trying to get the starting and the tactics right.
‘But we’ve still got time in Rio – we still have two more training camps out there and a week where we can test kit.
‘We learned massively from the last Olympic cycle where we just missed out.
‘Our team as a whole has got a lot stronger through the psychology of it.’
Sign’s excitement at making his Olympic debut is understandable but he is heading to South America with the intention of walking away with a medal.
‘There are definitely a lot more variables in our sport,’ added Sign.
‘Sailing is so unpredictable sometimes. The good guys do come out on top most of the time but anything could happen out in Rio especially with the conditions.
‘You have to be prepared for that and take the opportunity that you’re given.’
n Tickets for the Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland, to be held at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy from 6-12 June, are available at www.rya.org.uk/go/swcgb. The National Lottery-funded British Sailing Team is proudly supported by official partners Volvo Car UK, Zhik and Peters & May. Follow the team’s latest news and updates at britishsailingteam.com or on Twitter @BritishSailing.