But as BBC Sport reports, his hopes of racing for Laser gold may be dashed after a funding cut by Northern Ireland's sporting body.
Sport NI will no longer provide "living costs" funding to 23 athletes, with Espey losing out alongside the likes of Olympic gold-winning boxer Paddy Barnes.
And the significant reduction in income has rocked his preparations for next summer's Olympics.
"I won't be able to go to Sydney to work with my coach this winter and that's a real blow," said Espey, who added that he may also have to miss crucial regattas leading up to the Games - putting his spot on the Irish team at risk.
Espy will hope to get some sort a funding boost from a raffle organised with fellow Belfast Lough sailors Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern.
And they count among a growing number of Irish sailors experiencing funding woes ahead of Rio 2016.