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Britain's Former Olympic Sailing Coach Receives Yachting Journalist Award

7th April 2017
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Stephen 'Sparky' Park is presented with a boats.com/YJA Special Award for services to the sport of sailing at the Royal Southern Yacht Club Hamble this week. The award was presented by Barry Pickthall, Chairman of the Yachting Journalists' Association (right) and former Chairman Bob Fisher. Stephen 'Sparky' Park is presented with a boats.com/YJA Special Award for services to the sport of sailing at the Royal Southern Yacht Club Hamble this week. The award was presented by Barry Pickthall, Chairman of the Yachting Journalists' Association (right) and former Chairman Bob Fisher.

Britain's former Olympic sailing coach is presented with a boats.com / YJA Special Award for services to the sport.

Stephen 'Sparky' Park has been presented with a boats.com/YJA Special Award for services to the sport of sailing. The award was presented by Barry Pickthall, Chairman of the Yachting Journalists' Association and former Chairman Bob Fisher at a lunch held at the Royal Southern YC this week

Park has been the s Olympic Team Manager for the last four Olympiads and led Britain's world-beating sailors to amass an unprecedented 23 Olympic and Paralympic medals during this period.

Olympic sailing medalists Giles Scott, Iain Percy and Paul Goodison all sent video messages from Bermuda where they are training to compete in the America's Cup starting on May 26, and Helena Lucas, who won Gold and Bronze medals under Park's management at successive Paralympic Games, was equally effusive during the lunch.

Dave Williamson, Chairman of the Royal Yachting Association sent a message of appreciation: "Sparky - what a career so far! Scots Youth Squad sailing 420s in the early '80's, Welsh Yachting and then the Royal Yachting Association, ending up as Olympic Manager during four Olympiads. There was a potential for 51 medals, so if medals are a measure of success, his Team GBR achieved a 45% rate. At the Rio Games, Team GB finished top sailing team when every crew qualified for their medal race. Very few sports coaches have achieved this measure of success.

Always focused and forthright, it has been a privilege to know Stephen and have him as a prominent member of the RYA team."

Rod Carr, the former CEO of the Royal Yachting Association, now Chairman of UK Sport, added his thoughts: "Determined, resourceful, focussed and unfazed by the vagaries of racing are my abiding memories of 'Sparky'...A great job, well executed."Park has been recruited to lead Britain's Olympic cycling team where he will introduce some of the coaching methods developed during his time in sailing.

Published in Tokyo 2020

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Olympic Sailing features a variety of craft, from dinghies and keelboats to windsurfing boards. The programme at Tokyo 2020 will include two events for both men and women, three for men only, two for women only and one for mixed crews:

Event Programme

RS:X - Windsurfer (Men/Women)
Laser - One Person Dinghy (Men)
Laser Radial - One Person Dinghy (Women)
Finn - One Person Dinghy (Heavyweight) (Men)
470 - Two Person Dinghy (Men/Women)
49er - Skiff (Men)
49er FX - Skiff (Women)
Nacra 17 Foiling - Mixed Multihull

The mixed Nacra 17 Foiling - Mixed Multihull and women-only 49er FX - Skiff, events were first staged at Rio 2016.

Each event consists of a series of races. Points in each race are awarded according to position: the winner gets one point, the second-placed finisher scores two, and so on. The final race is called the medal race, for which points are doubled. Following the medal race, the individual or crew with the fewest total points is declared the winner.

During races, boats navigate a course shaped like an enormous triangle, heading for the finish line after they contend with the wind from all three directions. They must pass marker buoys a certain number of times and in a predetermined order.

Sailing competitions at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled to take place from 27 July to 6 August at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour. 

Venues: Enoshima Yacht Harbor

No. of events: 10

Dates: 27 July – 6 August

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Dates

Sailing competitions at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled to take place from 27 July to 6 August at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour. 

Venue: Enoshima Yacht Harbour

No. of events: 10

Dates: 27 July – 6 August

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