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Meet the team: Anna Burnet



Anna Burnet

Anna Burnet


Tokyo 2020 silver medallist back for a shot at gold


Anna Burnet is revelling in the opportunity for a second shot at Olympic gold alongside partner John Gimson after the pair were selected to represent Team GB at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The Nacra 17 duo bagged Olympic silver on the waters of Enoshima together and qualified for 2024 with the same colour at August's Sailing World Championships in The Hague.

With markedly different conditions expected in Marseille, Gimson, 40, and Burnet, 31, are doing all they can to go one step further.

Burnet said, “We just knew we really needed to qualify at the World Championships, we knew what we had to do then so once we came second at the World Championships, it was a big feeling of relief.

“The actual venue in Marseille which is a completely different sailing venue to Enoshima at the Tokyo Games.

“That presents a lot of different challenges that will favour a different style of sailing and different strengths and weaknesses will come into play.

“We’re both just really looking forward to the honour of having another opportunity of competing at another Olympic Games, something we’ve both dreamt about since we were kids

“I can’t imagine if someone said to me that one day we would be going to two Olympic Games, it’s been crazy so we’re really excited.”

Burnet and Gimson in action

Burnet and Gimson in action

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In September Burnet and Gimson managed a record-breaking feat when they sailed from Belfast Ballyholme to Portpatrick in one hour 30 minutes on their Nacra 17 boat.

They worked with double Olympic champion and coach Iain Percy, CEO of Artemis Technologies, to issue a wake-up call and promote decarbonisation of the maritime industry.

Now, as part of their intense preparations over the next nine months, the pair will continue to train alongside Italian partnership Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti – the same duo who beat Britain’s Nacra 17 best to gold at Tokyo 2020.

Burnet admitted the dynamic may seem peculiar to outsiders but their method will bear fruit when the time comes to compete in Marseille.

“We train well on the water together,” she said. “We’re always pushing each other and then off the water it’s always friendly, we happily go to dinner together.

“We’ll race them at the Olympics and we’ll both race them as hard as we can, it’s a very good relationship.

“They know our strengths and weaknesses quite well and we know theirs.

“From the outside it probably looks like a strange dynamic that we train together as the gold and the silver medallists from last time but it’s the best way for us to push forward together.

“It gives both nations the same opportunity to win medals again in Paris. The colours that we win is down to us as individuals to perform.

“We’ll just do everything we can to understand the venue and understand what we’re up against.”

About the author

Will Carson