HELENSBURGH’S Charlotte Dobson has vowed to know the London 2012 sailing venue like the back of her hand - but proved she still has some way to go after a disappointing Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta.
The 24-year-old is the top-ranked British radial sailor and ranked third in the world following a silver finish at the Laser European Championships in Estonia in June behind Croatia’s Tina Mihelic.
But the former Lomond School pupil endured a tough time of things on home waters at Weymouth - venue for both the Olympic and Paralympic sailing events - finishing down in 31st place.
Dobson was the third best placed British boat at the regatta but insists she can still take positives from the event as she builds a log book of the venue in preparation for London 2012.
“I was a little disappointed with what I achieved in Weymouth because I wasn’t able to hit the targets I had set for myself,” she said.
“I seemed to have a bit of trouble starting and that didn’t seem to go away all week.
“But one of my targets was just to come here and extract as much information as I could just racing here with this being the venue for London 2012.
“It is really important to come to Weymouth and get a taste of the Olympics and it has been great and a big learning curve.
“You can train here as much as you like but when you actually race here with all the best sailors then it shows up a lot more things then the best training does and it has been really useful.” Dobson just missed out on a spot on the GB team for Beijing 2008 - losing out to Penny Clark who finished in 10th as America’s Anna Tunnicliffe romped to victory.
But the former Edinburgh University student is not about to let another Olympics pass her by even if she admits she still has some way to go.
“Sail for Gold has been a huge learning curve and it is one of those regattas where even though I will walk away disappointed with the result I will walk away with a load of things learnt and that is the positive,” she added.
“It has also been a real eye opener in the fact that I have been able to cast an eye over the fleet on a whole and see who deals with the conditions in the best possible way.
And everyone coming over has set a high standard and I know I have work to do and I am more determined then ever to go away and out things right and win a place at London 2012.”