About Sarah

Sarah Ayton OBE Double Olympic Sailing Gold Medalist and Rolex World sailor of the year 2016. A motivational speaker with over a decade of experience, who has inspired many corporate teams to be more successful.

Mother to Thomas and Oscar she is passionate about achieving fitness with the family and encourages people to be the best they can be.

Sarah’s latest challenge is training to become a jockey. Her first race is this summer at Glorious Goodwood.

"I wasn't born a champion.”

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Biography and Career:

  • One of Britain’s most successful female athletes
  • Double Olympic sailing Gold medalist
  • Double World Champion and European Champion
  • One of the “Three blondes in a boat” trio from the 2008 Beijing Olympics
  • ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2015
  • Extreme Sailing Series champions 2015
  • Motivational speaker
  • Mother to Thomas and Oscar

My road to Olympic success

My parents encouraged me to believe I could achieve anything if I worked hard enough. I took a no compromise approach and from a young age, was prepared to do whatever it took to achieve my goal. By the age of 18 I had become Britain’s most successful female single-handed sailor winning Silver at the ISAF Youth World Championships. I went on to win my first Olympic Gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics with team-mates Shirley Robertson and Sarah Webb in the Yngling class.

Doing the double

In 2005 I was awarded an MBE and announced her 2008 Beijing Olympic campaign where I would move from the front of the boat to back and lead my team. Known as ‘three blondes in a boat’, we were on our quest for Gold.

My ambition for the run-up to the Beijing Olympics was summed up as ‘Domination’ - to arrive at the 2008 Olympics unbeaten. This was accomplished, winning two World Championships, European Championships and being ranked World Number One. And in Beijing, I became part of an exclusive group of Olympic athletes by winning Gold medals at two successive games. In 2009, I was honoured to receive an OBE.

The next chapter

In 2010, I made the tough decision to put sailing on hold and focus on my family and being mother to Thomas and Oscar. The London 2012 Olympics provided me with the opportunity to use my experience to mentor and coach Team GB’s first time Olympians.

Extreme sailing

In 2014 Sarah was back out on the water, this time in the Formula One of sailing - the adrenaline - filled Extreme Sailing Series with The Wave Muscat.

Sarah Ayton won the ISAF Rolex Sailor of the year 2015 - the highest  award a sailor can receive in recognition of their outstanding achievements in the world of sailing. On winning such a coveted award, Ayton said , “It means such a lot to me to have won the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award. I’m truly touched and proud. I hope to continue being an inspiration to women, young children and individuals that enjoy the sport I love so much” Ayton was the only woman in the Extreme Sailing Series.  Ayton is involved in both sail handling and maneuvers but also, most crucially, in helping to call the tactics on The Wave. Andy Tourell, the event director.

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