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Outteridge eyes more Olympic gold

6 December 2013

SAILING: Fresh from coming to the rescue of his injured sister, Australia's Olympic sailing champion Nathan Outteridge wants to step up again for his country by winning gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The 27-year-old London Games gold medallist raced to his sister's aid when she badly hurt her knee competing in rough conditions at the Sail Melbourne World Cup regatta.

Olympic hopeful Haylee Outteridge was racing in the 49er FX skiff class in near storm-force seas off Sandringham Yacht Club on Wednesday when she bashed her knee during a tack manoeuvre, forcing her out of the regatta.

Big brother Nathan had just completed one of his races in the 49er skiff class when he spotted Haylee struggling.

His crewmate Iain Jensen jumped aboard Haylee's boat and tore the sail down while Outteridge helped his sister receive medical treatment before escorting his sister's crewmate Ella Clark safely back to shore.

"She didn't know how bad it was so she figured it was probably best to get in and get some treatment," Outteridge said of his sister.

"Ella had never sailed in much more than 15 knots and never sailed in big waves so I was just teaching her the basics of getting a boat home when it gets windy."

Reflecting on the incident on Thursday as more cold, fierce storms cancelled all racing at the World Cup event in Port Phillip Bay, Outteridge also revealed his burning desire to win a second Olympic gold medal for Australia.

The Lake Macquarie-based sailor won gold in the 49er class with Jensen at the London Olympics before serving as a helmsman at September's wealthy America's Cup competition.

He was at the wheel of Artemis Racing's catamaran when it capsized during a training run on San Francisco Bay in May, killing British Olympic sailor, Andrew Simpson.

But Outteridge insists the riches on offer at the next America's Cup in 2017 have not dimmed his passion for Olympic glory - despite the long, hard - and often very cold - slog of completing the Games cycle.

"It's like coming back to a family that we know," Outteridge said of his return to Olympic class sailing.

"But at the end of the day it's the drive to go and win another gold medal that's providing us the motivation.

"We saw (two-time 470 class gold medallist) Malcolm Page do it in London and you can see how much more difficult it is second time around because you have that added pressure.

"Not many people have backed up second time around."

Outteridge is likely to compete at the next America's Cup but said he's not decided what team he might compete for.

One option is to join the Australian team backed by wealthy wine baron Bob Oatley and his Hamilton Island Yacht Club.

Australian Darren Bundock, who served as coach and tactician for Oracle Team USA, winners of this year's America's Cup regatta, also hinted he could join the fledgling Australian team.

Miles Godfrey

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