Shaw considers switch to a boat

British windsurfing Olympian Bryony Shaw has hinted that her future may well be on a boat and not a board.

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Britain's Bryony Shaw (Reuters)

For more than a decade Shaw has been windsurfing competitively, first using the Mistral board and then switching to the RS:X when it became the Olympic equipment of choice as of 2008.

Shaw attended Beijing 2008, winning bronze, while at London 2012 illness prevented her performing at her best as she placed seventh in what could be the last RS:X regatta at the Olympics.

The class is set to be replaced with kiteboarding for Rio 2016, although an appeal into the decision is due to be heard in November, while two others changes have already been agreed.

Out goes match racing and the Star and in come the women's 49er FX and mixed multihull with Shaw admitting she's open to the notion of skippering a partner in either of the two.

"Obviously at the moment windsurfing is out of the next Games and I'm hugely hoping that they might reverse the decision, so we'll see," said Shaw.

"Between now and then I'll do a bit of kiting with a friend and there will be some team training camps in Weymouth which I can go along to.

"And I'm sure there will be loads of the new skiff boats (49er FX) and multihull catamarans, so it will be great to jump on those and crew a bit.

"I think there have been a lot of successful windsurfers who have gone into crewing the faster boats and medalled at Olympic Games so I'll just see what options there are there.

"I just I feel I might enjoy sharing a campaign with someone and there are a number of people on the British team that I get on with.

"And whether it's doing the mixed multihull or the women's skiff they are both appealing boats to me - as is kite surfing."

Shaw's Olympic preparations were made worse when her coach Dom Tidey fell ill and as a precautionary measure was put into what she calls 'quarantine' before the Games.

And, while still not 100 per cent fit and hopeful RS:X is reinstated onto the Olympic programme, Shaw admits the uncertainty has given her fresh impetus to carry on sailing whatever the outcome.

"I am excited and I think if there was windsurfing definitely in the next Games and there was no chat about it leaving, I wouldn't be too quick to jump back on and kick off with all that," she added.

"I think I would want to be doing different things anyway. I think what the team are planning is a larger female squad and not encouraging people to team up too early.

"They want to shift people around on boats and just give everyone a chance to improve their skills and eventually prove themselves.

"That really helps me out in the sense that I can give it all a go and see - I've not done a lot of sailing, I've focused on being a windsurfer."

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