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Meet the Life Under Sail 2019 Speakers

Meet the Life Under Sail 2019 Speakers

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Shirley Robertson, OBE

Double Olympic Gold Medallist & Broadcaster

Shirley Robertson, OBE is the first British woman to win Gold medals at back-to-back Olympic Games. She’s in Scotland’s prestigious Sports Hall of Fame, holds a role as Deputy Lieutenant for the Isle of Wight and is one of the most recognisable faces in sailing.

Her charming brogue reveals her Scottish heritage. Her sailing career began in an equally charming Mirror Miracle dinghy her father built for her in the garage of their home in Clackmannanshire, Scotland. After years spent sailing the harsh conditions of Loch Ard, in 1990 she set her sights on the Olympics and in 1992, she became the youngest member of the British Sailing Team. By the late 1990s Robertson had a string of World Championship silver medals and represented the UK at 1996 Games in Atlanta. That fourth-place finish fueled a drive that was to become her on-water trademark. By 2000, she was favourite to win, and on the waters of Sydney Harbour claimed an emphatic victory in the single-handed Euro dingy.

That feat was repeated in 2004 at the Athens Games, where she once again took to the top step of the podium – this time leading a 3-woman Yngling keelboat team to one of the Games’ biggest British success stories.

Away from the Olympics she continues her sailing career, blazing a trail for women in the sport as the first ever female skipper in the Extreme 40 Sailing Series. From luxury superyachts to grand prix race boats, out on the water Shirley’s CV is extensive. As a broadcaster, she has presented 150 Editions of CNN’s flagship monthly sports programme CNN Mainsail, covered three Olympics for the BBC and was the face of BT Sport’s live coverage from the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda. She is currently involved in the new SailGP Series, helping bring the action and drama of the world’s fastest race boats to screens all around the world.

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