Southbank exhibition snaps up sailing heroes

Britain’s Olympic sailing heroes have been captured on camera by award-winning photographer Robert Wilson and the spectacular results are on display at London’s gallery@oxo from 30 September to 4 October 2009.

Nick Dempsey windsurfing past tanker
Windsurfer Nick Dempsey dwarfed by a tanker

BRITAIN’S SAILING heroes have been captured on camera by award-winning photographer Robert Wilson and you can see stunning results on display at London’s gallery@oxo from 30 September to 4 October 2009.

Sponsors Skandia commissioned Robert Wilson to create a portfolio of photographs of Britain’s national sailing team – including gold medallists Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy, Andrew Simpson, Pippa Wilson and Paul Goodison – at the Olympic 2012 venue in Weymouth and Portland, Dorset. Wilson and art director Greg Horton were given the opportunity to immerse themselves in a Skandia Team GBR training camp at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, with ‘behind-the-scenes’ access to 14 of Britain’s top sailors in training.

Team sponsors Skandia, impressed by the powerful images that Wilson shot in 2006 when he visited Helmand province in Afghanistan with the British Army’s 52nd Infantry Brigade, wanted to portray world-class sailing in a way that has seldom been seen before.

“What struck me most about the sailors was the physical demands placed upon them and their ability to adapt to constantly changing parameters,” said Wilson. “They are always on the move, adjusting every part of their bodies for balance and trim as the wind and waves change around them. It seemed that a strong friendship exists within the Skandia Team GBR setup and their teamwork is second to none.”

Iain Simpson and Andrew Percy
Iain Simpson and Andrew Percy

Triple Olympic Gold Medallist Ben Ainslie commented, “Competing at the highest level requires a lot of hard work and dedication as a team. We have to put in the hours – whatever the weather – and the photos really capture this. We are all looking forward to seeing the exhibition.”

The exhibition, Blown Away, is at gallery@oxo, South Bank, London, 30 September to 4 October 2009, open daily 11am-6pm. A tour around the UK is being planned, with the first confirmed dates at Southampton Art Gallery from 13 May 2010. Photos: by Robert Wilson, Skandia Team GBR

 

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