Dempsey backing Mills and Clark to shine on Weymouth waters
AS OLYMPIC debuts go you can't ask for much better, or more daunting, than Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills' as they prepare to make their bow as a Games team in front of a home crowd at London 2012.
YOU CAN DO IT: Nick Dempsey is backing Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark to succeed at this summer's Olympics
But British teammate and Olympic bronze medallist Nick Dempsey is backing the 470 women's pair to rise to the occasion, believing they are timing their charge to the London 2012 podium to perfection.
While Games preparation is new to 24-year-old Mills, Clark, eight years her senior, competed at Beijing, finishing sixth in the 470 alongside Christina Bassadone.
Clark was then meant to form a partnership with double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton only for her to step away from the sport, with Mills thrust into the boat and little over a year to form a new partnership.
But Clark and Mills made quick work of it, finishing last year's Olympic test event second before being crowned world champions just last month to put themselves firmly into the Olympic reckoning.
The duo have also never failed to finish on the podium in Weymouth - the London 2012 venue - since forming a partnership although the top spot has so far been elusive, something Dempsey is predicting they will put right this summer.
"The 470 girls won the World Championships last month and will be strong contenders for gold at the Olympics," said 31-year-old Dempsey, speaking as an ambassador for SSE at an event at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.
"They will have taken confidence from that and can use it for this Olympics. Literally everyone on the British team can perform at the highest level and it is a case of who will step up in the next few weeks up to the Games.
"Saskia and Hannah have to stay very focused, very within themselves, and really they can't let the noise affect them too much and just do everything they do best.
"And they must believe in themselves and stick to those routines and practices that they have trained at for so many years and if they do this then they can get the gold for sure."
Clark and Mills aren't Britain's only sailing medal hope heading into London 2012, with the team coming away with silverware in eight of the ten Olympic classes and all three Paralympic events at this month's Sail for Gold.
And Dempsey, who has his sights on windsurfing gold having always finished on the podium in Weymouth, believes the honour of a home Games will spur the class of 2012 on to greatness.
"I think the official line of medals is four, but everyone in our team is capable of winning a medal, so who knows?" he added.
"This is the biggest. Your home Olympics and the Olympics where I certainly feel the most prepared that I have felt.
"And I am sure Saskia and Hannah will feel the same. You can't begin to imagine what winning Olympic gold on home waters will mean."
SSE is a supporter of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy helping them to generate 20% of their energy through renewable sources by this Summer. For more information on making your home greener visit sse.co.uk/beinggreen
© Sportsbeat 2012