The road to the London 2012 Olympic Games has been a long one for Australian Finn sailor Brendan Casey.
While the 35 year old will be making his Olympic debut when racing in the Finn class begins on Sunday it’s an appearance which is more than 12 years in the making.
Casey, from the Gold Coast, first campaigned for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, missing out on selection, a fate he would suffer again in 2004 and 2008.
After some time away from the sport Casey returned in 2010 with one thing on his mind, competing at London 2012.
“I’ve always wanted to compete at the Olympics,” said Casey. “It’s a childhood, lifelong, dream and ambition, firstly to get over that hurdle to qualify and now my opportunity to compete at the pinnacle.”
Casey has spent a lot of time in Weymouth preparing for the event and is looking forward to race one on Sunday.
“I feel pretty comfortable with where I’m at right now with my preparation,” he said. “You’re in a situation where it is what it is, you’ve done all you can physically do, now it’s just a matter of going out there and performing to the best of your ability, dealing with the pressure of being at the pinnacle event of the sport.
“I’ve got one shot at finishing on the podium so the event means a lot, I’ve just got to deal with my expectations. I’m probably a bit of a dark horse so there are no real expectations or pressures on me.
“It may be my Olympic debut but I’m by no means a rookie to sailing,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of experience in racing, winning and losing races in that sort of situation. The Olympics are going to be a real battle on the water, it’s not like a sprint, with 10 races plus the medal race to see who is the victor.”
Casey is looking forward to the opportunity to be the first Australian sailor in action at London 2012.
“The Finn class will be opening up the sailing at the Games and that’ll be cool. There will be a lot of tension and it will be interesting to see the atmosphere that will be created on the Nothe course and how close we actually get to the rocks.
“This is going to be exciting, 24 of the best Finn sailors in the world going to go head-to-head,” he said.
Racing for the Finn class begins on Sunday 29 July with the medal race to be held on Sunday 5 August.