Carney's Olympic dream is sunk
HYTHE'S Elliot Carney admits he could have waved goodbye to windsurfing at last week's Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, but is urging the powers that be not to dash his Olympic hopes before they have even got started.
The 23-year-old lost out on selection for London 2012 to British number one Nick Dempsey, but was getting a sneak peek of what the Games will be like at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy at Sail for Gold.
And Carney showed that despite missing out this time around he is certainly one for the future, finishing 17th as the second-best Brit, behind Dempsey who claimed bronze.
However, Carney's future is out of his hands with ISAF ruling that windsurfing will be replaced by kiteboarding after London 2012, although an appeal is being heard in November.
And while he awaits the final decision Carney insists he can't believe his Olympic adventure could be sunk before it has even set sail. "Sail for Gold was a massive week considering this could possibly be my last windsurfing event," he said.
"For me, I'm not going to the Olympic Games which means this could be it.
"It's a poor decision to replace windsurfing with kiteboarding in my opinion. It is rubbish for the younger generation and the whole set-up around the world with kids coming through the system.
"I think it is a complete and utter sham but it is out of our control. I don't want this to be my last windsurfing event and I just hope that they change their minds. I will be keeping my fingers crossed."
Carney is seen as the heir apparent to Dempsey's British windsurfing throne, having consistently been close to his elder statesmen in the rankings.
And with the possibility of 31-year-old Dempsey stepping down after London 2012, Carney is cursing his luck at the decision to opt for kiteboarding over windsurfing.
"I always knew that selection for London was going to be difficult with Nick having been at the top of the game for the whole time," he added.
"But I know that I am still relatively young and I always thought my time would come. I really hope they change the decision because competing at an Olympics is the big aim for me."
Investment specialist Skandia is the principal sponsor of the British sailing team. For more information go to www.skandiateamgbr.com