Olympics was experience of a lifetime for Bridlington yachtsman

Gold medal winning sailor Ben Ainslie.

Gold medal winning sailor Ben Ainslie.

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AS THE curtain came down on the London Olympic Games last weekend, one lucky Bridlington man can look back on memories that will last a lifetime.

For while most people in Bridlington were glued to their television sets watching the Olympic drama unfold, Jonathan Copsey, along with Bridlington GP Dr Toby Wallace, and Flamborough dancer Sarah Longley, were seeing the action first hand.

Jonathan Copsey near the Olympic flame's Weymouth outpost

Jonathan Copsey near the Olympic flame's Weymouth outpost

Yachtsman Jonathan, 29, stayed in Weymouth throughout the duration of the Games and primarily drove a safety boat during the Olympic sailing events and described his time as a “once in a lifetime experience.”

He said: “It was an unbelievable experience, an honour. I had an amazing time and to be honest I’m feeling a bit disappointed that it is all over now.”

Alongside working on the safety boat - which brought Jonathan to within 30 metres of the racing action and saw amongst other things him putting out buoys to mark racing courses, being on hand in case of emergency, and keeping media boats away from competitors - Jonathan also got to assist in preparing for medal ceremonies and with competitor weigh-ins.

And on top of his duties, he got to meet a few famous faces.

Jonathan Copsey worked as an Olympics Games Maker at Weymouth.

Jonathan Copsey worked as an Olympics Games Maker at Weymouth.

“I was excited about meeting Ben Ainslie, he is probably the best sailor in the world and he became the greatest sailing Olympian ever when he won his fourth Gold medal. Alongside a lot of the other competitors, I also got to meet Princess Royal and Lord Coe.

“It was just a great thing to be involved with and something to really remember. I was there when Ben Ainslie won the Gold medal and when Team GB won silver medals and to hear the crowd roaring them on was something special.”

Jonathan, a member of the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club who has been sailing since he was nine, is taking part in this week’s Bridlington Regatta and said that the dedication and talent of the Olympic sailors has inspired him to get back out on the water as soon as he can.

“I’m glad the Regatta is this week because it gives me an opportunity to get straight back out on the water and sailing now I’m back. The Olympians were inspirational and the focus they show during races is something to really learn from.”
 Other locals helping out at the Games included Dr Toby Wallace, GP at Field House surgery on Victoria Road, and Flamborough dancer Sarah Longley.

Dr Wallace, 39, dealt with injured athletes at the canoeing and mountain biking events, while Sarah, 22, a teacher at Filey School, performed in the opening ceremony of the London Games.