Saskia Tidey insists she has no regrets about switching ships as she prepares to get her Olympic campaign back on the water.

Tidey was part of the Irish sailing team in Rio, finishing ninth in the women's 49erX class, but will compete for Team GB at next year's Games in Tokyo.

Born just outside Dublin to an Irish mother and English father, Tidey was left without a teammate following the retirement of Andrea Brewster, her sailing partner four years ago but she'll join forces with Charlotte Dobson in Tokyo, courtesy of her British father.

Tidey, 27, earned her selection last October and, following the news the Games would be delayed by 12 months, faced an anxious wait to have the spot reconfirmed.

It means there'll be nearly 650 days between call-up and the Games, now just one year away (again) and counting.

“I got the opportunity to hold and touch so many medals in Rio and that feeling has never really left my fingertips,” said Tidey, one of more than 1,100 athletes supported by UK Sport’s World Class Programme, funded by The National Lottery.

“I have such a desire to go back and do that for myself.  

“It is black and white. I am half British and half Irish. My dad is from Brighton.

“I felt this was an opportunity to go for it and be part of a team to continue what I think will be my career legacy. 

“I couldn’t be prouder to be part of Team GB. It is a phenomenal experience and I get tingles every time I think about it.”

Scot Dobson nearly called time on her sailing career after Rio before a post-Games holiday to Japan persuaded her she had unfinished business – calling Tidey on her return to see whether they could work together.

Such was their commitment to the cause they moved in together near the British team's Dorset training base and now spend every waking moment plotting and planning their campaign.

Within months of their partnership they'd collected silver medals at the Sailing World Cup Final and European Championships, while they started this prolonged Olympic year with a second place at the World Championships in Geelong - a technical glitch leaving them 'disappointed' after a real shot at gold.

Bu now it’s all eyes on Tokyo as they look to add to the 864 Olympic and Paralympic medals won since National Lottery funding started in 1997.

“I think it’s pretty unique to be able to fight as part of a team in a winning performance," added Tidey.

“Charlotte and I both have our own individual roles which we rely on each other to get right because without the other we don’t get around the course.

“We have that common goal which is that drive to win in Tokyo and that keeps us so close.

“There’s nothing more magical than standing on a podium having done this as two people.”

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