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Video: Chris Froome and Team Sky hit the water with British Sailing

Bikes swapped for boats as riders and staff switch to another 'sitting-down' sport the Brits excel at...

Great Britain, the joke goes, excels at sports that involve sitting down – and last week, Team Sky swapped bikes for boats as they took to the water off Weymouth during their end of season camp, with cameras following them for a day of yacht racing.

Chris Froome – presumably for once staring at his stern rather than his stem – was among the riders taking part in the team building exercise under the supervision of British Sailing team manager Stephen Park, known as Sparky, as well as team staff including Sir Dave Brailsford.

Brailsford has shared some of the secrets behind the success of Team GB and Team Sky with leading figures in other sports and even business, and taking the riders and staff to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy demonstrates that learning from others is a two-way process.

He told RYA.org.uk: “This year we just thought we wanted to do something a bit different. We were looking round at some different ideas and we wanted to preferably do something that was totally different but in a world class, high performance environment.

“I’m good friends with Sparky and was chatting to him about it, and we came up with the idea of coming to Weymouth and Portland and of course it’s one of the iconic world class environments and programmes, not just in Britain but in the world now, so to come here and be in a high performance centre, in an academy with GB sailors – it just felt right.

“And of course sailing is something that none of us have done so we were all pretty excited about what it could offer, and now having done it, I’m very, very happy about what it delivered.”

We’re not sure where the team went on training rides once back on dry land, but if they headed towards the New Forest, we’re sure they won’t have inconvenienced any locals too much. Having seen them flash by on a pre-season training camp a couple of years back, the last thing they’ll have been doing is holding up traffic.

As for that joke about the country’s prowess at sedentary sports? Well, with more than half the country’s gold medals at the London 2012 Olympics coming in cycling, sailing, canoeing and equestrian events, it’s difficult to argue with it.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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