Sarah Ayton: 'Blonde in a boat'

Updated 1426 GMT (2226 HKT) August 31, 2015
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Sarah Ayton is one of only two female competitors (out of a total of 45) in the Extreme Sailing Series, often described as "Formula One on water." Lloyd Images
Ayton is the tactician for The Wave, Muscat, which leads the series after six of eight grueling regattas. Lloyd Images
She argues that her gender is immaterial when she's racing: "I know what's expected of me." Lloyd Images
Ayton (pictured right) gained fame as one of the "Three Blondes in a Boat" who won Britain sailing gold in the Yngling class at the 2004 Olympics. MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images
Ayton (far right) teamed up with Sarah Webb and Shirley Robertson -- now CNN's Main Sail presenter -- as Britain dominated the sailing in Athens. Clive Mason/Getty Images
Despite a change of personnel -- Pippa Wilson (far right) replaced Robertson for the 2008 Games -- Ayton was again victorious in Beijing. Clive Mason/Getty Images
The crew was again lauded as "Three Blondes in a Boat" before disbanding shortly afterwards. Tim Whitby/Getty Images
For London 2012, Ayton, a mum to two young boys, took a back seat as then husband Nick Dempsey focused on his Olympic campaign, winning silver in windsurfing. Clive Mason/Getty Images
Now back in top competition, Ayton is using her position to help spread the popularity of sailing among women in Oman. Lloyd Images