TEAM Sperry Top-Sider is the name for an elite group of sailors campaigning for victory at the London 2012 Games.

International nautical performance and lifestyle brand Sperry Top-Sider is not only the official sponsor of the US Sailing Team but also supports a team of inspirational athletes from around the world.

Team Sperry encompasses many of Britain’s home-grown talents and the global company is also sponsoring the Dorset Echo’s Olympic and Paralympic coverage in the build up and during the prestigious events.

Here’s Weymouth’s double Olympic medallist Sarah Ayton, brand ambassador for Team Sperry Top-Sider with more insight into a team that aims to make history this summer.

AS A brand ambassador for Team Sperry Top-Sider, I’m delighted to introduce Sperry Top-Sider and its Team Sperry Top-Sider athletes at Weymouth this summer.

Sperry is a global nautical performance and lifestyle brand that is most well known in the States. In 1935, Paul Sperry invited the world’s first boat show after noticing that his dog Prince’s paws had better grip on wet surfaces than his own shoes. He looked at the base of the paw and noticed they had what appeared to be ridges and from this came his idea of wave-siping soles.

There are so many more important things to focus on than worrying if your feet are going to lose their hold on deck. Twenty-six members of Team Sperry Top-Sider will be representing six countries at the London 2012 sailing events in Weymouth this summer and I am delighted to say that of the nine British Team Sperry sailors competing, six are locals from Weymouth and Poole.

Among the competitors are Luke Patience, Stuart Bithell, Saskia Clark, Hannah Mills, Paul Goodison and Nick Dempsey.

Poole-born trio of sisters Lucy and Kate Macgregor and Annie Lush will also be competing for Britain at the Games. n Sarah Ayton, OBE, is a double Olympic Gold Medalist who won her first Olympic Gold in the Yngling class at the Athens Games in 2004 and her second in Beijing in 2008. She is married to Nick Dempsey and lives in Weymouth.