Name: Niki Birrell

Date of birth: 16 August 1986

Star sign: Leo

Place of birth: Manchester

Current hometown: Manchester

Nickname: n/a

First boat sailed and where? N12 Budworth, Cheshire

Who got you into sailing? My dad

Favourite boat? Mirror

Biggest influence in your career to date? My brother and dad

Worst moment in your sailing career? The Beijing games, 2008 where we didn’t make the podium

Best moment in your sailing career? Winning the IFDS World’s in 2009 in Athens

Best sailing venue in the UK? Winsford, Flash

Best sailing venue in the World? Winsford, Flash

Most annoying rule in the sailing rule book? Having to leave space between boats at the mark is annoying as it often sees people get ahead

If you weren’t a professional sailor what else would you be? I would love to own my own business

How do you progress from a club sailor to an Olympic class sailor? Enjoy the sport and work hard

What are your greatest passions outside of sailing? Spending time with my family and friends, and supporting Manchester City

Most expensive sailing accident? £1500 worth of damage when I was younger sailing a mirror with my brother. It was ridiculously windy and we decided to go out despite no one else venturing out, then proceeded to capsized the boat and get blown onto the rocks. To make things worse we then snapped the mast when we were getting towed in. A lot of damage for 8 seconds of sailing!

Football club you support? Manchester City

Do you actively go and see them? I try to yes

Do you follow any other sports? I love most sports on TV

What other sports do you play? Most sports........ very badly!

What would you love to do but never have the time or money for it?

Go motor racing

Worst habit? Biting my nails

What word or phrase most depicts your personality? Competitive

What’s your greatest fear or phobia? Heights

Favourite reality show? X Factor

Name 3 things that are always in your shopping trolley? Grapes, strawberries, chicken

What was the last book you read? Arton Senna

What makes you angry? Not doing things as well as I possibly can

Dream holiday? Skiing holidays are great

Where do you keep your medals? They are in my room, or the gold ones are anyway!!!