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."
Ayton is the tactician for The Wave, Muscat, which leads the series after six of eight grueling regattas.
She argues that her gender is immaterial when she's racing: "I know what's expected of me."
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.
Ayton (far right) teamed up with Sarah Webb and Shirley Robertson -- now CNN's Main Sail presenter -- as Britain dominated the sailing in Athens.
Despite a change of personnel -- Pippa Wilson (far right) replaced Robertson for the 2008 Games -- Ayton was again victorious in Beijing.
The crew was again lauded as "Three Blondes in a Boat" before disbanding shortly afterwards.
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.
Now back in top competition, Ayton is using her position to help spread the popularity of sailing among women in Oman.