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Glanfield hoping for third time lucky on Olympic comeback

March 3, 2013 20:38 pm

Joe Glanfield is quitting coaching in a bid to upgrade his two career Olympic sailing silver medals at the 2016 Games in Rio.

Glanfield and former partner Nick Rogers finished second in Athens and Beijing and he called time on his competitive career to join British sailing's coaching staff for London 2012.

But the lure of competition has proved too strong and Glanfield has teamed up with Luke Patience, who won 470 class silver with Stuart Bithell in Weymouth last year.

The duo will make their competitive debut at the ISAF World Cup regatta in Majorca later this month but admit that a podium finish is an unlikely prospect.

“It’s been over four years since I was last sailing with Nick at the Beijing Olympics so I’ve been out doing other things," said Glanfield, who guided Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark to their World Championship gold and Olympic silver in the women's 470 class.

“I coached at this Olympics and I loved it and learned a lot, but I realised that I still had a passion to compete myself and race myself.  

“It was gnawing away at me that Rio might be my final opportunity, so when I started talking to Luke about the possibility of coming back, it just seemed too good an opportunity to turn down. 

“We’ve known each other a long time, I’ve got a lot of respect for Luke and Stuart and how they went about their campaign last time, so I knew that we got on well.  

"I just wanted to see if I could come back and see what I could do."

Patience and his former crew Bithell called time on their successful double act last year, with their combined body weight deemed too heavy to be a threat for gold in the expected light airs at the Brazilian Olympic sailing venue.

“Joe and I had been having conversations over the autumn period about sailing together," he said. 

"I think with Rio going to be a lighter wind venue and those changes coming along, and then Joe deciding he wanted to get back in a boat I was delighted and it all made complete sense that that was the right route to go down. 

“We’ve known each other a long time and I have total respect for his skills and experience in the 470.  I think we’re quite aware of each other’s strengths and what we can bring to a team, and we both felt that it was something that would work well together." 

© Sportsbeat 2013