They may be one of the more experienced crews who will line up on the banks of the Kur River next week but sprint canoeist Jon Schofield insists he and Liam Heath will be taking nothing for granted when it comes to victory at the European Games.
For the past five years, the duo have got to know each other inside out as they forged a partnership which has delivered a European title, Olympic bronze and a handful of World medals.
Fortunately for the two, their friendship extends out of the boat too, even if Heath’s fondness for science fiction isn’t exactly matched by Schofield.
The latest challenge is the first-ever European Games in Baku, which sees the opening ceremony take place later on Friday, with sprint canoe races starting on Sunday.
The duo come into the event off the back of some solid results, including World Cup bronze in Duisburg and gold in Copenhagen, and Schofield admits they can't wait to get going.
“Both Liam and I are really looking forward to Baku, particularly with it being the first European Games,” he said.
“It’s always good to win. It shows that all the training and effort you are putting in is on the right lines.
“It’s always so tight in our event which makes for exciting racing. It’s going to be great to be a part of another multi-sport event.
“We have been together five years now, there’s been a lot of crews who have come and gone around us.
“We get on well, we spend most of the year together with each other, in hotels rooms and on the water, so you have to really. Liam tends to watch a lot of sci-fi to pass the time in the hotel rooms although I tend to just laugh at it.
“But we’ve managed to stay consistent and keep our performances high. There’s still room to improve and that’s what you try and do.”
© Sportsbeat 2015