Team GB’s sailing lineup for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is complete after the final four athletes were today announced by the British Olympic Association.
The first group of sailors was announced back in September with further names being added in March and today’s announcement completes the 15-strong sailing line-up that will head to Rio 2016.
Luke Patience and Chris Grube will compete in the men’s 470, while Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign complete the squad in the 49er after a close British selection battle.
The four sailors selected today are:
Luke Patience (Men’s 470)
Chris Grube (Men’s 470)
Dylan Fletcher (49er)
Alain Sign (49er)
For Fletcher, Sign and Grube, Rio 2016 will be their first Olympic outing, with Grube having teamed up with Patience following Elliot Willis’s cancer diagnosis at the end of 2015. Patience already has an Olympic medal to his name – a 470 silver he picked up with Stuart Bithell at London 2012.
Team GB lead the way in sailing at the Olympic Games and sit atop the overall standings with 55 medals accrued since 1986 – including 26 golds.
Those previously selected are:
Giles Scott (Finn)
Nick Thompson (Laser)
Alison Young (Laser Radial)
Bryony Shaw (Women’s RS:X)
Nick Dempsey (Men’s RS:X)
Hannah Mills (Women’s 470)
Saskia Clark (Women’s 470)
Charlotte Dobson (49erFX)
Sophie Ainsworth (49erFX)
Ben Saxton (Nacra 17)
Nicola Groves (Nacra 17)
Mark England, Team GB’s Chef de Mission for Rio 2016, said:
“It’s great to announce the final four athletes and complete the squad that will sail for Team GB in Rio de Janeiro.
“It’s been a challenging time for Luke having been selected back in September and then having to refocus following Elliot’s diagnosis.
“Chris and Luke can now forge a strong partnership and we wish Elliot all the best and hope to see him on the water again soon.”
London 2012 silver medallist Luke Patience said:
“It’s still a special day but mixed feelings I suppose because I am combining two campaigns to try and still achieve the same goal.
“It was wonderful to do this today with Chris and it was wonderful to do that day with Elliot as well. Mixed emotions, but overall I’m happy and I can’t wait to hopefully do Queen and country proud.
“I hope I can draw on the London experience, and with Chris being a first time Olympian, between us it will keep things grounded.”
Alain Sign, 49er, said:
“It’s just a really awesome experience to be able to represent our country in sailing, just really emotional.
“We definitely haven’t made it easy for the selectors to pick a boat, so we are really happy to come out on top. Through the whole cycle we have been kind of battling it out [with the other British teams], finishing next to each other.
“Dylan and I have known each other since I was 16 and come through a long journey, through lots of highs and lows so to come out on top [in Rio] would be an amazing experience and top it all off.”