Olympic silver medallist Patience aims to enjoy a 'home advantage' again in Rio

Olympic silver medallist Patience aims to enjoy a 'home advantage' again in Rio

10 September 2015 / 11:02
Luke Patience will try to turn Rio into a home from home as he seeks to upgrade his Olympic sailing silver.

sailingcapsGettyImages-487360064-2Patience and partner Stuart Bithell were among five British medallists at London 2012 and he will join forces with two-time world champion Elliot Willis in Brazil.

The pair were among eight sailors confirmed for next year's Games yesterday, the first names on Team GB's much anticipated class of 2016.

And that means they've just over 300 days to get their planning and preparations spot on - including spending weeks away from home learning to master the tricky conditions at the Marina da Glória venue.

“We are actually back out in Rio at the weekend for two and a bit weeks for training and venue knowledge. We are trying to make it a home from home really as it is a weird place to be," said Patience.

“We do this to win - that is what drives us. The language and the philosophy is very much about how do we become the best.

"You have the confidence and, I guess, a slight arrogance that your best is the best. Any sportsman would be kidding or lying if they said otherwise. We are in good place and we do feel we are building a package to win.

“Elliot and I are proud we don’t have a fearing weakness, we don’t wake up in the morning hoping for a certain wind condition."

Also looking to achieve some silver into gold alchemy will be Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark, who won women's 470 silver in Weymouth three years ago.

And being the first athletes confirmed for the Games will give them the time to fine tune every element of their campaign, without the worry of selectors looking at every race.

The pair have just returned from a month long training camp in Rio, which included the Olympic test event, where they claimed second place - a performance Mills described as an important learning experience.

“We can now focus 100 per cent on Rio and its conditions, the only event that matters to us now is the Olympics in 11 months," added Clark.
“If we were still in trials we would have to priortise different venue which might have any relevance to Rio so to be able to be selected is great.

“We are trying to maximise our time out there when the conditions are really similar to when we will be competing in Rio. We want to get out there and race, do our sailing and do our sport. That is what our main focus is on. Getting the silver was good but we know we can work better to get into that gold medal position. “

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