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Chris Grube targeting confidence-boosting 470 World Championships

Grube believes a break from Olympic sailing will have served him well

Chris Grube competing alongside Luke Patience at Rio 2016
Chris Grube competing alongside Luke Patience at Rio 2016 (REUTERS via Beat Media Group subscription)

By Abi Curran, Sportsbeat

Two-time Olympian Chris Grube credited his comeback to his competitive nature as he targets a confidence-boosting 470 World Championships in Mallorca.

Grube, 39, announced his retirement from the class in 2021 but returned last summer to compete in the shortened Olympic cycle alongside Vita Heathcote.

The pair have had to work hard at their partnership since coming together and the Chester sailor is hoping that effort pays off as they bid to seal Great Britain a spot at Paris 2024.

“I love the class and the boat,” Grube said. “I’m a competitive person, I want to race at the highest level and the Olympics is the highest level you can race in sailing.

“Things are a bit different because I’ve got a family now and the stakes are higher.

“It was a decision made as it’s a very short cycle for me, because it’s so close ,and it was an opportunity to come back and have an intense run-in to the Olympics.

“We’re a different partnership but I’m keen to see how we do at this worlds and whether we can medal for the Games.

“The main thing for us is to qualify the nation, no one has manage to do that so far.

“We came close at the last worlds and we were a place off qualifying so we’re confident we can do it.”

Grube and Heathcote head to the 470 World Championships as one of two British boats alongside Martin Wrigley and Bettine Harris, with one European quota spot available.

Following retirement, Grube continued to race in the J/70 class for more than two years, becoming a world champion in November, and believes a break from Olympic sailing will serve him well.

He said: “I’ve taken time out of the 470 but I’ve still been racing for two years.

“Vita is a lot younger than me and at the very beginning I was taking up more of that coaching-sailor role but we’re at a stage now where we’ve done that fast tracking and we’ve done our own performances.

“It’s been hard to gauge how our progress has been so it will be good to assess that. I know that if I bring my best and if Vita brings her best to the boat, we’ll do the job well.

“We know what we’ll achieve by pushing each other and training together.”

Follow the British Sailing Team on Instagram at @britishsailing