By James Reid, Sportsbeat
Sailor Rhos Hawes admits working with his partner is like experiencing married life in his pursuit to represent the British Sailing Team at the Paris 2024 Olympics.
The Cirencester star, 25, is an Under-23 European champion but now has eyes on Olympic glory with new partner Chris Taylor.
The pair have only recently joined forces with the Games just two years away, and Hawes knows just how important a good relationship is to success on the water.
“There’s a big element that you spend every day together,” said Hawes, who now trains in Weymouth, the hub of British sailing.
“Training, working together in the gym, on the water, in meetings – it’s like a marriage! But rather than a house you own boats together.
“It is really about who can bring the best out of the person they’re sailing with.
“You’re going to have good times, you’re going to have hard times, you’re going to have problems to solve and be adaptable – it’s how you bring the best out of each other for that.
“I think that’s where really understanding each other’s characters is crucial. It’s doing that not only at the Olympic Games, but at the World Championships, the Europeans, every day you go to training – how do you get what’s necessary for the session.”
— British Sailing Team (@BritishSailing) August 8, 2022
The pair must gel quickly during this condensed Olympic cycle, and face their first big test at the World Championships in Nova Scotia in September.
However, for Hawes, representing his country at the Olympics is the dream that keeps driving him every day, and the biomedical sciences graduate knows how important each step along the way is in realising his dream.
“We’ve spent however many years of our lives aiming for the Olympics and that being the goal so that is in the back of your mind every day you go to training – that’s what spurs us on.
“The best can connect the big picture to each smaller stage in that.
“Being able to identify what’s important day to day, to link it together for the full picture for the Olympic Games, and each step towards that, there’s a real skill in that.
“It's giving me goosebumps thinking about it.
“It would be an exceptional feeling, it is the culmination of however many years work but it is also the opportunity to race in such a high-pressured environment and do what we love at the top level, under that pressure.
“It’s an honour to feel that pressure.”
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— British Sailing Team (@BritishSailing) July 30, 2022
With just two years to go until the Games, Hawes knows he and Taylor have a lot to do in order to make sure they are at the start line but it is the love of sailing that keeps him going.
“There’s a lot to do before we get to the finished product of where you’d like to deliver your best performance,” added Hawes.
“I started off sailing as a hobby, no one in my family sailed – and it was very much I enjoyed doing it.
“I think taking that love of the sport that everyday is different, you rarely get two similar days on the water, we’ve always got something to solve, something to improve on, and I think that constant challenge is what engages me.”
The British Sailing Team are the most successful national Olympic sailing team of all time and will proudly fly the flag for Great Britain at Paris 2024