Sailing - Fletcher using London 2012 heartache to propel him towards Rio

Dylan Fletcher has always felt at home on the water but the Great Britain sailor insists he is ready to hit the waves harder than ever in a bit to reach the Rio Olympics.


With just one British boat able to compete in the 49er class at London 2012 Fletcher and partner Alain Sign were locked in a battle to qualify for the home Games with five crews having a realistic chance of shining in Weymouth.

That tussle was eventually won by Beijing Olympians Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes, who went on to finish just off the podium in fifth last summer.

Fletcher admits that watching London 2012 pass them by was tough for him and Sign to take, but thankfully the pair have plenty to keep them busy as they start work to ensure lightning doesn't strike twice in Brazil.

The duo will kick things off with a World Cup event in Palma and Hyeres next month before returning to Weymouth for the Sail for Gold Regatta.

Their calendar continues to be jam-packed as they will then compete at July's European Championships before travelling to France for the world equivalent in September, but 24-year-old Fletcher admits he wouldn’t have it any other way.

"Alain and myself are working hard towards the World Championships in Marseille, the goal is to win, we'd be happy with a medal but the goal is to go there to win," he said.

"Training is going really well. It's nice to get looking at 2016 and get away from 2012 which was a bit dark for us and training has gone a lot better than we thought and we've eased into it really quickly.

"There were a lot of mistakes we made in the run up to London 2012 that we've obviously learnt from but there was also a lot of things we did right so its been trying to learn from the mistakes rather than force them out of our mind.

"I think the main thing was the guys winning who won the golds were consistently winning and medaling in the two years before the Games.

"They attended quite a few regattas and they were also sailing other classes of boats as well as their Olympic classes so they were just spending a lot of time on the water, racing and sailing.

"So our aim is to medal at every event and to win at least one. So it's a big ask from where we've been in the previous years but we've had our ups and downs but feel that’s an achievable goal."

This year will be the seventh that Fletcher and Sign have sailed together, and the former believes there will be no slowing down anytime soon with Rio looming on the horizon.

"Training with Alain is really good," he added. "One of our strengths is how close we are and how well we know each other.

"We sat down after the Games and I said do you want to go to Rio and he said 'Of course I do', because even though we'd already made plans for Rio we hadn’t actually asked each other if we wanted to do it, but there was no question we both want to do it."

© Sportsbeat 2013

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