Sailing - Macgregor overcoming Olympic disappointment as she begins 49er FX adventure

Kate Macgregor admits a forced switch of sailing classes has helped her gradually overcome a 'depressing' Olympic debut with the realisation of the road ahead to banishing the heartache for good set to come in April.


Macgregor formed one third of Britain's match racing team at London 2012, which included skip and older sister Lucy as well as Annie Lush, with the trio heading into the Games as the world champions from 2010.

They surrendered their world title to America in 2011, settling for silver, before finishing sixth at the 2012 edition and then seventh at the Olympics just over a month later as Spain won gold in Weymouth.

Women's match racing made its Olympic debut at London 2012, replacing the Yngling class from Beijing 2008, however the Elliott 6m will not be at the next Games in Rio in 2016 with the gender taking up the 49er FX.

It is this boat that Macgregor has moved into and she credits it for helping her move on from her Olympic disappointment with her first competitive outing coming at the end of the month at the Palma World Cup.

"We didn't get the result we wanted at the Olympics so that was a bit depressing to be honest. I think we all handled it very differently at the time and there were a lot of tears for sure," said Macgregor.

"But then I think it actually took a lot longer to get over it than I thought it would and I'm now sailing a new boat, which has helped.

"The new boat is amazing and I'm learning something new every day so it's a great opportunity. It is completely different to what I'm used to.

"It's just refreshing and a new challenge and I'm always improving at the moment which is a really nice feeling. So I just need to keep that going and aim for gold in Rio.

"We have a few events before the middle of June so it's quite full on and our Europeans are at the beginning of July in Denmark and our worlds are at the end of September.

"We don't know what our opposition will be like yet so from our first event it will be easier to set goals but our aim is to get our performance funding for our World Championships, which will be challenging."

As opposed to the Elliott 6m, which is a keelboat crewed by three people at the Olympics, the 49er FX is a women's two-person skiff with 22-year-old Macgregor one of eight Brits tackling the boat currently.

And, while she looks set to sail with Mary Rook in Palma, Macgregor admitted it won't be until June and the Sail for Gold Regatta on the London 2012 Olympic waters in Weymouth that partnerships will be confirmed.

"There are four boats within the squad and within that we are rotating so we actually sail with a different person at each event," she added.

"So after Sail for Gold in June we will decide who we will sail with for the Europeans and the worlds. It's really great to sail with new people especially as they've got a lot of skiff experience and I haven't.

"I'm just trying to learn as much as I can off the different crews."

© Sportsbeat 2013

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