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SAILING: Luke's last-minute Little America's bid
OLYMPIAN Luke Patience will be swapping his 470 dinghy for a high-speed winged catamaran this Monday to compete in the Little America’s Cup.
Patience, who won the Santander Test Worlds in Spain last week with his crew Joe Glanfield, is joining a last-minute entry to compete at the 26th International C-Class Cat Challenge (ICCC) in Falmouth, Cornwall.
The event, best known as the Little America’s Cup (LAC), is sailed every three years and timed to coincide with the America’s Cup – where far larger AC72 catamarans will be racing in San Francisco Bay.
It marks the first time the ICCC has been staged in Britain since 1969.
London 2012 silver medallist Patience is excited to be helming for the Sentient Blue team, owned by John Downey.
In addition to campaigning for Rio 2016 Games selection with double Olympic silver medallist Glanfield, Patience and the Sentient Blue team aim to challenge for the 2015 ICCC held in Geneva, Switzerland.
They hadn’t expected to have a boat in time for next week’s regatta and had intended to observe the Falmouth event but when Alpha became available, it was decided they would race with less than a month’s preparation.
Patience, of Weston, said: “It was all a bit last minute but a boat came up for sale, John snapped it up and we switched the agenda to get down here and get on the starting line.
“No doubt it will be a huge learning curve.”
He added: “The vision is to challenge for the 2015 LAC.
“It’s serious stuff what they’re doing, I’m really pleased to be part of it.
“It can only further my knowledge and enable me to experience yet another side of the sport and, who knows, I could be helming an America’s Cup boat in years to come.”
Although Patience’s long-term goal is for the C-Class Catamaran experience to give him a step up into America’s Cup racing, for now his focus is on finding sponsors to support both his Olympic and LAC teams to really move the whole business forward and get a step over their rivals.
Winning the Santander regatta with a day to spare and achieving their third victory since pairing up this year’s sailing season, gives Patience confidence that he and Glanfield have a promising Olympic partnership ahead.
He said: “Joe’s a great guy, we’re very compatible as a sailing team, our strengths and weaknesses are very different which gives us an extremely solid base layer to build on.
“It’s not the answer, the answer is working hard and then a little bit harder but it’s certainly a brilliant foundation.”
This winter, Patience, 27, will be spending a lot of time in the boat shed doing development work and in the gym.
He added: “You almost work harder out of season because the racing season is all about being mentally in a good place, rested and enthusiastic, while the winter months are about running yourself at a pace that’s not really sustainable, you push hard for a few weeks and develop.
“A big part at the moment is about finding sponsorship.”
Would-be sponsors can contact Patience via @patience_luke on Twitter or patienceglanfield.com
The 2013 ICCC runs from September 23-29, follow the action at theflyingboats.com
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