SAILING: World Cup washout in Miami

FRUSTRATED: Stevie Morrison and Chris Grube in the 49er

FRUSTRATED: Stevie Morrison and Chris Grube in the 49er

First published in Sport by

DAY three of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami proved a washout, with rain showers shutting down the wind and making racing impossible across all of the Olympic and Paralympic classes on Biscayne Bay.

After a two-hour postponement on shore, sailors were sent out to their race courses in the hope that the breeze would fill in ahead of the expected band of showers, but it was not to be and all fleets returned to land by mid-afternoon having seen no racing.

Today should see a change to windier conditions which will provide a useful test for the new 49er partnership of Stevie Morrison and Chris Grube, competing in their second World Cup regatta in Miami this week since teaming up in November.

Morrison and former crew Ben Rhodes, two-time Olympians and former World Champions in the men’s skiff class, called time on their 12-year partnership in October, with Rhodes now forging a coaching career.

But Morrison still has Rio playing on his mind and teamed up with Grube, who formerly crewed for Stuart Bithell, two months ago.

The pair finished fifth at the Sail Melbourne World Cup regatta in December and are in the same position after three days of racing in Miami.

Grube, 29, grasped the opportunity to sail with Morrison when his partnership with Stuart Bithell came to an end.

He and Bithell had teamed up at the beginning of 2013, but with both sailors new to the demanding high performance boat, and with Bithell suffering an injury last summer, time was running out for them to forge a successful unit ahead of Rio.

At this week’s ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Morrison and Grube have made a steady start, picking up top-10 results in their three races so far.

Whatever the result from this week, the pair are looking forward to some solid training time together after this event and before the start of the European racing season.

Morrison said: “We’ve got some fantastic backing from UK Sport and the British Sailing Team, and we’re lucky to have a personal backer in BTG as well, who are a company a bit like us really – new and expanding rapidly hopefully.

“We’re working very closely with them and it gives us the opportunity to do what we need to do and that’s leave no stone unturned.

“We believe and expect that we can be the best in two and a half years. We need to be doing that. It’s a great opportunity to get more racing here, learn more lessons, do it when we can do it and learn when we need to learn.”

Racing at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami continues for all classes today, with medal races for the Olympic classes scheduled for Saturday.

For news and results, go to britishsailingteam.com on Facebook or on Twitter @BritishSailing.

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