"Failures are where the good stuff happens," says helmsman Luke Patience. He and Stuart Bithell have learnt the hard way that an Olympic campaign is a tough challenge. Matthew Sheahan spoke to the newly selected 470 duo

Olympic profile: Luke Patience

Early ambitions – “I guess I had a bit of a hippy upbringing. I didn’t think that further education could teach me anything that I would use”

How it all started – “I had my first major success at the Optimist Europeans in 2000 where I finished 4th. But as it happens this event was also a big negative for me as a group of Italians team-raced me out of 1st place so that their sailor could win. I’ve let it go now, but only just”

Best/worst quality – “My best qualities are that I’m a smiler and excitable. My worst are that I over-think things and make them more complicated than they need to be”

Hobbies and interests? – “I like anything on water, plus I love rock climbing and playing my guitars”

How do you relax? – “I do like going home to Scotland – it’s the only place where I can really relax. I’m quite keen on a wee dram too”

What picks you up when you’re down?
– “Stuart is a good calming influence for me and when he’s not around my parents are very good at reading my moods, especially my mother who can suss me out in a few seconds on Skype”

Non-sailing ambition – “To get away from rules and regulations for a while. Perhaps live in Tiree for a bit”

What’s your plan ‘B’? – “To do it all over again? I guess I don’t have one, I’ve never really felt the need to have something to fall back on, but that might change In August!”

Pet hate
– Ignorance

Sporting hero
– Roger Federer, Kelly Slater and Sam Hill

Position on boat
– Helm

First class raced
– Optimist aged 8

Early racing track record 4th – 2000 Optimist European championships
1st British boat – 2001 Optimist Worlds, Qingdao
2nd – 2003 420 Europeans
3rd – 2004 420 Youth Sailing World Championships

Favourite sailing venue – Lake Garda

Favourite regatta
– Any world championships

Favourite boat
– 470

Current car
– Volvo V70

Dream car
– Land Rover Defender 90

Personal favourites
Band – Powderfinger
BookJonathan Livingston Seagull
Non-sailing item – Fender Stratocaster guitar
iPhone app – Shazam
iPod top 3 most played
Closer – Kings of Leon
We Own the Sky – M83
Poke – Frightened Rabbit

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Olympic profile: Luke Patience
  3. 3. Olympic profile: Stuart Bithell
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