Luke Patience loves it when a plan comes together and the Scottish sailor’s strategy to peak for these Olympic Games appears to have worked a treat.
Sailing alongside Englishman Chris Grube in the 470 class, Rhu’s Patience finds himself right in medal contention beyond the halfway point of the regatta.
At Enoshima Yacht Harbour on Friday, the Brits came tenth in the first race and fifth in the second but with the way Olympic sailing works, teams can drop their worst result of the week – meaning the tenth spot didn’t affect their place on the leaderboard.
They’re second behind only the Australian duo, with four races and then the medal race still to come in Tokyo – a far cry from an Olympic cycle where their results at major championships have been middling at best.
But Patience insists that was by design and had a simple explanation for why their results at these Games are suddenly markedly better than what has come before.
“Time,” he said. “It’s all about time [together]. We weren’t doing this to win the Worlds this spring or last year, we were doing it to try and win the Olympics Games.
“We designed a programme that was to be ready for this regatta. I’m not surprised we’re doing well, perhaps others are!
“And that’s fair – that’s life and sport and business. Some prefer to always be there, be there, be there. We designed a programme that was always going to be ready for when it matters.
“We got here with more fight, more passion, more prepared and a boat more ready. We’re not surprised to be in this position but I can understand why it has looked a bit rocky for the past 18 months.”
Patience and Grube will enjoy a rest day on Saturday before they get back to it on Sunday for two more races.
And Patience is loving his Olympic experience, even offering an insight to being out on the waters on a daily basis.
“There’s a few laughs round the racecourse – we enjoy racing guys like the Aussie and the Kiwis,” he explained.
“We’ve had a good relationship with them for 15 years. You’d be surprised – there’s a bit of banter at a tight moment round the racecourse and a bit of gentleman’s code at times as well.
“It is enjoyable being second on the leaderboard as well and I think we’re pleased to still be in this position before the rest day.
“We can reflect on what do we do to stay and maintain in this flow, with this sort of energy. Bring on raceday four!”