Exmouth Olympian Glanfield sails into retirement

09:45 20 February 2014

Exmouth’s double Olympic silver medal-winning sailor Joe Glanfield has announced his retirement, writes Stephen Birley.

Glanfield, 34, who claimed Olympic silver in Athens and Beijing, returned to the double-handed 470 class just a year ago after a four-year break, teaming up with London 2012 silver medallist Luke Patience in a bid to claim a first ever British Olympic gold in the class at Rio 2016.

The duo had a successful first year to their partnership, winning European Championship silver, a fifth place at their first World Championship together, and podium finishes at three other World Cup and international regattas.

However, father-of-five Glanfield has found that the demands of a gold medal-winning campaign have led to compromises in both his professional and family lives, and he is not prepared to give either less than the attention they deserve.

He explained saying: “As Luke and I sailed it became quite clear what we felt was required to win a gold in Rio, and I increasingly felt as though it was going to be difficult for me to do exactly what was required. With both of us having won silver medals before, as soon as you start to get the feeling that you can’t do the campaign that’s needed to win a gold then it starts to become a bit pointless. For me, once I saw a conflict between doing a gold medal-winning campaign and living the life I want to live with my family then it became clear to me that the answer was to stop now and allow Luke to get on with someone else”

He continued: “My life has moved on more than I anticipated from four years ago. What I would need to be prepared to sacrifice and compromise is a bit higher than I am prepared to. There’s not really any sadness. I’m glad I did it. I feel sorry that it didn’t work out for Luke and I, but I really enjoyed the experience of sailing with Luke. He’s a great guy and I’ve got a huge amount of respect for him. He’s in the perfect place to do a committed campaign for Rio and I wish him all the best for that. For me, sailing 470s is something that I’ve done for a long time and perhaps this gives me a bit of closure and means it’s time to move on. I’ll end up going down a coaching route and I’m really excited about that – I really enjoyed coaching a lot in the past and I’m looking forward to doing that again.”

Scotsman Patience equally has no regrets about his time sailing with Glanfield, but with the Olympic flame still burning, he will now set about finding the right used crew with whom to further his Rio gold medal-winning ambitions.

The 27-year-old said: “We all do this for very specific individual reasons, and if one cannot reach a comfortable place for the reasons they were doing it then they cannot perform at their best. I completely understand Joe’s reasoning behind that – he felt like he couldn’t be at his best and that’s not OK for him. I totally understand and respect that. He’s had an absolutely fantastic career in the boat and he’s come out as one of the most successful crews in the history of the 470 and has so much to be proud of. I feel sad for him that he’s departing the 470, but it’s the right decision for the right reasons. For me, I live and breathe the Olympics – I’m obsessed! My drive and motivation for the goal hasn’t wavered at all through this.”

Patience continued: “I’m still fully there in my head. I have a plan from here and an outcome that I would like to get to carry on my path towards putting together a successful Olympic campaign that can get to the startline of race one in Rio and be in a position to challenge for a gold medal.”

RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park commented: “As Joe knows only too well, a gold medal-winning campaign is a full-time commitment requiring absolute dedication and sacrifice. “While it is disappointing to be losing someone of Joe’s calibre from our list of Podium Programme Sailors, his decision is entirely understandable in light of his family circumstances. We will continue to talk with Joe and hopefully he will be able to add his considerable experience into the British Sailing Team’s coaching pool over the coming months. We wish him well with whatever the future holds. “We will now work to support Luke in finding the right used crew to complement his talents to give Great Britain the best possible chance of gold in the 470 men’s class at Rio 2016.”

0 comments

Other Sport Stories

Yesterday, 20:10
Seaton Tennis Club ladies' singles title winner Anna Moroz with runner-up Teresa Hancock

Seaton Tennis Club was bathed in unexpected sunshine as juniors showed their skill and energy during the 2015 Finals Day, writes Belinda Bawden.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:01
The five hour gang at Devon and Somerset Glding Club

The past week saw lots of action at the Devon and Somerset Gliding Club, writes Jill Harmer.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

Upottery went down by 130 runs to a Tiverton side that has now gone above them in the D Division East table.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:27
Runners at the 'Race the Tram' meeting.

The annual ‘Race The Tram’ from Colyton to Seaton event took place last Monday and after a somewhat grotty day the sky cleared and we were treated to a super race followed by a sumptuous barbecue at AVR junior leader Phil’s fantastic beach hut, writes Dave Mutter.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:26
Honiton club champion Sue Evans (right) with Suzie Collins of Cornwall

Sue Evans has booked a return to Leamington after more success on the green, writes Julie Grant.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:45
Swimming pool

After their exploits in the first round, numerous young swimmers aged between nine and twelve represented Chard and District Swimming Club again in the Southern Junior League, writes Paul Harrison.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:44
Cricket - generic picture

Kilmington not only dealt a severe blow to the Whimple D Division East title hopes, but also did their own chances of bagging a top two berth a power of good as they claimed a six wicket win over the one time runaway leaders of the section.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:44
Sophie Keech with one of her many trophies win in the past year

East Devon golf ace Sophie Keech has been enjoying further success.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:33
Honiton runners who took part in the Dalwood 10k

Several Honiton Running Club members braved the heavy rain on Sunday morning to take part in the Dalwood Fair 10k multi-terrain run, writes Judy Davey.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:27
Charlotte Beviss in action with her team mates and on their way to gold in Turin, Italy

Colyton Grammar School student, Charlotte Beviss has recently triumphed in the Acrobatic Gymnastic International Acrobatic Gymnastic International Cup held in Turin, Italy, writes Hannah Wright.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read Sport

Great British Life


Great British Life

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition today E-edition



Honiton's trusted business finder