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Worlds silver for 470 pair Vita Heathcote and Chris Grube

Heathcote and Grube in action.

Heathcote and Grube in action. © Bernardi Biblioni


British teams secure quota place for Team GB at Paris 2024


Vita Heathcote and Chris Grube claimed 470 World Championship silver as Great Britain secured a quota place for the Paris 2024 Olympics in Mallorca.

The mixed pair were second heading into the medal race on the final day before high winds forced the cancellation of Sunday’s race.

Heathcote and Grube finished 11 points behind champions and home favourites Jordi Xammar and Nora Brugman of Spain.

Meanwhile, Martin Wrigley and Bettine Harris claimed ninth to ensure that Britain were the only nation to have two boats qualify for the medal races, thus finishing the regatta as the top nation.

Heathcote and Grube started strongly in Mallorca, with two top-three finishes, including a win, in the first five races to advance to the gold group.

Wrigley and Harris notched second, third and fourth place in the early races to join Grube and Heathcote in the top group.

In the gold group races, Heathcote and Grube were consistent, only finishing outside the top 10 once in six races, ending with a second place to climb up through the field into silver position.

“It is pretty amazing, actually,” Grube said: “We've had a lot of injury and illness between the two of us which has just meant that it has been really hard to get a consistent training programme together.  
“But we raced really well in the last World Championships, that was the last event we did together.  
“We know we can race well when it counts and we managed to do that this week, which is great.
"Whenever you step away from something it is very hard to know whether you've made the right decision coming back.  
“There's been moments where I've had self-doubt and asked am I really making the right decision?  
“Ultimately, this gives me a real confidence boost that Vita and I are on the right trajectory.”
Winners are grinners... Vita Heatcote and Chris Grube show off their silver medals. © Bernardi Biblioni

Winners are grinners... Vita Heatcote and Chris Grube show off their silver medals. © Bernardi Biblioni

Meanwhile, Wrigley and Harris searched for stability in difficult conditions with two top-10 placings in the six gold group races to finish ninth.

In doing so, the two pairs ensured Great Britain claimed the European quota spot for the Paris Olympics, with the other nations hoping to qualify failing to make it through to the medal race.

Stormy conditions denied the boats the chance to go for gold on Sunday with the results decided from the overall placings.

Both Heathcote and Grube and Wrigley and Harris are relatively new pairings, but showed that things are beginning to click into gear for the pair of them.

And for Wrigley, he hopes it is a sign of things to come.

“I’m really proud of us as a team, not only myself and Bettine but Vita and Chris as well and what we’ve managed to do this winter,” the 27-year-old said.

“I’m glad for them and happy with what we’ve done but there is more to come yet.

“We’ve had a bit of a tricky time in this cycle so far so this is a really cool feeling.

“Since teaming up with Bettine, we’ve been trying to chip away and learn as much as we can, that’s why it’s nice to have finished inside the top 10.

“It’s impressive as a young team this late on in the cycle to do as well as we have and with as little experience as we have.”

Full results from the regatta can be found here.

About the author

Will Carson