Macgregor Switches To Catamaran

Sailor Lucy Macgregor has set her sights on competing at the Rio 2016 Olympics in a new discipline.

Macgregor, 26, who came seventh as part of the women's match racing boat crew at London 2012, has teamed up with Tom Phipps, 24, of Falmouth.

Their aim is to compete in the Nacra 17 mixed two-person multihull event in 2016.

The decision to change to the catamaran was made in ''recent weeks'', Macgregor's spokesman said and the pair have been sailing together since October.

Britain's match racing team, who were ranked second in the world in the Elliott 6m class, were forced to split after the discipline was dropped from the Olympic programme for Rio.

At London 2012 the boat included Macgregor and her sister Kate, who were the first sisters to sail for Team GB at the Olympics. Annie Lush completed the line-up.

Macgregor, from Poole, also finds herself on a learning curve as she has spent the past seven years training in women-only boats which also included the yngling.

''Tom and I have known of each other for a while but didn't know each other, but he has done a huge amount of multihull sailing before, which has helped my learning massively,'' she said in her blog.

''Having gone from campaigning with all-women crews over the past seven years it's inevitably different sailing with a boy, but Tom is very easy-going and making it enjoyable.

''For me everything has just been about getting to grips with sailing a catamaran.

''The speed aspect is huge in cat sailing and very different to what I've been used to in the Elliott 6m match racing.

''With the cat the range in speed is huge if you get things just right.

''There's been lots of capsizing too and the breeze hasn't really helped. I think we've only had two days where it's dipped below 15 knots. But that's made for some exciting sailing and it's been a really good laugh.''

Her former team-mates have yet to announce what their sporting future holds.

Macgregor has had to quickly get back on the water to get to grips with her new challenge.

She said:

''If the Elliott was in the Games again for 2016 I probably wouldn't have got into the boat until after Christmas.

''But learning to sail a cat has actually felt like a break and I wouldn't change the past couple of months for anything.

''I had to get back out on the water quickly because I was changing classes so it's given me something really fun and exciting to focus on.''