Morrison and Rhodes retire from Perth 2011
British 49er sailors Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes have been forced to withdraw from the Perth 2011 World Championships following an injury to Rhodes sustained during racing on Monday.
During the first of their three opening day races, Rhodes suffered a rib strain but in spite of being in considerable pain, he managed to complete Monday’s racing schedule.
With the injury restricting Rhodes’ ability to breathe and move freely, the concern lies in his safety to race and so the decision was taken on those grounds to withdraw from the event.
Rhodes will return home where he will undergo intensive rehabilitation through the RYA, English Institute of Sport and British Olympic Association facilities so that he can get back into training and sailing with minimal delay, and continue with his planned events next year.
Helmsman Stevie Morrison said of their withdrawal: “We’re hugely disappointed not to be able to continue with the event. The good news with Ben’s injury is that it’s fixable, it’s just not fixable overnight so the best thing is for him to return back to the UK where he will receive the full infrastructure of support that will get him back in shape.
“We came into the event in good shape, really believing that we were sailing well and our pre-regatta training showed that. We were more confident than we’ve probably felt in a couple of years – we have good kit, we’re sailing well together thanks to the work that we’ve been doing with Paul [Brotherton] and the rest of the Skandia Team GBR squad so it feel like a lost opportunity to put that into practice.
“It’s a setback for sure, but setbacks only make you stronger and in terms of our qualification for the Olympics, we know how competitive we are within the fleet and we’re still the only British 49er crew to have won a medal in Weymouth. That’s what counts in the big picture of 2012.”