Spotlight on: British Olympian Stevie Morrison
We caught up with two-time Olympian Stevie Morrison, who makes his return to the Extreme Sailing Series™ this week in Hamburg as skipper of wildcard Team Extreme.
The successful British sailor revealed how his varied sailing career, which has seen him win world championship titles in the Fireball and 49er classes, began.
“I started sailing by chance really; I was much more into football but my family were involved with boats so there were always boats around,” explained Morrison, who got his first taste of the Extreme Sailing Series in 2015 on board Oman Air, before competing on the foiling GC32 in the 2016 season with Team Turx.
“I started going rowing and canoeing with some friends of mine and, when I realised it was a lot easier to put a sail up and let the wind push you along, it progressed from there.”
Growing up as part of Exe Sailing Club in Exmouth, Morrison sailed with and against some of the most successful names in British sailing.
“The club I was at was really competitive in my generation. We had guys like Ian Williams, the match racing champion, Adam May, who was a designer with Artemis Racing, Joe Glanfield, two-time silver Olympic medallist and Ben Rhodes, who I ended up sailing with, so there were probably six or seven of us who all went to the Olympics from the same club.
“I grew up in that environment that was great fun but turned out to be a really competitive environment, and we all learned more than perhaps we knew we were learning.”
Alongside Ben Rhodes, Morrison competed at both the 2008 Beijing Games and 2012 London Games in a successful 12-year partnership.
“I think a lot of the Olympic sailing, certainly in the two-person boat, is about the chemistry that you have with your partner. You spend a lot of time together and you each have to bring different qualities to it.
“Ben and I were just friends from the same town who both happened to be inspired by trying to go to the Olympics and it just so happened that together we brought most of the qualities that were required to the table.
“Time in the boats pays off, any boat. Just being on the water, experiencing it and feeling that sensation. For Ben and I, our biggest strength was that we’d just go sailing. We didn’t need coaches or lots of money, we just got out there racing each other, putting the time in and just enjoying it.
“We did better than we ever thought we would and had some great experiences.”
Having tried his hand at a multitude of classes, Morrison enjoys getting out on the water on his foiling Moth the most.
“I think sailing my Moth around is the most fun you have just sat on a boat, it’s awesome. They’re great boats, they’re fast, you’re on your own, it’s so small and reactive.”
Morrison and the rest of the crew on board Team Extreme are competing this afternoon on the second day of Extreme Sailing Series Act 5, Hamburg, presented by Land Rover. Follow the live blog for updates.