CHRIS Grube is still firmly on course for an appearance at next year’s London Olympics – but he knows that the real hard work has only just begun.

The 26-year-old from Mickle Trafford partnered Nick Rogers to a fourth-placed finish at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth, the first major dress rehearsal for the 2012 Games.

Crucially, Grube and Rogers won the battle of Britain in Saturday’s medal race, finishing second and holding compatriots and Olympic rivals Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell at bay.

It means Grube and Rogers will take the solitary British spot at August’s Olympic test event, also to be held at Weymouth.

Grube, who only joined forces with two-time Olympic silver medallist Rogers at the start of the season, said: “In a way I am pleased to have it all over and done with, because it was pretty nerve-racking the morning of the medal race as there was a lot at stake. But it is good to come away having had a fantastic result at the end and I am delighted with how we have done.

“We are going for a win at the Olympic test event, no doubt about that.”

Grube and Rogers made a flying start to their partnership in February, sealing gold at the Sail Auckland Regatta. While their subsequent ISAF World Cup performances have been a mixed bag, the duo produced the goods when it mattered on Saturday.

The pair now have one hand on the British 470 spot for next year’s Olympics, but former Upton High School pupil Grube warned: “We know that the hard work isn’t over. This is still only half a job and we aren’t celebrating yet.”

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