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Grae Morris

Age

20

Place of Birth

RANDWICK, NSW

Hometown

Sydney

Senior Club

Woollahra Sailing Club - Sydney

Coach

Brett Morris, Arthur Brett

Olympic History

Paris 2024

High School

Cranbrook School

 

Grae's Story

Grae Morris describes his sport as something like a cross-country race on water, with a little bit of rugby thrown in.

IQFOiL, a form of windsurfing using a board with a wing-like device instead of a fin to lift it out of the water, will make its Olympic debut in Paris.

Replacing the daggerboard with a foil means that instead of floating the board flies above the water at speeds of more than 60km/h.

Competitors must control a rig that includes a nine-metre square sail while avoiding high-speed collisions with their rivals.

“Everything is happening so fast, and some of the time you just lose control,” Grae said.

“Whether it’s you hitting someone else, or a mark, or something breaks because there’s so much power going through it. There are a lot of crashes, and it’s just part of it. Like rugby, you get hit up.”

Grae, from Sydney’s eastern suburbs, has been windsurfing for most of his life – his dad Brett was a national champion – and made the transition to the foil as a 14-year-old.

“From the age of only three months, I accompanied my father to all his national and international windsurfing events,” says Grae. “It wasn't long before I found myself on my own windsurfing board and at age 11 began following in his steps, competing in Formula and Slalom events all across Australia.”

At the same time, Grae also played rugby, making top teams for his club and school and ultimately playing in the First XV in his final year at Sydney’s Cranbrook School.

At the age of 18, he was forced to choose between the two sports and windsurfing won out.

Although Grae insists the decision was clear – windsurfing is his passion – he says the discipline and work ethic instilled by rugby continues to shape his training.

The decision to transition to the foil was another one he found relatively easy.

“I thought it (the foil) was almost easier because everything felt a lot lighter and there’s less resistance,” he said. “When you’re hitting the water (on a regular windsurfer), there’s lots of resistance and power, where this (foil), if you want to do it easily, it’s really smooth. So, I found the transition quite easy and quite fun.”

Grae had a breakout year internationally in 2023, with a string of top-class results. He performed well at the Olympic test event on the waters off the French city of Marseille and earned Australia a quota spot for Paris at the 2023 Sailing World Championships in The Hague.

The 20-year-old just missed out on a medal, finishing third in his semi-final to settle for fourth overall. A year later at the 2024 World Championships Grae finished fourth again at Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.

Despite, the relentless training and hard work that comes with making it to the top of his sport, Grae still loves actually getting out on the water.

“You can hear the wind, you can hear the waves, but you can’t hear yourself touching the water. It’s quite calming,” he said.

“It’s also so enjoyable that it doesn’t really feel like training at that point. When you’re enjoying it that much, it’s just another part of your day.”

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