Australian Sailing Youth Team announced to compete at the 2016 Youth Sailing World Championship
by Megan McKay
Australian Sailing has announced the 2016 Australian Sailing Youth Team, who will represent their country at the 2016 Youth Sailing World Championship from 14-20 December at Torbay Sailing Club in Auckland.
The team members are:
Girls single-handed (Laser Radial): Zoe Thomson of Royal Freshwater Bay Sailing Club and Fremantle Sailing Club, WA
Boys single-handed (Laser Radial): Finn Alexander of Double Bay Sailing Club, NSW
Girls Windsurfer (RSX): Courtney Schoutrop of Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, QLD
Boys Windsurfer (RSX): Alex Halank of Georges River Sailing Club, NSW
Mixed multihull (Nacra 15): Kyle Fortier and Bonnie Butler of Vincentia Sailing Club, NSW
Boys double-handed (420): Nicholas Sharman of Mornington Yacht Club and James Grogan of Black Rock Yacht Club, VIC
Girls double-handed (420): Sophie McIntosh of Gosford Sailing Club and Emily Summerell of Gosford Sailing Club, NSW
Boy’s skiff (29er): John Cooley of Woollahra Sailing Club and Simon Hoffman of Belmont 16 Foot Sailing Club, NSW
Girl’s skiff (29er): Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot of Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, NSW
The group who have qualified are all ‘first-timers’ at the Youth Sailing World Championship, and will be vying to defend the Nations Trophy, which was won by the Aussies in 2015 in Langkawi, Malaysia.
“For us the Youth Worlds is the closest thing we can get to an Olympics at our age,” said John Cooley. “My goal is to get a medal at the Youth Worlds, then look forward to a medal at the Olympics in the future.”
The Olympics is a common goal for many of these young sailors.
“My goal is to become a world champion and go on to represent Australia at the Olympics,” said Zoe Thomson. “The Youth Worlds is a good stepping stone to get to the Olympics in the future.”
Queensland Youth Week, which was held in light conditions from 1-5 July at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, was the final qualifying regatta for the Australian Sailing Youth Team. Jaime Ryan and Ashley Stoddart from Australia’s Rio bound Olympic Sailing contingent conducted the presentation of trophies at the event.
The team is still to be ratified by the Australian Sailing Board.