Thanks again to all our 2913 Double 29er Worlds Campaign contributors,
I just wanted the again express my thanks for all your support last year in our double 29er Worlds campaign tour of Europe 2013.
Without your generous contributions and support, we would not have been able to have transitioned the way we have into the 49erFX and 49ers open classes since our last post. We are still chasing our goals to one day represent Australia at the Olympics, and right now, we are "Happy as Larry".
Since the last post, I have completed the HSC and enrolled at university doing a Sports Science degree.
On the sailing front, our 49er hull and rig from the UK expected to arrive in October actually sailed into Melbourne the day the ISAF Sailing World Cup - Sail Melbourne commenced. Missed that one of course and Dad and I unpacked the container only 3 days before the next event in Sydney "“ 2013 Sail Middle Harbour (replacement regatta for cancelled Sail Sydney). We entered under the new name for our boat "“ "Happy as Larry", named after our coach Larry Cargill who worked with us way above and beyond the call of duty (and continues to this day). It didn't leave us much time to work out how to rig it let alone get some sailing on it before our first event in the senior Olympic boat. Things went pretty well and we won that event using an FX rig, which was also the first round of the NSW/ACT State 9er Championships.
Next stop, Royal Brighton Yacht Club in Victoria for the Zhik 2013/14 Australian 9er Championships over Christmas/New Years. Again, we used the FX rig and were the only open entry. All the AST female Olympic campaigners were there, including my sister Olivia and her new crew Eliza; they had just won the World Cup together in their first regatta as a team earlier at Sail Melbourne. We were pretty pleased with our performance, being either "roosters or feather dusters" winning almost half of the races against the girls and placing third overall just behind Olivia and Eliza in second place. It assisted us enormously to use the 49erFX rig as a skill-up for our eventual entry into the 49er in the future.
We returned back to Sydney in January after 4000kms plus and we then flew out to New Zealand to compete in our other sailing discipline, international youth match racing where we finished in third place. We put the pressure on to the eventual winners early in the qualifying series, winning the two round robins. But as match racing works, the scores were zero'd for the finials and we chose to face the second team early in the finals losing on this occasion which left us to race for third place. Plenty of experience gained and then back to Sydney for the last round of the NSW/ACT 9er State Championships in the 49erFX.
We sailed this regatta with a lot more confidence, this regatta consisting of a mixed 49er/49erFX fleet. We were very happy with our progress and even managed to be the second team around the buoys on many laps despite the smaller FX rig. We won the state championships and then unpacked the 49er rig, returning the chartered FX rig back to the AST as we now had to begin our next progression into the 49er.
After a few weeks sailing solo with the 49er rig on Sydney Harbour with our coach Larry guiding us on many occasions, we drove up to Brisbane for the 2014 QLD 9er Championships (also the Sail Brisbane event) where we would for the first time sail against another 49er.
Despite the Sail Brisbane event only having three 49er entries, the competition was high with the aussie training partners to Olympic gold's Outteridge and Jensen allowing us to test out some settings on our boat and begin to work out how to get the boat moving "“ there is an enormous comparative level of setting data to obtain on the 49er from the youth 29er class.
We led a number of legs and races during Sail Brisbane with one win and eventually ended up in second place in our first 49er regatta.
Back down to Sydney, another 1000kms and we are now training for a month with Larry when available before our next European tour in the 49er for 2014, commencing in Germany at Kiel Week in June, then up to Aarhus, Denmark again for the 49er Junior World Championships and then on to our final regatta, the 49er Europeans in Helsinki, Finland.
This month we were awarded a new NSW State Sailing Performance Program Scholarship and selected for membership to the Australian Sailing Squad with a Youth Bridging Scholarship.
Thank you once again and I look forward to further transforming your contributions and support into higher goals and achievement in the next few months.
Now back from all the travelling, sailing, and HSC prepartions so I have some time to thank you and sign off from this great experience.
Back in June, we had a few days prior to the AUS Mid-Winter Youths event in QLD training with the NSW Youth Sailing Team in some fun windy conditions. The regatta went for 4 days with very challenging and light conditions. We had moments of brilliance throughout the event but with some unfavourable (light) conditions we managed to place third. After a very fun week we departed Brisbane Airport to Dubai and then into Larnaca Cyprus. From Dubai to Larnaca I scored a business class upgrade along with one of our coaches Brendan.
Once we arrived in Cyprus, we met up with the rest of the team at our hotel which was very classy and had fantastic views. Before the Youth worlds began we had a few days training in some 470's and Lasers because we were unable to sail our boats due to the nature of the event. This helped with the knowledge of the waters in Limassol.
The event kicked off with a bang at the opening ceremony. This was held in the city centre, but before that, the people of Limassol welcomed all the athletes as we marched through the town. This let all the teams be grouped together and allowed us for bonding between nations. The atmosphere amongst all the athletes at the hotel was fantastic. Everyone got along well and managed to make friends.
The racing in Cyprus was very professional and competitive. With the varying conditions we were able to perform well when we had our favourable strong winds. The highlight of the regatta was Day 3 with a nice building sea breeze, we came away with a scorecard of 2-2-1. This really made us happy and confident after racing that day. When looking back on the whole regatta, we are very proud of our 7th place overall. We had 8 out of 13 races inside the top 5 which we felt was outstanding. Our coach Larry Cargill was very impressed with our performance.
After a wild week, we watched out fellow team-mates stand on the podium receiving their medals at the closing ceremony. The night was full of excitement as all the athletes made their way down to a local nightclub for the after party. It was such a joy to be apart of such a wonderful event and to end our Youth Sailing careers on a high with our team celebrating a awesome 2nd Place overall in the Nations trophy.
Moving on to the next stage of our trip saw us heading to Aarhus Denmark for the 29er World Championships. We received our boat a week before the event began and we were able to set it up like our boat back in Australia. With other Australian teams being there, made it easy for training as we could sail against each other to test out the waters. On the first day of the event, the committee organised a welcome march, which was only about 50 metres. Followed by a buffet dinner for all the sailors.
Again the racing was very tough, with 213 boats separated into four fleets on four different courses. Obviously the conditions were varied depending on which course we were on. For the majority of the qualifying series, we were on the Yellow course, which was the closest one to the opening of the bay. This was difficult as we had two different breezes influencing the racetrack. The weather was not on our side as it was very light and testing conditions and as Gus and I had grown considerably since Christmas, together were many kilos over the optimum weight for the boat. We had multiple days of which we did not begin racing until 4 o'clock and ending at 8 at night because of no wind. Overall we were a little disappointed with our end result but on the days with breeze we were pleased with our wins and other top results in these races. However, Gus and I both agree that we did have an amazing time during that regatta. We did learn a lot and are very pleased at how well the other Australian teams did.
Travelling back to Australia was a hard 24-hour experience. Didn't get much sleep, but was happy to arrive home and see Olivia waiting for me at the gate ready to take me home late at night.
Since then, I have been working towards my HSC Exams and also have had a bit of ski racing to compete in as well for school which has made the period very busy.
We are looking forward to getting our 49er in late October which is being shipped over from England now. We plan to use a 49er FX rig to start off with so we are able to sail more in all conditions and improve our boat handling before sailing the big rig. In December/January, we have our 9er National Titles in Brighton Victoria; still don't know which rig we will be sailing but we are looking forward to sailing against the top senior guys in the country.
Hope you enjoyed the feeds from the 29er Worlds AUS Crews Facebook page.
Thank you so much for all your support enabling me to follow in my sister's footsteps and represent Australia.
With 4 days left before we fly out to Cyprus for the 2013 ISAF Youth Sailing Championship, we are relaxed and enjoying the brief stop-over at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron's mid winter regatta bonding session with the 29er youth fleet.
Three other teams from here will be joining us over in Denmark (Aarhus/Kaloveg) for the 29er World Championships where there are already 211 entries from 24 nations.
We are now only 6 days away from commencing our journey to the ISAF Youth Sailing Worlds in Cyprus and the 29er World Championship in Denmark.
Today was one of the coldest days of the year, certainly the shortest, and we were out on the water training again this morning - nav lights on with Larry our coach close behind making us work our butts off. It was another tremendous session and we really took a lot away from it.
We are in a good place now with our preparations and will head out of town next Thursday via a 5 day training camp and the AUS Mid-Winter Youths in Queensland to Limmasol, Cyprus. Our training in the light and fluky conditions lately has been terrific and we are very excited with our progression.
Our team uniforms arrived this week with the AUS Coat of Arms crest and event detail embroidered on the chest so we will certainly look the part and be proud representatives of our country at the championship.
24 medals will be won at the SailFirst.com ISAF Youth Worlds - looking forward to winning one of these to bring back home.
Australian Sailing Youth Team National Training Camp
This week we have the ASYT National Camp 23-28 April at the National Training Centre (NTC) at Middle Harbour.
Joining us this week are our team mates Charlie Wyatt and Tom Siganto flying in from Queensland and from NSW George Stent and Cam Gundy. The camp is a live-in camp and we will be staying at Lands Edge, Building 1 at Chowder Bay Mosman.
The primary aim of the Training Camp is to commence the performance development
and improvement program towards Limassol, Cyprus in July 2013 and to develop the Australian Team spirit.
After this camp we will be flying to New Zealand to train with the kiwis' youth worlds team and they will be flying over to do the same here over the next two months.
This past week I've had some fun sailing at the Combined High Schools regatta on Lake Macquarie. I borrowed a Nacra 5.8 catamaran which is the Ferrari of off the beach cats. We won line honours every day as the thing just flies "“ it's been so much fun.
"Based on the estimates, the World Youth Sailing Championships« ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship », is if not the largest, one of the biggest sporting events ever held in Cyprus. The aptly designated as "small sailing Olympics." [Extract from the speech of the President of the Cyprus Sailing Federation Yannou Bonfire]
So far signed up are 358 athletes from 56 countries.
Upon our return from Brisbane I received a letter from my local federal member advising I was successful in being selected for a Local Sporting Champions grant of $500 which will help towards my expenses of travel, accommodation, equipment and uniform to represent Australia in Limasoll this July.
Updating our progress this past week, we have lucked out of having enough wind for sailing the 29er with the slow moving highs sitting on top of us. But our coach Larry has been working with us on diet and continued focus during our last few months before the championships when sailing here slows down a bit.
Gus and I have commenced our match racing season with the Youth Sailing Academy at the Crusing Yacht Club of Australia in the A Squad. This type of sailing is done in their current Elliot 6m yachts with three/four crew members (similar boats to Olivia's London 2012 Olympic competition), and we are looking forward to the YSA's new Elliot 7m boats arriving in August when we return from the worlds. This sailing is very different to that in the 29er but the skill sets are very useful for our campaign.
Whilst Gus was at the first session last weekend, I competed in the NSW Schools Teams State Championship - very similar to match racing but done with three boats with two crew each against another three boats, over many flights (races). We (the Scots A Team) only lost two flights so we are in the box seat for the finals in a months time.
The Combined High Schools Regatta is on next week up on Lake Macquarie. I will be racing a Nacra 5.8 (19ft cat) for something different - should be a blast!
Our national training camp starts 23 April on the harbour - more on that next blog.
BTW - my hand is great and out of its various casts, all working fine and no pain.
Now back from Sail Brisbane over the Easter weekend and straight back into an exam. Mum and Dad drove the boat up and back while Gus and I flew into Brisbane after my exam last Thursday.
Variable winds gave us the opportunity to work in light conditions which we will be concentrating on over the next 3 months before heading over to Cyprus.
We were very happy with our starts and boat speed but unfortunately when the wind is less than 10kts we become a displacement boat where the other younger and lighter crews get to plane. We managed to lead most of the races over the first two days but made some small errors which cost us the wins. The third day was so light we couldn't get out of the boat at all and regrettably they ran 4 races (half the regatta) that day which didn't help the scorecard.
Nonetheless, we finally got some breeze in double digits in the last race which enabled Gus to trapeze and we ended the regatta with a win.
I was pleased we could sail this regatta as two weeks ago we suffered a setback when I broke my hand. I was very lucky to have it looked at by a top specialist, also reporting to the Australian Sailing Team's medical team who enabled me to race with various casts using two fingers and my thumb on my left hand. Gus also lent his hands to working the mainsheet for me and we managed to pull it off without any bad effects in the long term. I only lost some skin and had sore and tired fingers but the experience was very worthwhile.
We are now heading into the autumn weather where we will be training on water pre-dawn before school where possible.
We have been selected to represent Australia at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships In Limassol, Cyprus. Following this we will be competing in the 29er Worlds in Aarhus, Denmark - all during July 2013.
We are both still finishing our last year of school but we have committed to train and race on average 5 days a week. Our family, coaches and schools have all got behind us to help us to realise our dream to represent our nation and bring home the Gold. We are very proud to be now able to do it!
We would like you to be a part of our dream too. We are looking for support from our friends and family to help us get there.
It would be greatly appreciated if you would consider a small donation towards our goal. It takes many to make such an opportunity happen and we'd love you to join with us on this great journey.
We will in turn keep you well informed of what, when, how and where our progress takes us so you will in deed be on our team.
Harry and Gus - AUS 16.
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