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The OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Sailing Team is in final stages of preparations for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships with racing getting underway on Saturday in Buzios, Brazil.

The team of ten athletes and three coaches has been acclimatising to life in Brazil in the last few days and are ready to hit the water and take on the world's best youth sailors.

Team manager Kristen Kosmala says that preparations are going well and the team has been making good use of time spent training on the Buzios waters.

"The team has now finished their training and we're into regatta mode," said Kosmala. "We had some good breeze over the last few days and our ten sailors are very happy and ready to start competing."

"We were lucky enough to arrive quite early which has allowed us to settle in and have some amazing experiences which we would not have had otherwise," she said.

The Australian team is a diverse group, made up of sailors from New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

"We've got an amazing group of athletes here, the spend most of their time all together and have developed a fantastic team atmosphere," said Kosmala.

The OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Sailing Team will be represented in all seven classes in Buzios with all but two sailors making their Youth Sailing World Championships debut.

Sydney cousins Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin are the only Australian's to have competed at this level before, with the Hobie 16 pair eager to pass on their knowledge to their team mates.

The Australian 420 Boys crew is made up of Perth sailors David Gilmour and James Omay while the 420 Girls crew is Adelaide's Lauren Thredgold and Megan Soulsby.

Queensland is well represented in the team with Laser Radial entrants Ashley Stoddart and Curtis Skinner, and RS:X athletes Luke Baillie and Joanna Sterling hailing from the sunshine state.

The first official race day in Buzios is Saturday 11 July, with competition ending on Friday 17 July.

For more information go to www.yachting.org.au.

- Craig Heydon, YA.

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