The 2009 Female ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, Anna Tunnicliffe, is in Western Australia to train for the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.
Top US Sailor and Gold Medallist in the Laser Radial class at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Tunnicliffe is “testing the waters” of the Perth 2011 medal course in preparation for the World Championships, which will be held in Fremantle in exactly two years time (December 2011). Tunnicliffe is training from the Fremantle Sailing Club (FSC) on Bathers Bay – renamed “Centre Course” for the Perth 2011 Event.
Concurrently, 11 top international athletes from developing sailing nations, including India and Colombia, are at FSC improving their sailing skills through the second Emerging Nations Programme (ENP) Intensive Training Session. These ENP athletes are on the brink of reaching Olympic level although due to limitations at home they have not quite reached their potential. Through the ENP, talent will be identified and progressed under the guidance of ENP Head Coaches Arthur Brett (Beijing 2008 Olympic Coach) and Belinda Stowell (2000 Sydney Olympic Games Gold Medallist – 470s). Potentially they could
reach a standard to qualify for Perth 2011 and their nation for the 2012 London Olympic
Games Sailing Competition.
The Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships is the main qualifying Event for the 2012 London Olympic Games for all 10 Olympic sailing classes and Tunnicliffe plans to be competing and winning in London. However, at this stage it's not certain whether that will be in a Laser or at the helm of an Elliott 6 in the women's match racing, an event making its debut at the London games.
This month, Tunnicliffe is training on the same waters but quite separately to the ENP athletes, in her Laser Radial with Dutch international (Laser Radial) sailor Marit Bouwmeester. Tunnicliffe and Boumeester are “getting a feel” for the weather and conditions in Fremantle that they will likely encounter come December 2011. During her stay in Western Australia, Tunnicliffe kindly agreed to meet with the ENP
The ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award is the highest award a sailor can receive in
recognition of his or her outstanding achievements and Tunnicliffe joins a list of top athletes
to receive the coveted award.