Four of Australia's up and coming female sailors are in Japan preparing to take on the world in the 2009 Laser Radial World Championship, with racing beginning on Tuesday, 28 July.
The Australian Sailing Development Squad will be well represented on the waters off Karatsu, a city on Japanese southernmost main island, Kyushu, with Gabrielle King, Ashley Stoddart, Alexandra South and Sarah Patterson all competing in the fleet of 88 sailors from 30 countries.
Two-time Volvo Youth ISAF Sailing World Championship Laser Radial winner Gabrielle King will be leading the Australian charge in Japan having recently claimed 14th place at the 2009 Laser Radial European Championship in Denmark.
King spent a considerable amount of time on the water in Europe, also contesting round six of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Kiel where she finished 17th and the Laser Europa Cup in Germany where she came third, with all three results preparing her well for the upcoming regatta.
Fellow ASDS athlete Ashley Stoddart has been equally busy having just returned from the Volvo Youth ISAF Sailing World Championship in Brazil where she finished sixth overall, including five top ten race results. Stoddart returned home to Brisbane last week with just enough time to re-pack before jumping on the plane to Japan.
Sydney resident Alexandra South will be competing in her second Laser Radial World Championship, having made her international debut at the 2008 event in New Zealand. South finished seventh at the 2008 Australian Laser Radial Championship in Fremantle last December.
Adelaide's Sarah Patterson will be competing in her first Laser Radial World Championship in Japan.
The four Australian sailors will be coached by experienced Olympic representative Sarah Blanck at the regatta.
Racing gets underway on Tuesday, 28 July, with two races scheduled a day through until Sunday, August 2.
For more information go to www.australiansailingteam.com.au.
– Craig Heydon, Yachting Australia