Ten of Australia's best young sailors are nervously awaiting the opening races of the 39th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships in Armacao de Buzios, Brazil. With racing set to start in less than 24 hours, hopes are high for the following sailors:
– Ashley Stoddart and Curtis Skinner – Laser Radial
– Lauren Thredgold, Megan Soulsby, David Gilmour and James Omay – 420
– Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin – Hobie 16
– Luke Baillie and Joanna Sterling – Windsurfer
Meanwhile, Torben GRAEL, Brazil's greatest-ever sailor found time to issue a special welcome and words of encouragement as he collected the Fighting Finish trophy for winning the Volvo Ocean Race.
Within hours of clinching victory in the Volvo Ocean Race as skipper of the all-conquering Ericsson 4, veteran Brazilian Torben GRAEL was turning his attentions to the next generation of champion sailors and the record 280+ competitors from 59 nations congregating in the Brazilian port of Búzios and what they call, ‘sailing's Olympics in a week.'
“I am delighted that the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship are taking place in my home country for the first time and feel sure Brazil and Armação de Búzios will give a fantastic welcome to the next generation of Olympians, World Champions, Americas Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailors,” said the man who guided Ericsson 4 to a convincing victory in the toughest, roughest race on earth.
“My advice to these young sailors is to work hard, enjoy your sport, make the most of your potential and see where it takes you,” added the two-time Olympic gold medallist. “And if the opportunity to sail a Volvo Ocean Race campaign comes along, grab it with both hands as it is a wonderful sporting experience and a massive personal challenge.”