A group of Australian Sailing Youth sailors departed to Wakayama, Japan today (Thursday, 17 September) following an invitation from the Japan Sailing Federation (JSAF) to participate in the AUS/JPN Youth Exchange Program (17-23 September).
The Laser Radial and 420 sailors will be the guests of the Japan Sailing Federation at Wakayama Sailing Club. It will be the fourth year of this exchange, which is highly valued by both countries.
2015 Australian Sailing Youth Team members Jacinta Ainsworth (WA), Alec Brodie (NSW) and Xavier Winston-Smith (NSW) will be heading to Japan in the Laser Radial and 420 respectively.
“I'm really keen to learn a lot from Japan and experience the different conditions it'll offer as this trip is another stepping stone as I prepare myself for the Youth Worlds this year,” Jacinta Ainsworth said about the opportunity ahead.
Conor Nicholas (WA), who just won the 2015 Laser Radial Youth World Championship in August and Sophie McIntosh (NSW) and Emily Summerell (NSW) were also invited after finishing the 2015 Australian Sailing Youth Team selection in the runner-up positions in their respective boat classes. 2015 Australian Sailing Youth Team’s Alistair Young (WA/Laser Radial) and Lisa Smith and Nia Jerwood (WA/420) are not available for this camp.
“The trip to Japan will be a great opportunity for me to come back to racing after the World Champs. Also being on a trip without my parents will be important for me to manage myself well so I can perform during the event and for future regattas,” Conor Nicholas said.
The group will be accompanied and coached by Olympic gold medallist and Australian Sailing Youth Team and Western Australian Institute of Sport coach Belinda Stowell as well as Youth Team coach and former Laser Radial World Champion Tristan Brown (WA).
“Japan will be a great opportunity for all the athletes to test their skills in an International regatta environment. For this year’s Youth Team athletes it will be a good lead-in event in their count down to the ISAF Youth World Championships. For Conor it will be his first event back in the boat after winning the World Laser Radial Youth Championships in Canada. I’m looking forward to working with both Laser sailors to help them reach their potential as well as the team as a whole, whilst hopefully experiencing some of the local culture.”
The program is embedded in the Japanese Youth National Team training camp and the Japanese selection races for the ISAF Youth Worlds to take place in Malaysia at the end of December. The Australian sailors will participate in the Laser Radial and 420 events with racing taking place 20 – 22 September 2015.
The program offers both Japanese and Australian Sailing pathway sailors a great opportunity to not only improve their skills and techniques, but also to find lasting friendship between the two countries.
Boy's One Person Dinghy (Laser Radial)
Conor Nicholas (WA)
Girl's One Person Dinghy (Laser Radial)
Jacinta Ainsworth (WA) – 2015 Australian Sailing Youth Team
Boy’s Double Handed Dinghy (420)
Alec Brodie (NSW) and Xavier Winston-Smith (NSW) – 2015 Australian Sailing Youth Team
Girl’s Double Handed Dinghy (420)
Sophie McIntosh (NSW) and Emily Summerell (NSW)
Belinda Stowell (WA)
Tristan Brown (WA)