The OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Sailing Team are in the final stages of preparation for the 2009 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship which are in Brazil from July 9 to 18 with the team flying out of Australia next week.
The ten sailors have been training hard over recent months since being selected at the Australian Youth Championships which were held in Western Australia in January.
Brisbane based Laser Radial girl's class entrant Ashley Stoddart says that she is looking forward to getting onto the water in Buzios, Brazil and representing Australia.
“My preparations have been going well. Earlier in the year I had a shoulder injury which gave me a little bit of trouble, but thankfully it has cleared up well,” said Ashley. “We have had a Laser Training Regatta and a few training camps recently which have been really beneficial.”
“The support from the Laser sailors from around Brisbane has been excellent and each week that we get closer to heading to Brazil I've just been trying to keep increasing the intensity both on and off the water,” she said.
Fellow Queenslander and Laser Radial boy's sailor Curtis Skinner can't wait to take part in the regatta's opening ceremony, wearing the green and gold of Australia.
“Representing Australia has been a dream of mine for many years and I feel honoured to finally achieve this,” he said.
Queensland is well represented in the team with Sailboard athletes Luke Baillie and Joanna Sterling joining Ashley, Curtis and coach Adrian Finglas from the sunshine state.
Cousins Lisa Darmanin and Jason Waterhouse from Sydney's Northern Beaches have been training hard in their Hobie 16 and Lisa says that she is excited about representing her country again.
“I can't wait to go to Brazil as the sailing and the competition will be incredible,” said Lisa. “After having so much fun last year in Denmark I can't wait to go back and sail a Hobie this time, I'm counting down the days.”
The 2009 World Championship will be Jason's fourth, having finished with a Bronze medal in 2007 and Lisa's second with the pair finishing sixth in 2008 in a Sirena 16, a boat they had never sailed before arriving at the World Championships in Denmark, making it a remarkable result.
“We've been training hard in this cold weather but the fact that we're training for something as big as this masks the cold and the dark and the 6.30am starts on a Saturday morning,” said Lisa.
“Being out on the water is the most important part of our preparation, we've really been focusing on the little things and making sure we minimize any weaknesses and capitalise on our strengths,” she said
Perth teenagers James Omay and David Gilmour will be representing Australia in the 420 boy's class and have been spending a lot of time in their 420 on the Swan River and off the coast while also working hard when out of the water.
“David and I have been training four to five times a week on the water and everyday we're not sailing we've been hitting the gym to keep ourselves in the best shape possible,” said James.
“Our preparation for the 2009 World Championship have been going great despite a few hurdles along the way and I think that we're nearly fully prepared for the trip,” he said.
Alongside James and David in the 420 fleet will be Adelaide's Lauren Thredgold and Megan Soulsby who will be racing in the girl's class in Brazil. Both Lauren and Megan are looking forward to racing against the best youth sailors in the world.
Joining Adrian Finglas in the coaching staff will be team manager Kristen Kosmala from Sydney and David Mann from Perth, all of which have a strong background both as an athlete and a coach.
Australia has a proud history at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships having won the prestigious ISAF Volvo Trophy for the best placed nation in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2007, finishing third in 2008.
Australia sits at the top of the overall medal tally for the championship having claimed 23 Gold medals in the event's history, three more than closest rival Great Britain, and the team will be looking to go further ahead in 2009.
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