Emerging nations sailors arrive in Perth

Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships Event Director Mr John Longley AM today announced the 10 athletes from nine nations that are taking part in the inaugural Emerging Nations Programme (ENP) camp in Fremantle, Western Australia.

The ENP initiative is the first of its kind in international sailing. The inaugural ENP camp includes an intensive training schedule for talented sailors running from 22 July to 3 August 2009.

The inaugural ENP intensive training camp is being held at Fremantle Sailing Club, Western Australia and is the first of seven intensive training camps to be held in WA between July 2009 and the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships in December 2011. The ENP focuses on Laser, Laser Radial and RS:X Windsurfers for both men and women.

Over the course of the ENP intensive training camps, up to 40 athletes from as many nations (not represented in any sailing discipline at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games), will be invited to Perth for a series of intensive training courses designed to improve their chances of earning a place in the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.

The ENP is designed to increase the number of participating International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Member National Authorities and subsequently the number of competitors at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Fremantle. From this World Championship, it is hoped ‘emerging' talent identified during the ENP will qualify to represent their country in sailing at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The athletes and nations participating in the inaugural Emerging Nations Programme camp are;

Hao Chang Chinese Taipei RS-X Male

Petr Kucera Czech Republic RS-X Male

Joshua Choo Singapore RS-X Male

Gabriel Moran Ecuador Laser Male

Alexandr Denisiuc Moldova Laser Male

Peter Henry Cook Islands Laser Male

Anna Aile Latvia Laser Radial Female

Natalia Montemayor Mexico Laser Radial Female

Christiana Okwara Nigeria Laser Radial Female

Helema Williams Cook Islands Laser Radial Female

Mr Longley said the nations for the inaugural July ENP camp were selected due to their “developing sailing nation” status.

“The fundamental principle of the Emerging Nations Programme is to encourage and assist developing and emerging sailing nations to participate in the Olympic Sailing Competition. The nations that are represented at the July camp classify as nations that stand to have their chances of reaching the Olympic Games significantly improved through the development of their athletes in the ENP,” Mr Longley said.

“The opportunity the programme presents for the athletes will ultimately start them on a journey towards reaching the standard required for Olympic qualification and additional international sailing regattas in the future.”

Acclaimed Australian Olympic sailing coach Arthur Brett and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Gold Medallist in the women's 470 class Belinda Stowell will guide the ENP athletes over the 12 day camp, sharing the knowledge and skill that has seen the pair help spearhead modern Australian Olympic sailing success.

Western Australian Tourism Minister The Hon. Dr Liz Constable MLA said the State Government was proud to be a partner in the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships and proud to be supporting the Emerging Nations Programme.

“I'm delighted that the organisers of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships have recognised the importance of developing the sport of sailing and initiated the Emerging Nations Programme,” Dr Constable said.

“The inaugural Emerging Nations Programme camp is an exciting prospect and will contribute towards showcasing Western Australia as a world-class sailing destination.

“We look forward to giving all visiting sailing athletes a warm Western Australian welcome,” Dr Constable said.

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