Gutsy little 10-year-old shows how it's done

Lightweight 10 year old Whitsunday Sailing Club dinghy sailor Eva Lorenz expressed a unique form of personal determination during the Queensland Youth championships on a windy Keppel Bay last weekend.

The tenacious little sailor produced a determination well beyond her tender age and personal body weight to complete the course despite being blown into a spectacular capsize by the gusty 25 knot sea breeze and white crested waves.

Yachting Australia High Performance Coach Adrian Finglas said he was blown away by this tough little girl's performance. “She has the determination and the mental strength which promises to make her a star of the future,” he said.

Eva, who has been sailing in the International Optimist dinghy for only a little over six months, surprised senior Queensland Youth Squad members including her older brother and International Opti medallist Klaus with her will and skill to master the brute sailing conditions.

Big brother Klaus has been her idol. However when he witnessed Eva go “down the mine” in her energy absorbing capsize he said: “I'm very proud of my little sister”.

The feeling was unanimous on the beach when little Eva surfed through the shore dump to receive the ultimate honour from her peers when the senior members carried her and the dinghy on a triumphant march to a drier, warmer and more stable de-rigging area.

This was a fitting reward for the smallest Yachting Queensland Youth championship skipper who proved she now has the determination, dedication and endurance to follow the achievements of her brother Klaus and become a future champion.

However Eva naturally looks up to Klaus for advice and this will continue when they become friendly rivals during the Optimist class racing off Airlie Beach during the next few months before the nominations are accepted to contest the Australian championship over the Adelaide Sailing Club courses early in the new year.

Meanwhile the talented Lorenz family sailing team will test their boat speed and technique against each other during their special ‘after school' training sessions and in the club point score racing where Klaus has continued to set the pace for his little sister to chase.

They remain as the star pupils in the Whitsunday Sailing Club's talent identification program which has been structured to encourage all young sailors to enjoy sailing as a sport of choice.
Both Klaus and Eva, who have lived by the sea all their lives, were born to sail but they too had to learn the ropes and correctly master the art of steering to sail free with the wind.

Their individual careers have been carefully encouraged by the special sail training programs introduced by Yachting Australia and carried out by the qualified WSC coaching staff who have played a major role in developing the Lorenz kids into two of Queensland's most talented young Optimist Dinghy sailors.

– Ian “Stripey” Grant

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