Jerwood and de Vries secure their tickets to Tokyo

Nia Jerwood & Monique de Vries Sailing Energy-World Sailing pic

Australian sailors Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries have waited a lifetime to get the call to tell them they were going to the Olympic Games – and it finally came.

After breakout international performances in August 2019, they presumed that call was not too far off. However, 2020 did not go as planned for the Perth-based duo, with COVID-19 and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics giving them cause to wonder if it would come at all.

So when the call came through earlier this month from Australian Sailing Director – Tokyo 2020 Olympic Campaign, Iain Murray, to tell them they were Australia’s Women’s 470 selection for this year’s Games, it was a “mix of relief and jubilation” according to Jerwood.

“We knew we were a good chance of selection after our performance at the World Cup event in 2019,” Jerwood said. “With everything that has happened since that time it has been an absolute rollercoaster of emotion to now arrive here.”

470 Women’s crew Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries – Sailing Energy-World Sailing pic – Olympics

The team was on an upward trajectory in 2019 when the two won a silver medal at the Hempel World Cup Series on the Olympic racetrack in Enoshima. They followed up with a top-ten finish at the World Championships. Those performances saw the pair awarded the 2019 Australian Sailing Female Sailor of the Year Award and they appeared destined for even better things in 2020.

Murray heaped praise on the young team today: “Nia and Monique have proven themselves to be one of the best Women’s 470 teams in the world,” he said.

“They teamed up for this Olympic cycle, which started with a win at the Women’s 420 Worlds and a second at the Junior 470 Worlds in 2017. It culminated in their World Cup performance in 2019. They will be ready for the games come this July.”

The selection fulfils a lifelong dream for the team from Fremantle Sailing Club. For Jerwood, it was a visit from 2008 Women’s 470 Olympic gold medal-winning pair Elise Rechichi and Tessa Parkinson that set her on the pathway to today’s announcement.

“I was ten years old sailing the Optimist when Elise and Tessa came back from Beijing with Gold,” Jerwood said.

“They came to visit our club and it was the first time I really knew that going to the Olympics was what I wanted to do. I remember asking them to sign posters for me which I hung on my wall.”

Australia’s Chef de Mission, Ian Chesterman, welcomed the sailors to their debut Australian Olympic Team.

“Congratulations to Monique and Nia for earning selection to the Australian Team for Tokyo,” Chesterman said. “They have shown incredible resilience to stay focused on their Olympic dream over the last 12 months.

“They are part of a very strong sailing team working hard for success in Tokyo. Sailing has a rich Olympic history in sailing and Nia and Monique should be proud that so much hard work over many years will see them sailing for their country in Tokyo.”

The team has spent the extra year fine-tuning racing speed under some of the world’s finest 470 minds.

“When we are in Perth, we train under Sydney Olympic gold medalist Belinda Stowell. When overseas, we are with Ruslana Taran (three-time Olympic medallist). In Sydney we train under Victor Kovalenko (six-time Olympic 470 gold medal winning coach) and alongside Mat Belcher (2012 London gold medallist/2016 silver medallist) and Will Ryan (Rio 2016 silver medallist),” de Vries said.

“There are countless Olympic medals and World Championships between them, and we consider ourselves to be the luckiest 470 team in the world,” she added.

Australian Sailing President, Daniel Belcher, commended the young pair on what they have achieved: “Nia and Monique have come so far and thoroughly deserve their spot on the Australian Olympic Team,” he said.

“We look forward to seeing what we know they can achieve when they get to the start line in Enoshima t (Japan’s Olympic sailing venue) his July.”

The Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is scheduled for Friday 23 July, with sailing to commence on Sunday 25 July.

Australian Sailing acknowledges the contribution made by those who contributed to Nia and Monique’s development, including family friends, the Fremantle Sailing Club and the Western Australian Institute of Sport.

Australian Sailing

Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Stronger breeze blows results wide open at Sail Port Stephens

“Sunny with winds 15 to 25 km/h becoming light in the late afternoon” was how the official forecasters optimistically described today’s weather for Sail Port Stephens. At least they were right about the sunshine … The breeze built to a...

Don't pee over the railing! Image courtesy of Pantaenius Insurance.

The deadly hazard of urination – don't pee off the rail

Have you ever heard of “Micturition syncope”? This is a fainting spell that can occur during or, more commonly, immediately after urination due to a severe drop in blood pressure. On board, such a collapse is not only particularly dangerous,...

Jake Lilley selected to second Olympic team

Queenslander Jake Lilley has been announced as Australia’s representative in the Finn class for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, rounding out the sailing selection for the Games. Lilley completes a team blessed with a mix of youth, experience, and a history...

Japan SailGP Team announces new signings for Season 2

The Japan SailGP Team has supercharged its team for SailGP Season 2, announcing the headline signings of Italian sailor and eight-time world champion Francesco Bruni and Great Britain’s Chris Draper, who take on the roles of flight controller and wing...

Tom Slingsby's Australian team powers past GBR on Day One of SailGP on Sydney Harbour. Photo Photo: Chris Cameron for SailGP.

Fox Sports and Kayo app in Australia to broadcast SailGP season 2

With the SailGP Season opener less than a week away, the global championship has announced comprehensive broadcast coverage, with viewers in 175 territories globally able to watch the events, which promise high-speeds, high-tech and high-drama in the second season. Broadcasting...

Sinking yacht threatened Cook Strait power cables

New Zealand website stuff.co.nz reports that “a shipwreck drifting at the edge of the Marlborough Sounds has damaged a fishing boat and threatened cables vital to New Zealand’s electricity.” Emergency services responded to a mayday call from an 11-metre yacht...

Great Britain SailGP Team confirms Season 2 squad

With less than one week to go until the start of SailGP Season 2, which commences with the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess April 24-25, the Great Britain SailGP Team has unveiled its squad that will race...

Rolex Fastnet Race – more than an ocean race

While this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race will be highly competitive at the front of the fleet, for many among the record-sized entry of 453 yachts (at present), the objective of tackling the 695 mile course from Cowes to Cherbourg via...

2023 Ocean Globe Race set to be the World’s biggest ever

In 1981, 29 entrants set out on the third edition of the Whitbread Around the World Race, creating the current record as the biggest ever, fully crewed challenge. As the race evolved every four years, it became ever more professional...

Solo sailor rescued in “perfect” conditions

The calm, windless sea was ideal for towing, but no good for sailing, so a solo sailor off Holyhead in the UK did the right thing and called the RNLI when his motor broke down. Pagers sounded just before 5pm...

Latest Posts

Latest

Read all of the latest Sailing News

Racing Posts

Racing

Dinghy and Yacht Racing News

Offshore Posts

Offshore

News from the Offshore World

Cruising & Destinations Posts

Cruising & Destinations

Cruising Stories from around the World

Boat & Gear Posts

Boats & Gear

The Latest Boats and Yachting Gear

Video Posts

Video

Watch everything Sailing and Boating

Processing...
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Join Our Newsletter
Latest Sailing News, Racing, Cruising, Boats, Gear and more
ErrorHere