Australia's sailing hopes at the Olympic Games have been given a major boost with the announcement of a National Dinghy Training Centre for the Australian Sailing Team at Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney.
The National Dinghy Training Centre will provide Australia's leading Olympic and Paralympic class sailors with a dedicated training facility ideally positioned close to the varied conditions offered in and around Sydney Harbour.
The new facility will be developed as a partnership between Yachting Australia, the Australian Institute of Sport, the Australian Sports Commission and Middle Harbour Yacht Club and be a vital tool for the Australian Sailing Team as the country's athletes strive towards Gold medals at London 2012, Rio de Janeiro 2016 and beyond. A final legal agreement between the parties will be developed over coming weeks.
Australian Sailing Team High Performance Director Peter Conde said that the National Dinghy Training Centre would play a major role in creating Australia's future World and Olympic Champions.
“Two Golds and a Silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was a great achievement for the Australian Sailing Team and we believe the development of a National Dinghy Training Centre will be key for the future success of the team,” said Conde.
“Middle Harbour Yacht Club has a long history of unofficially supporting the Australian Sailing Team with boat storage and water access for its dinghy training,” he said. “It is the clear choice for a training venue, predominately due to its easy access to the waters off Sydney heads and a wide variety of training conditions.”
Andrew Plympton, President of Yachting Australia said; “The development of a National Dinghy Training Centre has been a long-term goal for Yachting Australia and has been made possible due to the support of the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Institute of Sport.”
Professor Peter Fricker, AIS Director said; “This partnership with Yachting Australia and Middle Harbour Yacht Club will be a fantastic addition to the Australian Sailing Team program. Our AIS coaches, support staff and most importantly our athletes will have a base at a location that will no doubt enhance the daily training environment.”
Middle Harbour Yacht Club Commodore Martin Hill said that the development of the National Dinghy Training Centre was a major step forward for the club and the Australian Sailing Team and that he looked forward to working closely with Australia's leading Olympic class sailors.
“Middle Harbour Yacht Club is proud to host the National Dinghy Training Centre, the club has had a long history nurturing Olympic and World Champion sailors and we look forward continuing that role, and hopefully magnifying it, long into the future,” said Hill.
The National Dinghy Training Centre will incorporate dedicated office space for coaches, a debriefing room including audiovisual equipment, dinghy storage, rigging and launching facilities, and coach boat storage and launching facilities.
For more information go to http://www.australiansailingteam.com.au
– Craig Heydon