Yachting Australia and the Queensland Academy of Sport, supported by Yachting Queensland, are developing Queensland's future Olympic sailing champions with the formation of the Queensland High Performance Sailing Program.
The new program is a major step forward for high performance sailing in Queensland as the Australian Sailing Team heads down the long road to success at the 2012 London Olympic Games and beyond.
The Australian Sailing Team had great success at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games bringing home two Gold and one Silver medals and the formation of the Queensland High Performance Sailing Program is designed to see Queensland athletes add to Australia's sailing success tally at future games.
Queensland Academy of Sport Executive Director, Bennett King, said he is looking forward to seeing the Queensland Academy of Sport work closely with Yachting Queensland and Yachting Australia in future years to develop excellence in the sport in the state.
“It's an exciting time for sailing and an exciting time for the Queensland Academy of Sport to have sailing as a part of our association,” said King. “The Queensland Academy of Sport is happy to be taking on board a sport that has had a lot of success throughout the years.”
“At the Queensland Academy of Sport we have a vision to be the standard of excellence throughout sport in Australia and over the years we've had a number of exciting times. Come the 2012 London Olympic Games, hopefully we'll see this program produce athletes who will represent Australia and our state proudly at the highest level,” he said.
The Queensland High Performance Sailing Program will be led by head coach Adrian Finglas and will play an important role in developing sailing in the state at all levels.
Yachting Australia High Performance Director, Peter Conde, is looking forward to seeing the sport continue to grow in Queensland.
“This is an important moment for sailing in Queensland. The Queensland Academy of Sport commitment completes the puzzle in this state, and recognises the status of sailing as one of Australia's top international sports. I am confident that we'll see the sport thrive at the highest level in Queensland based on the great talent already visible,” said Conde.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to develop the top end of the sport and see that development trickle down through all of the programs in the state, strengthening sailing at all levels,” he said.
Inaugural members of the Queensland High Performance Sailing Program include current Australia Sailing Team 470 helmsman Mathew Belcher, 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games Silver medallist Daniel Fitzgibbon and 2009 OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Sailing Team members Luke Baillie and Ashley Stoddart.