Friday, 4 February 2011
Angus Galloway and Alex Gough racing in the 420 class in 2010. Image copyright Volvo Ocean Race.
by Craig Heydon
The 2011 OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Sailing Team has been named with 12 sailors set to represent Australia at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Croatia from 7-16 July 2011.
The 2011 team was selected following the recent OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship and class-specific Australian Championships with almost every class not decided until the final qualification race.
The ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship will see sailors under the age of 19 from around the world descend on Zadar in Croatia to compete in eight events with Australia to have a representative in each, it’s the largest youth sailing regatta in the world and in 2010 350 sailors from 59 nations competed.
Australia has a proud history at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship having being the best placed nation four times, in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2007, and has won the most Gold medals in the history of the event, 25, four ahead of France and Great Britain.
Yachting Australia High Performance Director Peter Conde is confident that the 2011 OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australia Youth Sailing Team will continue the tradition of strong results this year.
“Historically, many of those who compete in the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships go on to participate in and succeed at Olympic and World Championship level,” said Mr Conde. “Australians who have done this include Elise Rechichi who won two Youth World Championships before her Olympic Gold medal and Nathan Outteridge who won three Youth World Championship Gold medals before winning two 49er World Championships. I believe that we’ve selected a strong team that can follow in the footsteps of these sailors.”
“All of the sailors have worked incredibly hard to get to where they are and I’m sure they’ll do Australia proud when they hit the water in Croatia this July,” he said.
The 2011 OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Sailing Team will feature sailors from across Australia with four states represented in the eight events with five sailors set to compete at their second ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship.
New South Wales sailor Paul Darmanin will be looking for back-to-back Gold medals in the open multihull class when he lines up in a Sirena SL 16 with crew, South Australian Alecs Vucic.
Darmanin won Gold in 2010 with Chase Lurati and since then has swapped from crew to skipper with instant success, winning every race at the 2011 OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship, just the second regatta that he and Vucic had competed in together.
Darmanin will also be keen to win a third straight multihull Gold medal for his family, after sister Lisa Darmanin and cousin Jason Waterhouse finished first in 2009 in Brazil.
Queenslanders Angus Galloway and Alex Gough return for their second shot at an ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship 420 boys medal after finishing fifth in 2010. The pair was in medal contention till the final race when gear breakage hampered their efforts but will be keen to hit the water against the best 420 youth sailors in the world this July.
Australian Sailing Development Squad member and fellow Queenslander Ashley Stoddart will also be sailing in her second ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship after traveling to Brazil in 2009 to contest the Laser Radial girls event where she finished sixth. Stoddart missed a spot on the team in 2010 but after a year interrupted by school work and injury is well on her way back to the top of her game.
Stoddart is getting plenty of Laser Radial racing in before traveling to Croatia and is currently racing at the second round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Miami.
Eamon Robertshaw is the final sailor returning to the team, with the West Australian winning selection in the boys windsurfer class, to be contested aboard the RS:X. Robertshaw finished 15th in 2010 and since then gained valuable experience racing at the 2010 RS:X World Championship in Denmark.
Robertshaw will be joined in the team by two other West Australian crews in the Laser Radial boys and 420 girls class.
Matthew Wearn will compete in the Laser Radial boys class with his selection in the team coming after an amazing run to the finish line at the OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship where he won the last five races to overcome a slow start and book himself a spot on the place to Croatia.
Carrie Smith and Ella Clark will represent Australia in the 420 girls class following two wins in 10 days, firstly at the OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship on Sydney’s Botany Bay and then at the 420 Australian Championship at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.
New South Wales sailor Annalise Gilbert will be making her ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship debut in the windsurfer girls class after her win at Georges River Sailing Club in the first week of January.
Also joining the team for the first time will be Queensland 29er crew Josh Franklin and Lewis Brake, who won the Australian Youth title by a point in the final race of the regatta in an incredibly close week long battle.
The team will be supported in their preparation and during competition by three experienced coaches, Belinda Stowell, Mike Fletcher and David Mann.
Belinda Stowell will be the team leader and 420 and windsurfing coach, along with assistant multihull coach. Belinda has been the Head Sailing Coach at WAIS since November 2004 and was a coach for the Australian Youth Sailing Team from 2005 to 2007 which included coaching Belinda Kerl and Chelsea Hall to their Gold medal in the 420 class in 2006.
Belinda has experienced international competition first hand having represented Australia on numerous occasions and winning a Gold Medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in the 470 class.
Mike Fletcher is the Laser Radial and Multhull coach and brings a wealth of experience to the OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Sailing Team. Mike is Australia’s most experienced sailing coach and has been involved in Australian Olympic sailing teams since the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.
Mike is the current Australian Sailing Team Laser Radial coach and works closely with OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Sailing Team member Ashley Stoddart, including most recently at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Miami. Mike’s Multihull experience speaks for itself, his most recent success guiding Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby to a Silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
David Mann will act as the 29er and assistant windsurfing coach in Croatia, having a been a coach with the OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Sailing Team for the past three years, including coaching Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin to their Gold medal in Brazil in 2009.
David has also had success at the highest level in the 29er class, coaching Steven Thomas and Jasper Warren to victory at the 2008 29er World Championship.