Queensland Youth Week Decides Australian Team for ISAF Youths
The 2015 Queensland Youth Week came to a close on Tuesday, 7 July 2015 at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron with the final points awarded to select the 2015 Australian Sailing Youth Team. The team will represent Australia at the 2015 ISAF Youth World Championship in Malaysia at the end of the year, 27 December to 3 January.
The competition for the much coveted selection points was tight and Brisbane's Waterloo Bay offered conditions similar to those expected in Malaysia to make up to ten races across the fleets.
2015 Australian Youth Champions from New South Wales Alec Brodie and Xavier Winston Smith had another excellent regatta in the 420 fleet in Queensland and took home the win as well as the Youth Team spot. On the nomination point score they were only one point ahead of James Grogan and Nicholas Sharman from Victoria, but managed to lock it all in on the final day of the regatta.
"We had a couple of nerve-wrecking races but we managed to get the job done in the last race, we did what we had to do and are pretty happy. We beat the others to the Youth spot and we'll be off to Malaysia at the end of the year. It's exciting and we'll have to start training for that now," said Xavier Winston-Smith.
Four out of the nine crews who have qualified for the Youth World are from New South Wales, underlying the strength of the Youth program as he adds:
"It's great to have so many of our NSW program going to the Worlds. We all train together; work hard in the gym together and it's really good to see the whole team do well. Everyone is encouraging each other and it's a really great atmosphere."
Western Australians, 420 National Female champions and 2015 Australian Youth Team Champions Nia Jerwood and Lisa Smith also sealed the deal in Queensland.
The pair had continuously moved up the ranks in the mixed fleet and finished the regatta in a strong second overall in the mixed-fleet and were the top female boat.
"Coming overall second was really good for us, but most importantly we beat all the girls teams, meaning we qualified for the Youth Worlds, which we are very happy about. I like sailing against the boys and that's what is great about sailing. You get to race the boys as well as the different age groups at other events. This was a light wind regatta and it's just better to be a girl in light wind," Nia Jerwood laughed.
They earn their place in the Australian Sailing Youth Team for the second time and are looking forward to build on their performances as crew Lisa Smith adds:
"This will be our second time at the ISAF Youth Worlds. We came ninth in Portugal last year, which was really good, but we want to improve on that and hopefully we'll do better this year.
We'll be going to the 420 Class World's next, which should be a good experience, especially ahead of Youth Worlds and giving us that big fleet racing against all the other countries. After that we'll just have to train hard until Youth Worlds come around."
At the conclusion of Queensland Youth Week, fourteen young Australian sailors across nine classes will be nominated to the Yachting Australia Board for final selection to contest the 45th ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Malaysia in December.
Queensland Youth Week was the final regatta in a series of three selection events (Class Nationals, Australian Youth Championships, Queensland Youth Week) to select the 2015 Australian Sailing Youth Team with sailors competing across four days of racing.
"We've seen some great racing over the last few days and it's exciting to see the level our young sailors are at. It's especially great to see some of our young female sailors setting the standard and leading in the mixed-fleets. We still six months to go to the World Championships and will have the chance to continue to build on these performances before the team represent Australia in Malaysia." said Yachting Australia's Performance Director Peter Conde.
"It is pleasing to see a good mix of athletes who have represented at past Youth Worlds and those who are representing for the first time."
Eight athletes will make their Youth Worlds debut for Australia, while six will be returning to the team for another Youth World Championship.
For all results on the Queensland Youth Week visit www.topyacht.net.au/results/2015/qldyw/index.htm