by Ian Grant
Internationally qualified yachting coach Adrian Finglas has been appointed to the important role of managing a revolutionary youth training program at Brisbane’s Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron.
His personal career embraces numerous stories of success as an individual sailor and a specialised coach which all started when he first learned to master the sport on the confined waters on Sandgate’s Cabbage Tree creek before winning the 1983 Australian Sabot championship at the tiller of his snub-nose Dinghy Hot Pursuit.
Surprisingly during his primary school years he had shown the talent to fulfill a promising career in swimming but thankfully elected to master sailing free with the wind winning his second Australian championship in the international 420 class in 1986.
This result set the benchmark for Finglas to pursue a career in coaching and was destined for success when he was invited to be a guest coach with the strong American team at the Barcelona Olympics.
The now three time Olympic coach capped a personal career highlight when the Australian crew of Queensland’s Dan Fitzgibbon and his New South Wales crew mate Liesel Tesch won the Scud 18 class Gold Medal at the Paralympics in London.
He has the gifted skill to encourage average club sailors into winning World championships. and he is not the type of person to stand taller than his students.
‘'You simply cannot achieve the results without their individual commitment to tough it out and do the hard yards,' he said.
His recent appointments approved by incoming Commodore Kevin Miller will initially focus on encouraging the younger generation to happily discover sailing.
'The Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron has rolled out the welcome mat with first time sailors joining the 'Little Tackers’ program in the Optimist dinghies,' Finglas said.
This program provides an important introduction to the sport while also showcasing the Squadrons initiative to develop a World class youth program including a segment of Americas Cup type match racing in the internationally accepted 6m Elliott class.
'Initially my coaching role will focus on our youth and provide them with the encouragement to enter class racing we are also interested in hosting multi class racing for Sabot, Heron, Mirror, and Graduate dinghies with the junior all boat fleet,' Finglas added.
'I am encouraged by the passion of Kevin Miller who will commence a second term as Commodore later this year'.
His vision to provide a fully rigged Farr 40 aptly named Keel Train which will be involved as the nautical class room to extend the youth development program into the ocean racing arena strongly supports the intention of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron to capitalise of the Australian sailing team success at the London Olympics.