2014 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship - The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club youth sailors Jim Colley and Shaun Connor are heading off this week to prepare for the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in Portugal (12-19 July), representing Australia as part of the national youth sailing team in the open skiff 29er class.
Colley and Connor training on Pittwater in the lead up to their 29er campaign - ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships
These 16 year old rising stars have been on a rigorous training schedule, on water and off water over the past two years and went up against some tough competition earlier this year to be selected in the national team and are the only team from NSW.
Each country competing has been asked to take with them a 250ml bottle of water from their home waters to Portugal to be used in a symbolic international mixing of the waters ceremony, that embodies an Olympic type spirit. Jim and Shaun collected their peninsula bottle from their home water on Pittwater this week in readiness for the ceremony.
Before the Youth Worlds, the boys will warm up at the 29er European Championships in Kiel, Germany, amongst a huge fleet of over 180 skiffs.
The water taken from Pittwater for the mixing of the waters at the Youth Worlds in Portugal - ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships
After the Youth Worlds event in Portugal, the boys will pack their bags and head off to Kingston, Canada to step it up a notch to compete in the Open 29er World Championships at the end of July where they finished a very credible sixth place last year in their first year in this class.
Colley was upbeat about their chances in this upcoming campaign saying, 'We are very confident with our preparation, we just want to sail our best and let the results take care of themselves.'
'We have worked hard for the past two years and our preparation has been great. Feeling confident and just really excited to go,' added Connor.
Colley and Connor prepare for the Worlds campaign in the 29er - ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships
Both Jim and Shaun greatly appreciate the ongoing support from Objective, Yachting Australia and the RPAYC, who have helped make their campaign possible.
To fund their sailing trips and equipment they have both raised money through raffles, hard work and a sponsored sail with 10% of the money raised going to sailors with disabilities.