by Holly Kenny
Three weeks ahead of Sail Mooloolaba Adrian Finglas, Australian Olympic Coach, will join an elite team converging on the Sunshine Coast this weekend to identify and train Queensland’s youngest sailing talent.
Maroochy Sailing Club’s new Optimist fleet out on the river for the first time - Sail Mooloolaba 2011
Yachting Queensland’s second Optimist Development Camp for 2011 will take place has attracted children aged between eight and 15 from as far a field as Southport Yacht Club and the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron.
Finglas will be joined by 2010 Australian Youth Olympic team coach Ben Callard, top Queensland International Optimist Dinghy Association (QIODA) coach Scott McInally and National Champions Angus Galloway and Alex Gough.
Yachting Queensland provides the talent scout for Queensland’s Academy of Sport sailing program in partnership with QIODA and the Maroochy Sailing Club (MSC).
John Pearce, Sail Mooloolaba Committee Chair and MSC Commodore, acknowledged the support of both Yachting Queensland and QIODA in his mission to draw more youngsters into the sport. 'It’s great to be able to offer Australia’s youngest sailors access to elite training of this calibre,' Mr Pearce said. 'Sail Mooloolaba incorporates the International Optimist class state championship in 2011, so this camp will be invaluable for serious contenders'.
Seventy per cent of medallists from the last two Olympics began on the diminutive Optimist dinghy, which weighs no more than 35kgs fully rigged. Maroochy Sailing Club, based on Chambers Island, now operates the largest fleet of racing optimists on the East Coast of Australia. Nine months ago, the club owned just one.
'We have had a dynamic year,' Mr Pearce acknowledged. 'Transporting two containers full of boats from China had its challenges, but junior membership at the club has exploded since their arrival, so it was well worth it.'
The camp, which begins at 9am on Saturday, will focus on boat speed and handling as well as race tactics and discipline.
Sail Mooloolaba’s week-long ‘celebration of sailing’ will take place from June 3rd to ninth, and immediately precedes the Musto Etchells Australasian Winter Championship, also in Mooloolaba.
Sail Mooloolaba is proudly supported by the Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd (regional tourism entity) and the Sunshine coast Council, and Events Queensland.
For further information, please contact Holly Kenny on T: 5443 3436 or M: 0431 186511
Email: hollykenny(at)bigpond.com or Ben Callard at Yachting Queensland on T: 3393 6788.
Get on board for Sail Mooloolaba 2011 here