49er Class - Australian Olympic Profile
by Australian Sailing Team Media on 9 Aug 2008
Profile on the Australian 49er Team members Nathan Outteridge and Ben Austin. The team is coached by Emmett Lazich. They are the current 49er World Champions.
Australian’s Ben Austin / Nathan Outteridge - 49er World Championships Teri Dodds © http://www.teridodds.com
COACH - Emmett Lazich
CLUB - Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and Belmont 16ft Sailing Club
Nathan grew up on the western shores of Lake Macquarie playing soccer, tennis and AFL but as both parents were sailors it was only a matter of time before he ended up in the sport. By age four Nathan was sailing with his grandfather on his Northshore 27. Within
a year he was crewing on a Sabot. He competed at his first Sabot Nationals in Moloolaba in 1992.
Seeing the sailing potential in their son, Nathan’s parents bought him a Sabot and he started to skipper at age 7. In 1999 aged 13, he won the Sabot Championship in Yeppoon and a few days later jumped in his Flying Eleven and won the nationals in Sydney.
The only other person to have achieved the double in the same year is Nathan Wilmot (Men’s 470).
In 2001 Nathan competed at the ISAF Youth World Championships in the 29er class, the 29er World Champions in Sydney and the next day flew to Perth to compete in the 420 class at the Australian Youth Championships and 420 Nationals. He was selected
another two times to compete in the ISAF Youth World Championships, each time winning the Gold Medal.
The only other person to win 3 gold medals in the double handed class is America’s Cup skipper, Chris Dickson from New Zealand. Nathan then started sailing the 470 class under the guidance of Victor Kovalenko, training with Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page and Olympic Gold Medallists, Jenny Armstrong and Belinda Stowell.
In 2004 Nathan was on his way to Sail Melbourne when he had a car accident which broke his back. He spent the next month in hospital after surgery to repair his back. He then spent three months in a back brace and was unsure as to whether he would ever
get back to competitive sailing.
Winning the 2008 World Championship and being selected for the 2008 Australian Olympic Team signalled the end of a long journey back to top form for Nathan and his crewmate Ben Austin.
Professional Athlete and Coach
Started sailing at: Age 4 on grandfather’s Northshore 27
First event competed in: Sabot Nationals in Mooloolaba in 1992.
Superstitions: Can’t wear event clothing during the event.
Best or most valued sporting achievements: Winning 3 Youth World Titles, and winning 49er Worlds
Awards:Lake Macquarie Youth Sportsman: 2002, 2003, 2004
Lake Macquarie Sportsman: 2008
NSW Youth Sailor of the Year: 2002, 2003, 2004
Australian Youth Sailor of the Year: 2003, 2004
NSW Sports Awards Junior Sportsman: 2005
The toughest thing about competitive sailing is: Managing all the logistical aspects of an Olympic program, and living out of a suit case for 9 months of the year.
Most influential person in my career: My father
When travelling to compete I miss: Being at home with my girlfriend, Family and Friends.
Apart from sailing I relax by: Watching Movies, Hanging Out with Friends.
I wish I could: Have a teleport to avoid the 24hr plane trip to Europe.
If I wasn’t’ sailing I’d be: On the Pro Windsurfing Circuit
Ambitions: To Win a Gold Medal in 2 different classes.
Personal motto: Nothing is impossible!
2008 49er Sydney International Regatta AUS 1st
2008 49er Australian 49er National Championship AUS 1st
2008 49er 49er World Championship AUS 1st
2007 49er Olympic Test Event CHN 5th
2007 49er ISAF Sailing 49er World Championship POR 3rd
2007 49er Holland Regatta NED 2nd
2007 49er Sail Melbourne AUS 1st
2007 49er Australian 49er National Championship AUS 1st
2007 49er Sydney International Regatta AUS 1st
2007 49er Miami OCR USA 16th
2007 49er 49er North American Championship USA 10th
2007 49er 49er Australian Nationals Australia 1st
2006 49er Sydney International Regatta Australia 1st
2006 49er Kiel Week Germany 7th
2006 49er 49er World Championship France 6th
2006 49er Holland Regatta Holland 5th
2006 49er ISAF Worlds Austria 5th
2006 49er Sail Melbourne Australia 1st
2005 49er Sydney International Regatta Australia 1st
2004 470 470 Junior Worlds Italy 4th
2003 470 470 Junior Worlds Austria 8th
2002 470 Sydney International Regatta Australia 2nd
COACH - Emmett Lazich
CLUB - Belmont 16’ Skiff Sailing Club and Woollahra Sailing Club
Ben grew up in Townsville and started cruising on the family yacht up and down the north Queensland coast. By the age of six Ben’s father saw the sailing potential in his son and bought him an old, Mirror dinghy for a birthday present which kicked off his love of small boat sailing.
He started racing at eight years of age in the Mirror class in Victoria and first started to win regattas sailing Flying Juniors in Virginia, USA at the age of 12.
In the lead up to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Ben was sailing in the Laser class and training for the 2000 Youth Worlds which he won. He planned to contest the position for the 2004 Olympics but was pulled up short by a chronic back injury. It took two years to get on top of the back injury.
In the mean time he sailed 5O5’s, B14s, Sydney 38s, Farr 40s and 18ft Skiffs and spent a lot of time coaching younger sailors. In 2004 he returned to the Laser but found his back still not 100%. When the opportunity came up to sail a 49er with Nathan Outteridge, it was too good an opportunity to pass up and it has paid off with great success over the past two years.
Job/Business/Study: Physiotherapist – worked for 2 years, now full time sailing
Started sailing at: 6 months old – strapped into a car seat on my parents trailer sailer. First started sailing dinghy in a Mirror in Townsville aged about 7 at Altona Yacht Club in Melbourne.
Amusing Sporting Episode: Sailing 49ers and 18’ Skiffs there are plenty – like cartwheeling in 6 knots of wind while doing a video shoot for Channel 10. Or having my bowman on the 18’ fall off while going down wind and waving at the Japanese tourists as the Manly ferry missed him by only 20 metres.
Best Sporting Achievement: 2008 49er World Champion, 2000 World Youth Champion
Most Influential Person In Career: My parents – Dad always taught me if you are going to do something then make sure you do it properly – that’s where I get my dedication and determination. Mum was always prepared to do anything to support my sailing (like drive me 2 hours each way to sailing 3 times a week) but always kept life in perspective, reminding me that there is much more to life that just boats and wind.
Ambitions: Gold Medal in this year’s Olympic Games, being able to eat whatever I want!
Awards: 1998 CHS Sporting Blue (Sailing)
2000 Australian Sports Medal
2000 NSW and Australian Youth Sailor of the Year
2001 NSWIS Award for Academic Excellence
The toughest thing about competitive sailing is: Learning patience – we race with the wind and the wind can be so very random. Sometimes, no matter how hard you work, you just have to wait for things to swing back your way and have faith that it will all
work out in the end.
My training and preparation includes: • Lots of running and gym work with very careful
diet to lose weight for Beijing • Lots of sailing to gain a skill and speed edge in the
conditions we expect in China. • Meticulous boat preparation to ensure the boat is
as fast as it can be and not going to break just at the wrong moment!!
Before I compete I always: Make sure the boat is 100% ready to race and we have spares and tools for just about every conceivable situation.
When travelling to compete, I miss: Home – my wife, my house, my lifestyle at home.
Personal motto: If you are going to do something, do it properly the first time.
2008 49er Sydney Internation
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