by Ian Grant
Queensland Academy of Sport sailors Ryan Palk, Klade Hauschildt, Mitchell and Madison Kennedy have continued to value the opportunity of learning to sail on the sheltered Maroochy and Noosa Rivers.
Kennedy Clan L to R Mitchell, Madison and Mark.
All four talented sailors ‘learnt the ropes’ sailing their snub-nose Sabot dinghies against wind and current to be now presently regarded among the best young one-design sailors in the tactically demanding Olympic Laser class.
Ryan Palk who races under the Noosa Yacht and Rowing Club burgee is a valued member of the Australian Sailing Squad while his good mate and training partner Klade Hauschildt and the teenage Mitchell and Madison Kennedy have all represented Australia in major International regattas.
When time permits Ryan Palk revels in the opportunity to further refine his boat handling skills with extensive training sessions on the Noosa River with boat on boat match racing against Klade Hauschildt.
They have both proved to be evenly matched with the honours decided by which skipper is the first select the advantage line from the prevailing wind.
These mate against mate tactical jousting sessions have provided both Palk and Hauschildt with the skill and confidence to concentrate on producing their best individual speed and tactical strategy in fleet racing.
Both skippers have the personal ambition set on being selected to represent Australia at a future Olympic regatta in a class which is presently dominated by New South Wales helmsman and multiple World championship Gold Medallist Tom Slingsby.
As expected Tom Slingsby became a unanimous choice to compete at the London Olympics while his New South Wales training partners Tom Burton and Ashley Brunning and the Queensland duo of Ryan Palk and Klade Hauschildt continue with the personal physical grind to keep their Olympic selection prospects open for 2016.
Mitchell and Madison Kennedy who were in their fathers cheer squad when he won the Laser Radial Masters World championship bronze medal behind New Zealand’s Mark Orams and Queensland team mate Greg Adams in March have focused their career training to be race ready for competition in the World Radial Youth and open championships on Brisbane’s Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron courses in July.
Madison who already has the career distinction of representing Australia at the Youth Olympic regatta in Singapore has continued to mature into one of Australia’s most promising female Laser dinghy skippers.
She remains on track to realise her career ambition to wear the prestigious Green and Gold sailing suit at a future Olympics in the Women’s Laser Radial class.
Older brother Mitchell winner of the 2011 Australian U19 Radial Laser championship has gained important sailing knowledge from the meal table discussions with father Mark to become a strong prospect when the sails are tensioned for the 2012 World championship medals on his favoured Waterloo Bay (Brisbane ) ’torture track’.
Meanwhile both he and Madison will continue with their training and racing on the World title venue to again prove that sailors who gained their ‘grass roots’ on the Sunshine Coast estuaries can compete on the World stage.