by Craig Heydon
Yachting Australia has announced the 2013 Australian Sailing Youth Team to contest the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in Cyprus this July with the team featuring a mix of seasoned campaigners and newcomers.
The 2013 Australian Sailing Youth Team in Hobart -
Australia has a proud history at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships and will send a strong team to the 2013 event, being held in Limassol, Cyprus, between July 13 and 20.
Racing in Cyprus will take place in eight classes with 12 young Australian sailors selected to represent their country.
Sydney-based sailors Paul Darmanin and Lucy Copeland will contest the multihull class in Cyprus, their second Youth Worlds appearance together, and will be out to go one better than the silver medal they won in 2012.
Darmanin also has a gold medal to his name which he won in 2010 and this year will become just the fourth Australian sailor to appear at four straight ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in the event’s 42 year history.
'I feel incredibly lucky to be able to represent Australia at the Youth Worlds for the fourth time,' said Darmanin. 'Being the most experienced member makes me feel old and wise I guess and I’m looking forward to sharing this Youth Worlds with the new team.
'Hopefully I’ll be able to share my knowledge of what to expect with the team so that they can be prepared for competing for their country in an event very different to what they are used to,' he said. 'The Youth Worlds is the pinnacle of youth sailing and I love competing against the best youths in the world for my country in exotic places. Being surrounded by hundreds of international athletes on and off the water is a unique and amazing atmosphere that I love being a part of.
'Having got a silver medal last year Lucy and I are striving to go one better in Cyprus,' said Darmanin. 'It would be a great accomplishment and has been a goal of mine since winning my first gold back in Turkey. Winning another gold would be the perfect conclusion to my youth worlds adventures.'
West Australian sailor Mark Spearman will be out to defend his 2012 gold medal when he takes on the best in the world in the Laser Radial class in July.
Spearman won gold at his first Youth Worlds following a tense final race in Ireland, where he sailed his opponent to the back of the fleet to secure the win.
Sydney windsurfer Annalise Gilbert will contest her third straight Youth Worlds this year, while Queensland based Laser Radial girl’s competitor Louise Evans will race at her second.
Carrie Smith and Ella Clark will line up in the 420 girl’s class, their third Youth Worlds appearance, and the pair will be keen to stand on the top step of the podium after winning silver in 2012.
'We’re very lucky to have such a great opportunity to represent Australia again and are really looking forward to working hard in the lead up and hopefully producing a result one better than last year,' said Smith. 'No doubt our eyes are on gold for our last year of being a Youth Worlds team member, third time lucky?
'We’re also looking forward to getting to know all the new members of the team, but most importantly we’re excited for a new year, new place and new competition that the Youth Worlds will bring,' she said. 'I really enjoy the atmosphere the regatta brings, the team comes together and we all share the same excitement and nerves.'
Three crews will make their Youth Worlds debut for Australia in Cyprus, with all three putting in standout performances to qualify for the team.
Windsurfer Jock Calvert will be the first Tasmanian to be a part of the Australian Sailing Youth Team for a number of years following his win at the 2013 OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship on home waters in Hobart in January.
Calvert is a relative newcomer to windsurfing and was competing in his first Australian Youth Championship in the class having raced a Laser 4.7 at the 2012 event. The Tasmanian was at the front of the fleet all week, winning five of the nine races to book himself a spot in the team heading to Cyprus.
29er crew Harry Price and Angus Williams secured their spot on the team in the final race of the OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championships, following close racing over two events.
Price, younger brother of London 2012 Olympic Games silver medallist Olivia Price, and Williams, only began sailing together in late 2012, their results a testament for how quickly they've developed as a team.
The final Australian Sailing Youth Team crew for 2013 is 420 boy’s representatives Lachlan Gilmour and Thomas Blaauw.
The pair showed great composure at the 2013 OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship to come back from a black flag in the first race of the regatta to win the final four races on the River Derwent and take the win by a single point.
The Gilmour family isn't new to the Australian Sailing Youth Team, with Lachlan’s older brother David representing Australia at the 2009 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Brazil.
The 2013 Australian Sailing Youth Team will be supported by three coaches, Queensland based American John Bertrand, West Australian Belinda Stowell and Larry Cargill from New South Wales.
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia