Queensland sailors Josh Franklin and Lewis Brake have been named the Junior Sport Team of the year.
by Craig Heydon
The 17th Annual Queensland Sport Awards were held in Brisbane overnight and are the most prestigious sporting awards in Queensland.
Franklin and Brake defeated a highly talented list of finalists to claim their first major award together.
Franklin and Brake were members of the 2011 Australian Youth Sailing Team with the talented 29er crew claiming Gold at the Kiel Week Regatta in Germany and finishing fourth at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Croatia.
The Queensland teenagers were one of five finalists, edging out the Queensland Under 15 girls Cricket team, girls Golf team, Under 17 boys Softball team and Age Swimming Team for the award.
'Winning the Queensland Junior Sport Team award was great and made both of us really proud,' said Franklin. 'Winning an award like this means that all of the hard work has paid off, we also got some massive trophies which was pretty cool.
'Some of the biggest names in sport were there and they also named the first eleven for Queensland which included people like Cathy Freeman and Mick Doohan so it was pretty nerve racking when it came time to make our speech,' he said.
Franklin and Brake were selected for the Australian Youth Sailing Team following their strong performances at the 2011 29er Australian Championships and the OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship.
Their results at the two regattas in Europe this year were all the more impressive as they were their first overseas regattas together.
'The win in Kiel was our biggest achievement for the year,' said Franklin. 'Being our first time overseas we were hoping for a finish in the top 10 but to come away with the win was unreal.
'We then went on to the Youth Worlds which was a great experience competing with the top 29er youth crews in the world and we took a lot out of it,' he said.
Due to Franklin being too old to compete in the youth classes in 2012 he has now shifted his focus to the 470 class where he will sail with Victorian Tim Hannah at the 470 Junior World Championships in New Zealand while Brake will campaign for another shot at a Youth World Championship Gold medal in the 29er class next year.
For more information visit www.yachting.org.au
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9:33 AM Tue 22 Nov 2011 GMT
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