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Eight sailors selected for 2023 Pacific Games in Solomon Islands

by Australian Olympic Committee 2 Sep 2023 00:37 PDT
Evie Saunders © Beau Outteridge

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has announced the selection of an eight-strong sailing team for the 2023 Pacific Games.

Evie Saunders, Ellen Sampson, Thomas Farley and Isaac Schotte will each contest the one-person dinghy, while Amelia Wilson, Charlotte Wormald, Jarrod Jones and Lachlan Vize will compete in the sailboard class.

The young team, ranging from 15 to 19 years old, will be part of an expected 80-strong Australian Team competing with more than 5000 athletes from the Pacific region.

Olympic champion Kenny Wallace, Chef de Mission for the Australian Team at the Pacific Games, congratulated the athletes on their selection.

"This is a fantastic achievement for each of the eight sailors to make this Australian team," Mr Wallace said.

"The Pacific Games is a great environment for the athletes to gain valuable experience in a multisport team environment and I know they will represent their sport, their families and their country with pride.

"Congratulations on your selection, I look forward to seeing you in action at the biggest multisport event in the Pacific region."

Australian Sailing has already shown their support for the Games, in conjunction with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, providing Tackers boats, training and mentoring to the Solomon Islands to help grow the sport in the Solomon Islands ahead of the Games.

"Australian Sailing and the support of the Australian Government's PacificAus Sports Grant program have already demonstrated the spirit of these Games," Mr Wallace said. "Donating boats and providing training and mentoring to grow the sport of sailing in the Solomon Islands shows the power of sport to bring people together."

Seventeen-year-old Evie Saunders from Sydney's northern beaches has already shown her racing class, winning silver at the 2022 World Youth Championships, named Australian Youth Sailor of the Year in 2022.

Fresh off competing at the senior World Championships in the Hague, Netherlands, in August, Saunders was thrilled to be named to the team.

"I'm really excited to represent Australia in sailing at the 2023 Pacific Games," Saunders said.

"It's a unique opportunity to consolidate on my learnings from the European season and to finish the year with a solid performance."

Australian Sailing High Performance Director Iain Brambell OLY welcomed the announcement.

"We are exceptionally proud of the eight sailors selected to represent Australia at this year's Pacific Games," Mr Brambell said. "These are some of the best young sailors in Australia across their classes, and we are particularly pleased with the depth across the female classes where selection battles were incredibly competitive."

"We would like to thank the Australian Olympic Committee for their support in leading this team to Honiara. The Pacific Games are an exciting and invaluable opportunity for young athletes to gain the experience and learnings of representing Australia at a multisport games.

"Australia has a strong record of success at the Pacific Games, and we wish this group of sailors all the best in continuing that tradition."

Australian Sailing Athletes Selected for Solomon Islands 2023 Pacific Games:

Name Event City Age
Evie Saunders Women's one-person Dinghy (ILCA 6) Freshwater NSW 17
Ellen Sampson15 Women's one-person Dinghy (ILCA 6) Somerton Park SA 15
Amelia Wilson Women's Sailboard Davidson NSW 15
Charlotte Wormald Women's Sailboard Melbourne VIC 18
Jarrod Jones Men's Sailboard LT 79kg+ Brisbane QLD 18
Lachlan Vize Men's Sailboard LT U79kg Melbourne VIC 17
Isaac Schotte Men's one-person Dinghy (ILCA 7) Brisbane QLD 18
Thomas Farley Men's one-person Dinghy (ILCA 7) Forster NSW 19

Athlete bios available here.

Australia will send a team of around 80 athletes across the sports of Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Beach Volleyball, Judo, Sailing, Taekwondo and Weightlifting. The 2023 Pacific Games offer a direct Paris 2024 qualification opportunity for boxers and the mixed archery team, as well as world ranking points vital for qualification and international experience across other sports.

The Pacific Games will see more than 5000 athletes and officials from 24 nations compete across 24 sports in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara.

Solomons 2023 is the third time Australia has participated after first being invited to compete in several sports at Port Moresby 2015.

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