Team selection provided a number of headaches for selectors with several current members of the Australian Sailing Team (AST) vying for just the one crew place in each class.
AST Director Michael Jones commented We have selected this team on current form and on the premise of selecting the best representatives for this specific event however, I must emphasise that this Test Event is not necessarily a precursor for nomination to the Australian Olympic Team. Like any regatta, the performance for the Team at the Test Event and of all the individual AST and ASDS athletes at both the pre-event camp and the regatta proper, will be taken into account and analysed by both management and the Nomination Panel deliberations
The following AST and Australian Sailing Development Squad (ASDS) Female members will represent Australia at this key event:Womens one person dinghy Laser Radial
2004 World Champion, current national Champion and ranked 5th in the world in the Laser Radial class
Womens two person dinghy 470 Women
Elise Rechichi (Mosman Park, WA) & Tessa Parkinson (Beaconsfield, WA)
Ranked 10th in the world
Womens Keelboat Yngling
Nicky Bethwaite (Surry Hills, NSW), Karyn Gojnich (Spit Junction, NSW) & Angela Farrell (Killara, NSW)
2004 Olympians and ranked 12th in the world in the Yngling class
Windsurfer RS:X Women
Jessica Crisp (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
2000, 2004 Olympian, 2007 World Championships Bronze medallist and ranked 40th in the world in the RS:X Women class
A Team training camp for all AST and ASDS competing and non competing members will also be taking place in Qingdao from 2 to 12 August. The training camp provides the Team with a great opportunity for all to train in the venue and build their awareness of the expected light wind conditions.
The sailors nominated to represent Australia at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will be decided in October, 2007 by a nomination panel consisting of:
John Bertrand Olympic Bronze Medallist, International yachtsman and businessman
Nomination Panel Members
Andrew Plympton - President - Yachting Australia
Michael Jones - Olympic Sailing Program Director - Yachting Australia
Victor Kovalenko - National Head Coach Yachting Australia
Mark Turnbull - Olympic Gold Medallist, Chairman of Sail Melbourne
Sarah Kenny - International Sailboarder, Partner at Freehills Solicitors
John Boultbee - Past Director of the Australian Institute of Sport, High Performance Director - Football Australia
At the recent ISAF Sailing World Championship in Cascais, Portugal Australia qualified for ten of the eleven classes at the 2008 Olympic Games. The mens RS:X Board is the only unqualified event.
The Australian Sailing Team - www.australiansailingteam.com.au
The Australian Sailing Team is the official national representative sailing team and is comprised of the best sailors in their class in Australia. Selected annually, athletes qualify for inclusion in the team by finishing in the top ten at a World Championship in their class, or are identified as having the potential to do so within a two year period. The Team is generously supported by the Federal Government through the Australian Sports Commission, the Australian Olympic Committee and is a Tier 1 Australian Institute of Sport program. The Team is managed by Yachting Australia, a member of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the Australian national authority for sailing. The Teams goal is to develop talent and win Gold Medals for Australia in 2008 and beyond.
– but the sailors praise the new boats
Photo Credit: Dario Belingheri/Bettini Photo
photo David Cannon/Getty images