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Sailing - 19. November 2008.

Hamilton Island hosts the first Australian Sailing Development Squad Camp

The momentum gained from sailing’s success at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games continued full force with the expansion the Australian Sailing Development Squad (ASDS) in Yachting Australia’s Performance Program.

The numbers of athletes identified in the initial ASDS program is quite large with the intention to seek as much talent as possible and see who has the goods to go all the way to becoming an Olympian and win Gold in 2012 and beyond. 

The AST Program Manager, Rob Brown said, “It is important to increase the depth of talent in all the Olympic Classes in order to stay on the top of our game. We need our potential Olympians to push our current Australian Sailing Team to greater heights, to raise the bar by producing fitter and more mentally tough athletes”.  

Last week the ASDS travelled to Hamilton Island to be involved in a camp that incorporated an intensive screening process to assess the squad in all facets of campaigning.

“The aim of this Camp was to assess the fitness levels, physiotherapy, psychology, on water sailing skills and personal profiles.”
“It was a huge success with a large percentage of the squad identified as potential future Olympians”.
A total of 56 athletes attended the first ASDS Camp at the AST’s major co-sponsor, Hamilton Islands resort in the Whitsundays. The Island provided the perfect training base with everything being within walking distance.
The fully equipped gym was manned by AST Strength and Conditioning National Coordinator, Andrew Verdon, AIS Physiologist, Hamilton Lee, Head of the AIS Strength & Conditioning department, Julian Jones and Gavin Thornley. Each athlete had to perform a fitness test and screening. The coaches ran morning fitness sessions which also doubled as team building exercises. And the AST Physiotherapist, Donna White ran extensive physio screening sessions. Whilst the current AST Management Team held meetings with each athlete to gain an understanding of each athletes situation with regards to academic, work and sailing status.

Queensland's Laser Radial squad member, Ashley Stoddart excitedly explained that, “It was an amazing experience to be a part of the squad, where I was exposed to the professionalism which is used in the Australian Sailing Team. It is a great pleasure & honour to be involved and I look forward to future camps and training within the squad”

The camp ran from 28th October to 10th November and catered for the 10 Olympic Events that will race in London 2012 (Classes now confirmed by ISAF)
Men’s & Women’s Windsurfing (RS:X)
Men’s & Women’s One-Person Dinghy (Laser for Men & Laser Radial for Women)
Men’s & Women’s Two-Person Dinghy (470)
Men’s Skiff (49er)
Men’s Heavy-Weight Dinghy (Finn)
Men’s Keelboat (Star)
Women’s Match Racing (TBC, SB3’s were used at the camp)

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