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Sailing - 20. October 2007.

Australian Sailing Team News Alert

Following nomination from Yachting Australia the Australian Olympic Committe is pleased to select 16 outstanding sailors. A decision on the women's Laser Radial class will be made shortly.

Hopes are high for the sailing team to produce several medals in Beijing. Below are short biographies on those athletes selected. Full biographies will appear on olympics.om.au in November.

Elise Rechichi - 470
Perth, WA
Elise Rechichi and her 470 partner Tessa Parkinson are genuine medal hopes for Beijing. In 2005 they were named Australian Youth Team of the year at the Australian Sport Awards. Twelve months later Elise contracted a debilitating virus after cutting her foot whilst launching her boat at a test event in China. The young Western Australian lost 20 per cent of her body weight and was sleeping up to18 hours a day as a result. With courage and perseverance Elise fought back and in 2007 the pair clinched gold at the Olympic Test event in Qingdao, China.

Tessa Parkinson - 470
Perth, WA
Tessa Parkinson and Elise Rechichi will be two of the youngest Australian Team members at the sailing venue in Qingdao. Tessa was introduced to the sport by her family and friends as an eight-year-old, sailing Mirror dinghies at Fremantle Sailing Club. Her childhood ambition "to be the best at a sport and to go to the Olympic Games," has inspired the Western Australian to achieve amazing results over her short career. Tessa's career highlights include winning the 2007 Olympic Test event and being named 2005 Australian Youth Team of the year at the Australian Sport Awards.

Jessica Crisp - RS:X
Sydney, NSW
Jessica Crisp is a seasoned Olympic campaigner. In 1984 as a 14 year-old, Jessica competed at the Los Angeles Games in the windsurfing exhibition event. Since then Jessica has represented Australia at the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games in the Mistral windsurfing event, placing 5th and 6th respectively. In 2008, this event has been replaced with the RS:X class of windsurfing. In 2006, Jessica placed 7th at the ISAF RS:X World Championships and she rates this result as a career highlight because "sailing and racing this board is like a whole new sport," she said.

Nicky Bethwaite - Yngling (subject to medical assessment on 8 January 2008)
Sydney, NSW
At 53 years of age, Nicky Bethwaite will be a senior member of the 2008 Australian Team. Nicky first represented Australia at the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988 in the 470 class. Yngling class was introduced at the 2004 Athens Games which sparked renewed Olympic interest for Nicky. She placed 13th in Athens and in 2008 Nicky is determined to better this result with her team mates Karyn Gojnich and Angela Farrell. In late 2007, Nicky suffered a setback to her Olympic campaign after breaking both her arms in a bike riding accident. However, this will not deter her.

Karyn Gojnich - Yngling (subject to Nicky Bethwaite satisfying nomination conditions on 8 January 2008)
Sydney, NSW
Mother of two, Karyn Gojnich is ready for Beijing. In 1988, Karyn was one of the first female sailors to represent Australia at the Olympic Games competing in the 470 class with Nicky Bethwaite. The Beijing Games will be Karyn's third Olympic Games and she will have familiar company. Nicky Bethwaite is again Karyn's teammate with Olympic newcomer Angela Farrell making up the crew.

Angela Farrell - Yngling (subject to Nicky Bethwaite satisfying nomination conditions on 8 January 2008)
Sydney, NSW
Sydney youngster, Angela Farrell, has teamed up with two of the most respected women in Australian Sailing, Nicky Bethwaite and Karyn Gojnich, for her first Olympic campaign. In Beijing Angela will be competing in the Yngling class. "Being in command of experienced skippers means stepping up to the challenge in training, racing, and off-water commitment," said Angela. At the 2007 ISAF World Championships the team finished a commendable 10th.

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