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Jessica Crisp wins The Australian RSX Windsurfing National CHampionships
The Australian Sailing Teamâ?Ts Jessica Crisp today won the RS:X (Windsurfing) National Championships at the Adelaide International Regatta, taking out both the Overall and Womenâ?Ts titles as part of her lead-up to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
In the heatwave conditions Adelaide has experienced over the past week, Crisp won three races and placed second in the other two. The hot, light winds which plagued this event were the perfect training ground for Crisp to prepare for her Olympic campaign.
photo Sport the library
â?oThe conditions were pretty much the same as Qingdao â?" the current, the light winds and the heat,â?Â said Crisp, who won a Bronze medal at the Olympic Sailing Test Event in 2007, placed fifth at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and sixth at Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
â?oItâ?Ts actually great to have a regatta at home where you can practice in similar conditions.
â?oYou have to work really hard to make the most of the light breeze, so it can be tough on your body in the oppressive heat and Iâ?Tm really happy with how I went.
Thirty eight year old Crisp has a reputation as one of the fittest competitors in the sport and says this result shows her current endurance training programme is paying off.
â?oWe donâ?Tt normally beat the men, so I feel my fitness compared to the last regatta I did is on track and has jumped up a lot and Iâ?Tm moving forward in the right direction for the Games,â?Â she said.
Crisp will compete on the European circuit over the coming months, taking part in the Semaine Olympique Francaise and RS:X European Championships in France, then to the Italian National Championships before competing in her third Olympic Games, although she first experienced the Olympic environment as a 14 year old taking part in the windsurfing demonstration event at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games.
Jessica is one of Australia's most consistent performers in the sport of sail boarding. She started sailing at the age of ten in a Sabot and was heavily influenced by her father who was part owner of the yacht Impetuous which won the Admiral's Cup in 1979. She was destined to sail - it runs in the family. The turning point was at age 14 when Jessica competed in the windsurfing demonstration event at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. It was here that the burning desire to windsurf was set alight. From this point on you could not get her off the water. The minute school finished she was out on Sydney Harbour learning new tricks.
By the age 15 she had won the ISAF Youth Worlds and the Windsurfer Worlds giving her the Australian Junior Female Athlete of the Year award. She became ISAF Womenâ?Ts World Champion at 16, Mistral World Champion as well as adding another ISAF Youth World title to her name at 17, before she embarked on her professional windsurfing career.
In the early to mid 1990s, Jessica was one of the most famous women in the world of windsurfing. Twice, in 1993 and 1994, she won the Professional Windsurfing Association's world title. On one occasion she achieved this feat despite the pain of a broken ankle which she sustained towards the end of the season. At the time she was acknowledged as the best all round female windsurfer in the world. But after breaking fibula and tibia, doing a forward loop at the indoor event in Paris, her professional career was cut short. Unable to jump and therefore compete in wave sailing competitions Jessica decided to try the less impact side of the sport Olympic sailing.
Now she is back for her third try to get the only title that has eluded her so far, an Olympic medal. A 5th place in Sydney 2000 and a 6th place in Athens 2004 is what she has managed so far, but something major has now changed. The Mistral windsurfer has been replaced with the RSX.
In 2006, she finished 7th at the ISAF RS:X World Championships after only 18mths on the RS:X board and no previous experience racing this type of board. She placed second at the 2006 Australian Championships and in August 2007 won bronze at the Olympic Sailing Test Event in Qingdao.