Monday 27th July 2009
by Craig Heydon
The Australian Sailing Development
Squad’s Women Match Racers are in the final stage of preparation for
the 2009 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship in Lysekil,
Sweden, with racing set to begin on Tuesday, 28 July.
The ASDS squad have been training and competing extensively across Europe in the last few months with all 12 sailors taking part in the World Championship aboard two entries, skippered by Nicky Souter and Katie Spithill.
The squad has had some fantastic results so far this season with Spithill beating Souter in an all-Australia final at round six of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Germany before Spithill took victory at the prestigious Swedish Match Cup at the end of June.
Souter said that the squad has been progressing well and have benefited from the chance to come away from a prolonged period of time and focus on sailing without outside distractions such as work and university.
'Our training has been going well and we’ve just finished a four day training camp in Middlefart, Denmark in DS37's, same boats as the worlds,' said Souter. 'We had a massive learning curve in those four days as we’ve only had limited time match racing in boats of that size before, so we spent up to six hours a day on the water.'
'Our European campaign has been going really well and every regatta we’ve compete in we‘ve had an Aussie team in the finals.'
'As for goals for the worlds, our squad’s goal is to get another Aussie team in the finals,' she said. 'The line up for this event is tough with the European girls having an advantage over us as these are their boats but by going off our results for these last two months we have a pretty good chance.'
The squad has been working closely with Australian Women’s Match Racing coach Dayne Sharp and has raced and trained in various boats and conditions since May, including an intense camp at the Australian Institute of Sport facility in Varese, Italy.
Souter, Spithill and crews will have their work cut out for them taking on a strong fleet including reigning World Champion Claire Leroy of France and local favourite Linda Rahm.
The Scandinavian countries of Sweden and Denmark will be well represented with five of the 12 competing crews hailing from local waters.
Racing begins on Tuesday, 28 July with the World Champion to be crowned on Saturday, 1 August.
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