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Six of the best for Brazil

Six youth sailors have qualified for South African Sailing’s 2009 Youth World Team, which will represent South Africa at the 39th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Buzios, Brazil from 9-18 July 2009.

All the athletes were selected based on South African Sailing selection criteria for their respective classes at the 2009 South African Sailing Youth Nationals at Mossel Bay in December 2008, as well as the class provincial and national regattas.

The members of South African Sailing’s 2009 Youth World Team are:

Boy’s One Person Dinghy Laser Radial: Matthew Shaw, Girl’s One Person Dinghy Laser Radial: Claire Walker, Boy’s Two Person Dinghy 420: Brevan Thompson (skipper) and Callum Kilpin (Crew) Open Multihull Hobie 16 with Spinnaker: Matthew Whitehead (skipper) and Calene Loubser (crew).

The 2009 US Youth World Team will be led by Coach David Rae and team manager Colin Whitehead, both of whom bring extensive international sailing experience to the team.

The six are all members of the newly-launched SAS High Performance Squad ÔÇô Under 18, which includes sailors identified as Olympic hopefuls in the Laser Radial Boys, Laser Radial Girls, 29er (open), 420 (boys or girls) and Hobie 16 (with spinnaker) classes and were born after 1 January 1991.

Claire Walker participated in the Laser Radial Class at the 38th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Denmark last year and hopes that the experience she gained there will enable her to secure a place in the top ten this year for the Laser Radial Class. Matthew Whitehead won a silver medal in the multihull event in Denmark last year.

His extensive experience as inland and offshore sailor on a range of multihulls and keelboats makes him and crew Calene Loubser one of the top contenders for a medal in the multihull event at the 39th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Brazil.

Matthew Shaw, a newcomer to the event, has represented South Africa at a number of IODA events before he progressed to Laser sailing. Matthew achieved first place in a Laser 4.7 at the All Africa games in 2007. He managed a tenth place at the Laser 4.7 Worlds in Hermanus in December 2007.

At the recent South African Sailing Youth Nationals Matthew obtained a first place in the Laser Radial Class.

Brevan Thompson and Callum Kilpin have both competed in International regattas in the Optimist and Laser 4.7 class. This young team has showed remarkable tenacity in that they managed to narrowly beat Youth World contenders Ashwyn Daniels and Jerome Williams from the Izivungu Vungu Sailing School at the 420 Western Cape Provincials and 420 Nationals to secure their place in the Youth Worlds team.

South African Sailing’s High-Performance Coach, David Rae, trimmer of the Americas Cup boat Shosholoza is extremely proud of the young team.

‘All of them have shown great determination and have put in a huge amount of effort to qualify for the South African Sailing Youth team. Participation at this level requires a lot of drive and self-motivation and all the members of the SAS Youth Team have shown that they have the stamina and willpower required to achieve internationally.’

The 2009 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, the 39th edition of the event, will be held from 9-18 July at the the Iate Clube de Armação de Buzios (ICAB) in the city of Armação de Búzios, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.

The event will be organized by the Rio de Janeiro State Sailing Federation together with the Federação Brasileira de Vela e Motor (FBVM) and the international Sailing Federation.

The ISAF Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship is the pinnacle event for Youth Sailing in the world, and the forum where future sailing champions are identified.

The President of South African Sailing, Rob M’Crystal and all the members of South African Sailing would like to wish our young team ‘fair winds’ and fantastic results.


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