Tiedt takes first steps towards her Olympic dream | SASCOC - SASCOC

Tiedt takes first steps towards her Olympic dream

KwaZulu-Natal teenager Hannah Tiedt has her sights set on one day representing South Africa in sailing at the Olympic Games. But for now the next step for Tiedt will be a good showing at this month’s MSC South African Youth Nationals at Midmar Dam.

Tiedt is just one of around 250 young sailors with big dreams, who will be converging on the KZN Midlands from December 14-20. Hosted by the Henley Midmar Yacht Club, the regatta will see Under-19s from around the country competing across eight classes: Optimist, RS Tera, Dabchick, Cats < 16ft, Mirror, 29er, Laser and 420.

For Tiedt, who comes from Kloof, this is a chance to make her mark on the sport. ÔÇ£The Nationals is part of your selection process so if you do really well you will be considered. You have to do your absolute best so you can achieve your goals,ÔÇØ explained the Kloof High School student.

Asked what it will take to win in her class, the Laser 4.7, Tiedt reckoned: ÔÇ£I’ll have to take advice from more experienced sailors and train hard. I suppose a good start will put you in the lead too.ÔÇØ

The talented 15-year-old, who is a member of Point Yacht Club as well as event hosts, Henley Midmar Yacht Club, has competed in KZN Provincials as well as the Grand Prix Series but this will be her first Youth Nationals. And she’s all too aware of where her competition is likely to come from: ÔÇ£[Fellow Durban sailor] Ross Gaughran, we are always neck and neck during races,ÔÇØ she explained.

While hockey, soccer and athletics also take up some of her time, it’s being out on the water that Tiedt really relishes. ÔÇ£I love being able to hike out over the edge of my boat and just feel the boat soar through the water. The people involved in sailing are all so genuine and that makes it more enjoyable as well,ÔÇØ she said.

As for long term goals in the sport, she added: ÔÇ£To represent South Africa is my main goal at the moment ÔÇô to be selected to go to the ISAF Youth Worlds in either 2015 or 2016 and I also want to go to the Olympics.ÔÇØ

Meanwhile, organisers of the Youth Nationals have announced that National Training and High Performance Manager Rob Holden will be conducting a novice course during the regatta This will be open to anyone aged between six and 19 who hasn’t sailed in a Provincial regatta, and has some basic sailing experience. Those interested should bring their own boat and life-jacket to use for the course.┬á The cost is R100.

Newly appointed National Development Manager Ricky Robinson will also be conducting a video debrief every evening during the event for the more advanced sailors.