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Saturday 9 January 2010 | Published in Regional


National youth sailors Aquila Tatira of Aitutaki and Teau McKenzie are pumped and ready for their races this week which could see them head to the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore later this year.

Both sailors came off the water yesterday excited with their pre-event performances in a big fleet.

“Aquila finished third after sailing a very good race from the front of the fleet when he got a cracking great start and jumped out of the start in first place rounding the top mark some 10 minutes later in second place,” reports laser coach Anne Tierney.

“After completing two circuits of the course he finished in third place.”

“Teau was two boats behind Tatira at the start and also got to the top mark in fourth place and both sailors were able to turn and see the large fleet approaching them.”

Tierney says that this first race is important for the sailors to get to know the course, currents, wind shifts and effects of a 1.7m tide movement from high tide to low tide.

“Not to forget the 40-odd Australian sailors and another 10 international sailors who are all determined to beat you,” adds Tierney.

McKenzie and Tatira have come from the Pacific Mini Games in Aitutaki where they both won medals – McKenzie a bronze in the women’s laser class and Tatira in the Hobie cat 16 teams racing class.

“These champs are important to our sailing development as these champs are Oceania qualifications for selection of sailors to the first ever Youth Olympic Games which will be held in Singapore in August 2010,” says Tierney.