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Sailors preparing for championships

Friday 2 December 2011 | Published in Regional


Team Cook Islands sailors are full steam ahead just six days into preparation for the World Sailing Championships in Fremantle, Australia.

Helema Williams will sail first in the womens competition starting on December 5 where there will be two races a day including three days of racing in the yellow and blue fleet before sailors are sorted into the silver and gold fleets.

Team coach/manager Anne Tierney reports that with most of the registrations, accreditations, laser boat, sail, decal, gear issue and checks, coach boat arrangements and paper work now completed the team can settle down and prepare mentally.

Its a very exciting atmosphere here with sailors from 72 nations present, reports Tierney.

Its been great to meet the many friends our young sailors have made over the past 12 months they obviously have a strong shared passion for their sport!

Helema Williams and Taua Elisa have been starting their day at the gym, then have been out on the water familiarising themselves with the wind, currents and tides.

A valuable session with the Emerging Nations Programme sailors and coach Arthur Brett this week filled in some gaps about the seemingly erratic winds Fremantle been experiencing.

Junior Charlie joined the team yesterday to complete the Team Cook Islands sailors and after a couple of early nights will find his feet quickly.

He will be on the water tomorrow for a good session.

He enjoyed reading the good wish wall where the team has put all the messages received via email and Facebook keep them rolling in!

World and continental champions and all the top sailors are in Fremantle for the World Championships. In the Laser class men the first qualification round for the Olympics will reduce the fleet of 152 to about 75% of the Olympic starters or top 36 countries one per country.

For the women an even harder task as the field of over 100 competitors is reduced to around 20.

It is obvious that the opportunity to compete in international events over the past year has given sailors maturity in the sport, a feeling of can do and determination to put out their best towards their goal.