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Tuesday 31 May 2011 | Published in Regional


The Cook Islands Olympic sailing squad members Taua Elisa, Junior Charlie and Helema Williams are currently honing their skills at the Weymouth sailing course where the 2012 Olympic sailing event will be held.

The local sailors got a dose of sailing reality at the recent Delta Lloyd Regatta in Europe where they along with some of the worlds top sailors battled in 30 knot winds on the water.

However they report that despite the cold and challenging conditions, they enjoyed the top level competition in the World Cup series in Medinblik.

Local coach Anne Tierney says that training outside the reef of Rarotonga has been valuable to the sailors and that the big winds and challenging conditions will help them prepare for what they can expect in future top level sailing regattas.

At the end of the regatta, Taua Elisa placed 101 and Junior Charlie placed 121 overall in the mens laser standard class while Helema Williams placed 49th out of 58 in the womens laser radial class.

Due to the strong winds a number of races at the Delta Lloyd Regatta were cancelled, much to the disappointment of the breeze loving sailors.

The local Olympic squad are now preparing for their next regatta, and Olympic test event, at Weymouth starting on June 6.

Meanwhile on the local sailing scene, the Rarotonga Sailing Club winter season opens on June 4 at the Muri club.

All junior and Nemo squad sailors will start the day with a pancake breakfast at 9am on Saturday before senior sailors have their fun on the water starting at 1pm along with the gold fleet optimist sailors.