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Wednesday 22 February 2012 | Published in Regional


The final Olympic qualification regatta for local sailors Helema Williams and Taua Elisa is just around the corner and the pair are back home to polish up for the event to be held in Germany in May.

For the past four years the pair have been chasing their dreams of representing the country at the Olympics and this year is their chance to make that dream a reality.

But the road to reaching the Olympics has been a tough one for the sailing crew who in recent years have spent more time overseas competing in top level regattas as they work to achieving their Olympic dreams.

Williams and Elisa are back home after months on the road through Australia and New Zealand where the sailors competed in a number of regattas including the World Champs in Perth.

That event was one of a number of Olympic qualifying events where 27 countries qualified and 13 countries fell off the qualifying list.

In the women’s division, there are currently nine spots remaining for sailors to attend the Olympics and 20 countries vying for those spots – one of which Williams hopes to secure in her next regatta in Germany.

Williams says after her performance in Perth and at races in Wellington and Auckland she is feeling confident ahead of the final Olympic qualifier.

For Elisa the task of qualifying is much tougher with 14 spots remaining for the men’s sailing with well over 20 countries vying for those spots.

Rather than stew about their chances of qualifying – Williams and Elisa are fizzing with the excitement of full on training days at home and heading to Germany to give it their all.

Helping them with their final stages of preparations will be top UK sailing coach Ben Paton who has coached numerous top sailors.

Most the two sailors’ training sessions will be done outside the reef where they will experience a wide range of sailing conditions and winds.

As they get ready to knuckle down after a deserved short break – they are ready for some intense and hard training sessions.

Of course Williams and Elisa can apply for a wild card to compete at the Olympics if they don’t qualify but the sailors were not interested in talking about the option as they would much rather qualify on their sailing skills.

As they prepare for the final journey to achieving their dreams – Williams and Elisa would like to thank all their sponsors who’ve assisted them on their journey to the Olympics including Turtles, Sailing Cook Islands and of course their family and friends for all their support.