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Thursday 29 December 2011 | Published in Regional


Top Cook Islands sailors are on the move in New Zealand and Australia taking part in a number of regattas to improve their sailing technique and qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.

The Cook Islands Optimist crew of Eseta Ailaouamaua (Rarotonga Sailing Club), Duane George, Eric George, Dean Tetuaeteroi, Titi Kaukura and Jamie Pene (all from the Aitutaki Sailing Club) are currently in Napier preparing to compete in the World Optimist Championships in January.

The sailors, all aged under 15, have had loads of adventure already in New Zealand and are looking forward to showcasing their sailing prowess against some of the worlds best Optimist sailors.

In the meantime the crew have been taking part in sailing clinics and making new friends ahead of the regatta in Napier.

The crew are also looking forward to promoting the Cook Islands and in particular Aitutaki lagoon as an ideal spot for their new sailing friends to join Cook Islands sailors for regular regattas and competitions.

Meanwhile, Taua Elisa, who has just completed racing in the World Laser Championships in Perth with fellow Team Cook Islands sailors Junior Charlie and Helema Williams, is preparing to take on the Australian Laser Championships at the Royal Queensland Yacht Club in Brisbane.

He will be joined by Aitutaki sailor Aquila Tatira who is currently enjoying his first season of sailing in the lasers.

At the Pacific Games in Noumea Tatira sailed in the Hobie Cat class along with crew Tanus Henry.

At the Australian championships Elisa will be sailing in the laser standard craft while Tatira will try his hand at the lighter laser radial class.

The regatta began yesterday and will wrap up on January 4.

After the regatta Elisa will take his sailors hat off and put his coaching hat on to guide Tatira through the Australian Youth Championships to be run from January 6 to 10.

The pair will then fly to New Zealand to join the rest of Team Cook Islands laser sailors for more competition across Aotearoa.