GREAT SAILORS: Whitsunday junior Optimist sailors Ollie Annear and Klaus Lorenz during sailing practice on Sunday at the Whtisunday Sailing Club. Photo Sharon Smallwood / Whitsunday Times
GREAT SAILORS: Whitsunday junior Optimist sailors Ollie Annear and Klaus Lorenz during sailing practice on Sunday at the Whtisunday Sailing Club. Photo Sharon Smallwood / Whitsunday Times

Opportunity to step up in sailing

WHITSUNDAY Optimist sailing squad co-ordinator Jeremy Cooper is encouraging young sailors to take the next step beyond learning to sail.

Cooper said the Optimist sailing squad was an option for those who wanted to progress to sailing on a higher level.

"We will have these kids and give them the opportunities to train as often as they want to see how far they can go in the sport of sailing," he said. "I think of myself as saying, "nobody knows who's going to the Olympics in 2020, but kids between six and 15 need to be sailing Opti's now in order to be on that pathway to a possible future Olympics place."

Cooper's son and Optimist trainer Klaus Lorenz is an example of a sailor who started young.

The teenager has now progressed to two-handed 420's but at the peak of his Optimist 'career' he achieved 11th place in the Asian Championships in 2010.

Klaus' advice is to "train harder than everyone else if you want to make it".

"The more you do it the more you want to do it," he said.

"You go everywhere, meet heaps of new people - it's the journey to get to the top that's [also] really good."

The Whitsunday Optimist sailing squad currently has five members and is run entirely by parents at no cost.

"It works for us and the kids because every parent is involved as well, either on or off the water," Cooper said.

"We always want new members so if your sailor has any inclination to do better, come and talk to one of the parents about what this kind of sailing has done for their kids."

For more information on pathways in sailing contact Jeremy Cooper on 0487 891 367.


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