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Lake sailors partner with Academy of Sport

26 November 2009 Mark Philliips

Lake Macquarie and Hunter Academy of Sport annual Etchells sailing day crew

"Lake Macquarie and Hunter Academy of Sport annual Etchells sailing day crew"

Photo by:
Mark Phillips

Over the past couple of years the Lake Macquarie Etchells Fleet has hosted a day of sailing with the Hunter Academy of Sport Sailing squad.

The Hunter Academy of Sport Sailing squad has proven to be a great breeding ground for training and improving the skills of some of the outstanding young sailors from in and around the Hunter region of NSW.

A notable graduate of the academy is Nathan Outteridge, Beijing Olympic Games 49er representative who placed fifth and most recently was crowned 2009 49er class World Champion.

The Etchells sailing days always seem to prove popular with the academy kids and the Etchells sailors. This year was no exception with another good role up on Sunday 20 September of kids and local Lake Macquarie fleet members keen to participate.

There were nine kids aged between 13 to17 years sailing on five Etchells. Each kid was given the opportunity to steer the boat for at least two out of the four short course races, ably assisted onboard by members of our local fleet pulling the strings and offering advice.

The day normally starts off with an address to the kids from one of the Etchells fleet member. This year it was planned for local Etchells sailor Peter McNeill. 2004 Etchells World Champion, to talk to the kids about one- design racing and why he enjoys sailing Etchells in particular. Unfortunately, Peter could not make it so the kids had to make do with some pointers from some of the other notable Lake Macquarie Etchells fleet members; Tom Woods and Dean Blatchford (1984 505 class World Champions), and Gary Boyd, 2004 49er class Olympic Games representative.

The weather on the day was kind which allowed four races to be held in perfect sunshine with a 12 to 15 knot north-east sea breeze; ideal sailing conditions for Etchells. This weather ensured typical close racing.

The day was finished off with the obligatory post-race discussions and sausage sizzle making for a most enjoyable day with the kids and their parents going away happy.

A special thanks to Tony Outteridge, Hunter Academy of Sport Head Sailing Coach, for organising the kids and fostering the relationship with the Lake Macquarie Etchells fleet

Out on the water at Lake Macquarie for the annual Hunter Academy of Sport day

"Out on the water at Lake Macquarie for the annual Hunter Academy of Sport day"

Photo by:
Mark Phillips


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