Russell COUTTS (NZL), America's Cup legend, multiple Olympic and World Champion, and ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year winner in 1995 and 2003, visited the young athletes participating in the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2004 today.
Having spent part of the day mingling with the sailors in the boat park, this evening Russell gave a talk to the young sailors representing 52 nations at the Gdynia Hotel, the official hotel where all the sailors were staying. And it was a Full house - not a chair was available.
"Aim high and Enjoy"
That was the main theme for an exceptional inspirational talk by Russell COUTTS to the competitors of the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship. The room was packed, but not a sound but the voice of Russell could be heard as no one wanted to miss a word of the speech of this great sailing hero.
In Poland as a guest of the International Sailing Federation, Russell's presence certainly impacted the sailors from around the world and will have inspired for their future sailing careers.
The only complication to Russell's visit in Poland as ISAF's guest was the tightness of his schedule. Having won the prestigeous ISAF Grade 1 Swedish Match Cup on Sunday 11 July, the Champion had to delay his flight to Poland by 12 hours. Tomorrow, Russell will head off to his next ISAF graded match racing event in Trieste, Italy.
The time the Champion spent in the boatyard of the Gdynia Marina chatting to young sailors, who had just returned form their racing areas, was a time of excitement and joy. His planned appearance among them had been kept secret from the competitors, and so his arrival proved an excellent surprise. There was no end to autographs, conversations and snapshots of the famous idol. The surprise was full, when all of a sudden Russell Coutts was joined by the Polish Olympic sailor, Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ, with whom he took a stroll talking to the crews in the boatpark. Coutts, who values Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ very highly, told the gathered media that the talent of the Polish Olympic Champion manifests itself at its best in his capability of inventiveness of new sailing techniques in classes considered well-known.
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