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29 July 2009, 03:08 pm
Perth 2011 Emerging Nations Programme - Diary For Wednesday 29 July 2009
ENP Coach Arthur BRETT correcting Cook Islands Laser sailor Peter HENRY's technique
ENP Coach Arthur BRETT correcting Cook Islands Laser sailor Peter HENRY's technique during the land hiking at Fremantle Sailing Club

Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships
Perth, Australia

It was another early start today for the 10 athletes on the inaugural Perth 2011 Emerging Nations Programme athletes, with the day's focus on core strength.
The theme of the morning and early afternoon centred on the development of the Emerging Nations Programme athlete's core strength - a key area for improved hiking performance.

Another early start in the gym saw the athletes work their abdominal and oblique muscles as they kept balance kneeling on Swiss balls between bridging exercises.

ENP Coaches Arthur BRETT and Belinda STOWELL then lifted the intensity by introducing medicine balls into the equation, instructing the athletes to throw them at each other while still keeping balance on the Swiss balls in a bid to further strengthen their core.

BRETT said this morning's gym session was purposely less intense than Tuesday's.

"We didn't want to break them in the gym today because we really worked them over yesterday morning," he said.

"The past few gym sessions have seen the athletes work hard on their arms with weights to build strength and tone, so today we introduced core strength exercises to focus on new muscle groups and move away from the muscle groups that we have fatigued over the past few sessions.

"A few athletes did some additional cardio work after the core strength exercises, but that was done to personalise their programme. It is pleasing to see the athletes do that little bit more in the gym than what we expect of them. Ultimately they stand to gain the most from the effort they put in, so their enthusiasm and work ethic is commendable."

The focus on core strength carried over into the early afternoon, with the Laser and Laser Radial sailors subjected to a gruelling non-stop 15 minute on land boat training session.

After being told by BRETT, "if you aren't hurting after 15 minutes of land hiking, I'm not doing my job properly" the athletes slid into their dinghies on the grass of Fremantle Sailing Club to subject their midsections to another series of gruelling exercises while Arthur lurked, correcting posture and technique.

"Belinda and I thought the athletes needed some guidance on their hiking because, to this point, there was definitely some room for improvement right across the board," BRETT said.

The three hour on water session came as a blessing for the athletes later in the afternoon following what was a series of gruelling morning abdominal sessions.

The Laser and Laser Radial sailors headed south along the Fremantle coast to further refine their downwind sailing skills that were introduced to the programme on Tuesday, while the RS:X sailors got to capitalise on the stronger winds and practice up and down wind pumping.

"The light winds over the past two days have not been helpful in assessing the RS:X guys in planing conditions. So seeing them planing and working hard in some more challenging conditions was beneficial for Arthur and I to assess their development," STOWELL said.

"Technically, each of the three RS:X sailors are well advanced. Their racing tactics need more improvement but they showed some advancement during the afternoon's racing.

"We are trying to get the athletes to become more aware of the conditions during racing. We want them paying more attention to the wind and the swell, so this will be a focus for Arthur and me in the coming days. We want the RS:X guys to go home as developed in a broader racing sense as they are in their technical attributes."

The afternoon's racing saw the athletes implement the various tactics and strategies educated to them by BRETT and STOWELL over the past week, with acceleration at the start line being a focal point for the sailors and coaches alike.

"It is pleasing to see the athletes put into action what we have taught them," BRETT said.

"Whenever you take the time to teach people new skills there is always the risk that what is said is either quickly forgotten or not implemented when it needs to be. But that is not the case with this group.

"While there is still room for improvement, they are doing the right things at the right time in a race setting without being prompted by Belinda or me which is fantastic."

With the purpose of the ENP to take a range of developing athletes to the next level, Australia's most successful basketball export, three time NBA Championship player with the Chicago Bulls Luc LONGLEY, surprised the ENP group after dinner to discuss his rise from the courts of Fremantle into a key component in one of the most successful basketball dynasties in the sport's history.

Playing alongside household names Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman in three NBA Championships, ?LONGLEY discussed the sacrifices he made on a personal level in order to help him succeed in the highest calibre basketball league in the world. He implored the athletes to fulfil their potential and to work as hard as they needed to in order to take the next step in their sailing careers.

"There is nothing more disappointing in sport than watching a talented athlete not achieve their potential," LONGLEY told the group.

"The best way to make sure you reach your potential is to take ownership of your desire to reach your potential. Once you are resolved to taking responsibility of your own actions and motivation to succeed, the pieces start to fall in to place.

"The harder you work - the luckier you get. So what you have to ask yourself is, 'how lucky do I want to be?' Fortune favours the brave, so be brave in your training, be brave in your preparation and be brave in your racing."

he inaugural ENP camp, which is being held at Fremantle Sailing Club, is the first of seven ENP intensive training camps to be held in WA between July 2009 and the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships in December 2011.

The ENP is designed to encourage and assist developing and emerging sailing nations to participate in the Olympic Sailing Competition, increase the number of participating ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs) and subsequently the number of competitors at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships. From this World Championship, it is hoped 'emerging' talent identified during the ENP will qualify to represent their country in sailing at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Acclaimed Australian Olympic sailing coach Arthur BRETT and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games gold medallist in the women's 470 class Belinda STOWELL are guiding the Laser, Laser Radial and RS:X athletes, sharing the knowledge and skill that has seen the pair help spearhead modern Australian Olympic sailing success.

The athletes taking part in the inaugural ENP intensive training camp are:

Event Event Country Class Gender
Hao CHANG Men's Windsurfer Chinese Taipei RS:X Male
Petr KUCERA Men's Windsurfer Czech Republic RS:X Male
Joshua CHOO Men's Windsurfer Singapore RS:X Male
Gabriel MORAN Men's One Person Dinghy Ecuador Laser Male
Alexandr DENISIUC Men's One Person Dinghy Moldova Laser Male
Peter HENRY Men's One Person Dinghy Cook Islands Laser Male
Anna AILE Women's One Person Dinghy Latvia Laser Radial Female
Natalia MONTEMAYOR Women's One Person Dinghy Mexico Laser Radial Female
Christiana OKWARA Women's One Person Dinghy Nigeria Laser Radial Female
Helema WILLIAMS Women's One Person Dinghy Cook Islands Laser Radial Female

Over the course of the seven ENP intensive training camps, up to 40 athletes from as many nations (not represented in any sailing discipline at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games), will be invited to Perth to improve their chances of earning a place in the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships through their involvement with the ENP.

The Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships Emerging Nations Programme is proudly supported by the Australian Federal Government and the Western Australian State Government.

Click here for further information on the Emerging Nations Programme.

Find out more about the ISAF Sailing World Championships at www.sailing.org/isafworlds.

Andrew Bousfield
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