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17 January 2007, 10:51 am
Youth Sailors Hit The Water Tomorrow
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Australian Youth Olympic Festival 2007
Sydney, Australia

Youth sailors from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and Great Britain will hit the water on Sydney Harbour tomorrow for the start of the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF), being hosted by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).
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This is the first time sailing has been added to the AYOF competition schedule and judging by the wealth of talent from both Australia and overseas, the competition is set to be tough.

Australia is represented by teams from Queensland (QLD), New South Wales (NSW), Victoria (VIC), Tasmania (TAS), South Australia (SA) and Western Australia (WA).

Preparing For The Youth Worlds

Luke PARKINSON is competing at the AYOF for WA. At the 2007 Australian Youth Championships in Hobart he won the 29er class and has since been selected for the Australian Youth Sailing Team which will compete at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Canada in July.

PARKINSON commented, 'It's great to be able to compete at this festival as it gives me the opportunity to simulate an Olympic Games experience'.

He continued, 'The experience I gain from this event in terms of international competition will no doubt help me at the ISAF Youth Worlds and beyond'.

Other athletes to look out for include identical twins, Ben and Tim SAXTON from Great Britain. Ben has competed at the 2006 British Youth National Championships whilst Tim has competed at three Optimist World Championships and one European Championship.

Ben said, 'We are both really looking forward to the whole experience, some excellent weather and great sailing. Hopefully we will come out on top'.

420 World Champs Line Up

From New Zealand, Carl EVANS and Peter BURLING have been successful in the 420 class winning both the 2006 and 2007 420 World Championships, the 2006 Junior European Championships and were also the 2006 New Zealand Junior Sailors of the Year.

All teams will compete in the two person Pacer dinghy utilizing an S shaped course with each match made up of six boats. Each race is approximately 10-15 minutes in length and then the next six teams hit the start line.

Competition will run tomorrow from approximately 10:00-17:00 in Farm Cove with the best vantage point for spectators being the Royal Botanic Gardens foreshore or Mrs Macquarie's Chair.

The Opening Ceremony will be held tonight at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

Lara Watts (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Youth sailors hit the water on Thursday for Australian Youth Olympic Festival:© Ben Porteous
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