Hopes are high for the sailing team to produce several medals in Beijing. Below are short biographies on those athletes selected. Full biographies will appear on olympics.om.au in November.
Elise RECHICHI - 470
Elise RECHICHI and her 470 partner Tessa PARKINSON are genuine medal hopes for Beijing. In 2005 they were named Australian Youth Team of the year at the Australian Sport Awards. Twelve months later Elise contracted a debilitating virus after cutting her foot whilst launching her boat at a test event in China. The young Western Australian lost 20 per cent of her body weight and was sleeping up to 18 hours a day as a result. With courage and perseverance Elise fought back and in 2007 the pair clinched gold at the Olympic Test event in Qingdao, China.
Tessa PARKINSON - 470
Tessa PARKINSON and Elise RECHICHI will be two of the youngest Australian Team members at the sailing venue in Qingdao. Tessa was introduced to the sport by her family and friends as an eight-year-old, sailing Mirror dinghies at Fremantle Sailing Club. Her childhood ambition "to be the best at a sport and to go to the Olympic Games," has inspired the Western Australian to achieve amazing results over her short career. Tessa's career highlights include winning the 2007 Olympic Test event and being named 2005 Australian Youth Team of the year at the Australian Sport Awards.
Nathan WILMOT - 470
Athens Olympian, Nathan WILMOT, made history with sailing partner, Malcolm PAGE, at the 2007 World Championships by securing gold in the 470 class. This was their third 470 World title as a pair. And they are only the third pair ever to win three World Championships in their discipline.
Malcolm PAGE - 470
After winning his third World Championship title in July 2007, Malcolm PAGE and partner Nathan WILMOT are in-form and determined to stand on the podium in Beijing. In Athens, Malcolm believes the pair's greatest hurdle was psychology. "It was our first Olympics and I don't think we appreciated what it was. We also made little errors that compounded and we let it slip away. I think we overcame that, which is why we dominated the 2005 Worlds," he said. Malcolm and Nathan's focus is now on Olympic gold, especially since they've achieved everything else in this class.
Tom SLINGSBY - Laser
2007 World Laser Champion, Tom SLINGSBY, has his eyes set on Beijing gold after his recent taste of victory. The 23 year old from the Central Coast of NSW was introduced to the sport by his family at the age of eight. "My Dad is my biggest support. He's taken me on yachts all my life and helps me in every way," said SLINGSBY, who is currently coached by Arthur BRETT. In 2006, Tom won the ISAF World Sailing Games title, and he rates that win as a career highlight, but Tom's proudest moment was actually winning the 2007 World Title, an Olympic selection event, under difficult racing conditions and media pressure.
Jessica CRISP - RS:X
Jessica CRISP is a seasoned Olympic campaigner. In 1984 as a 14 year old, Jessica competed at the Los Angeles Games in the windsurfing exhibition event. Since then Jessica has represented Australia at the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games in the Mistral windsurfing event, placing fifth and sixth respectively. In 2008, this event has been replaced with the RS:X class of windsurfing. In 2006, Jessica placed seventh at the ISAF RS:X World Championships and she rates this result as a career highlight because "sailing and racing this board is like a whole new sport," she said.
Darren BUNDOCK - Tornado
The name Darren BUNDOCK is synonymous with Australian Sailing. The two-time Olympian is back for number three in Beijing. In Sydney he won silver and in Beijing he wants to go one better. "After 16 years of international competition I still love the sport and competing at the highest level, which is what you need to stay motivated," said Darren. At the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships he placed a notable fourth with sailing partner Glenn ASHBY. Over his illustrious career, Darren has won ten world titles. His most recent world crowns include the 2006 Tornado World Championships in Argentina and 2007 F18 World Championships.
Glenn ASHBY - Tornado
Beijing 2008 is Glenn ASHBY's first Olympic Games and with partner Darren BUNDOCK. They are a dynamite combination. In 2007, they won gold at the F18 World Championship and in Argentina in 2006 they claimed the Tornado class World Championship crown. In 2006, Glenn also won the A Class World Championship. "I like going hard and fast. I've had so many bumps and crashes in my sport I've lost count," said Glenn, who resides in Victoria and is coached by Michael FLETCHER.
Nicky BETHWAITE - Yngling (subject to medical assessment on 8 January 2008)
At 53 years of age, Nicky BETHWAITE will be a senior member of the 2008 Australian Team. Nicky first represented Australia at the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988 in the 470 class. Yngling class was introduced at the 2004 Athens Games which sparked renewed Olympic interest for Nicky. She placed 13th in Athens and in 2008 Nicky is determined to better this result with her team mates Karyn GOJNICH and Angela FARRELL. In late 2007, Nicky suffered a setback to her Olympic campaign after breaking both her arms in a bike riding accident. However, this will not deter her.
Karyn GOJNICH - Yngling (subject to Nicky BETHWAITE satisfying nomination conditions on 8 January 2008)
Mother of two, Karyn GOJNICH is ready for Beijing. In 1988, Karyn was one of the first female sailors to represent Australia at the Olympic Games competing in the 470 class with Nicky BETHWAITE. The Beijing Games will be Karyn's third Olympic Games and she will have familiar company. Nicky BETHWAITE is again Karyn's teammate with Olympic newcomer Angela FARRELL making up the crew.
Angela FARRELL - Yngling (subject to Nicky BETHWAITE satisfying nomination conditions on 8 January 2008)
Sydney youngster, Angela FARRELL, has teamed up with two of the most respected women in Australian Sailing, Nicky BETHWAITE and Karyn Gojnich, for her first Olympic campaign. In Beijing Angela will be competing in the Yngling Class. "Being in command of experienced skippers means stepping up to the challenge in training, racing, and off-water commitment," said Angela. At the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships the team finished a commendable tenth.
Nathan OUTTERIDGE - 49er
Wangi Wangi, NSW
Beijing will be Nathan outteridge's first Olympic Games. He is ready and focused. "I have done so many overseas competitions in which I have learnt so much," said Nathan. His crew for Beijing is Ben Austin and over the past two years this partnership has resulted in some impressive results on the international 49er class circuit. At the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships the pair took home bronze.
Ben AUSTIN - 49er
Ben AUSTIN will be making his Olympic debut in Beijing with crewmate Nathan OUTTERIDGE. In 2007, this pair took home bronze at the ISAF Sailing World Championships, and at the 2008 Games they are determined to make another podium appearance. "The biggest challenge I face in my whole Olympic campaign is to be successful as a sailor, a physiotherapist and a husband," said Ben.
Iain MURRAY - Star
Iain MURRAY is one of the biggest names in sailing. From 1977 to 1982, Iain won a record six consecutive 18ft skiff titles. Iain was project director/design team and helmsman for Kevin PARRY's Kookaburra Syndicate for the 1987 America's Cup defence. The father of three is also an exceptional businessman. He has an engineering/naval architect degree and his business involves designing and building in areas of aged care, marinas, childcare, hotels and boat building. In Beijing Iain will be competing in the Star class with crewmate Andrew PALFREY.
Andrew PALFREY - Star
Andrew PALFREY will be making his Olympic debut with crew-mate, Iain MURRAY. At the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships, this talented pair finished in ninth place. In 1999, Andrew with team mates Cameron MILES and James MAYO just missed selection in the Soling Class for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. However this did not deter the trio; they went on to win the 1999 Etchell's World Championships. "The Etchell sailing was part of our Soling training," Andrew said.
Anthony NOSSITER - Finn
Beijing 2008 will be Anthony NOSSITER's third Olympic Games. At the 2004 Athens Games the certified practicing accountant from Sydney placed an impressive sixth in the Finn Class and at the Sydney 2000 Games he finished 13th. Anthony is on track for another successful Olympic campaign. Recently he clinched tenth place at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships.