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1 August 2006, 10:06 am
Olympic Hopefuls To Sail In Sydney
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Australian Youth Olympic Festival 2006
Sydney, Australia

For the first time since the inception of the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) five years ago, competitors in the sport of sailing are being offered the opportunity to experience the Olympic atmosphere. The AYOF is a legacy of the Sydney Olympic Games and prepares the athletes for the pressures of an Olympic Games. Competitors will live in an Olympic Village atmosphere, they undergo drug testing and attend the Opening Ceremony and Medal Ceremonies.
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28 athletes from the 2001 and 2003 Festivals were selected for Athens 2004 Olympic Games. They won eight medals and if they were a country, they would have finished 26th on the medal tally.

72 sailors from all Australian states and five international teams will compete in a team racing event. It is planned that the area racing will take place will be in close proximity to the iconic Sydney landmarks of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. These landmarks will provide a memorable backdrop for the sailors who will take part in this event.

Sailors who competed in the Australian Team Racing Championship will be vying for team positions as the Australian representatives from each state.

Youth Worlds Medallists In Attendance

Competitors in the recent Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships 2006, silver medallists in the Boys' 420 division Sam KIVELL and Max TAYLOR will be representing Victoria and gold medal winners in the Girls' 420 division, Belinda KERL and Chelsea HALL, will represent Western Australia.

Teams from Great Britain, New Zealand, USA, France and Canada will join the Australian competitors for three days of intense racing with the final day having the top teams fight it out for the medals on offer. Team racing utilises an S shaped course with each match made up of six boats. Each race is approximately ten to 15 minutes in time and then the next six teams hit the start line.

Competitors will be using the two person Pacer dinghy and the teams swap boats each time they race thereby enabling fair competition.

'This is a fantastic opportunity for Australia's up and coming sailors to compete on the world stage against world class competition. They may be racing against, or even be our future Olympians. This festival and environment will give them a chance to experience the spirit and successes first hand,' commented Glen STANAWAY from Yachting Australia.

For more information contact Competition Director Sam CRICHTON at

Sam CRICHTON (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Youth Worlds gold medallists Belinda KERL and Chelsea HALL will be in Sydney for the Olympic Festival:© onEdition
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