The young sailors contesting next week's ISAF Grade 2 Warren Jones Youth Regatta will have a unique and privileged opportunity to learn about match racing from some of the best and most experienced America's Cup sailors in the world.
In a training seminar held this weekend, prior to the start of the regatta on Monday, legendary names like Peter GILMOUR
(AUS) and James SPITHILL
(AUS) will coach the competitors both ashore and afloat.
GILMOUR, these days an elder statesman of the sailing world, commented about the seminar, "I think the important thing for these kids that are starting off at the beginning of a career in match racing, is to hear different perspectives from all sorts of different sailors that have done something different in the sport.
"You've got bowmen, you've got young helmsmen like James, and old ones line me, I think the enormous opportunity is for them to take away from it a few key critical points that could make a big difference in their sailing career."
GILMOUR worked closely with SPITHILL when they were part of the One World America's Cup challenge in Auckland for the 2002-03 series, and the young helmsman went on to steer the Italian challenger Luna Rosa at the most recent Cup in Valencia.
Talking about working with SPITHILL, GILMOUR's assessment was, "I said it at the time, and I still say it now, the thing that is critical to these young kids is that he's mature beyond his years. He displayed this very early on in his career, and I think that has been his greatest skill."
SPITHILL, originally from Sydney, is now with the BMW ORACLE Racing team, and has flown in to Perth from Valencia specially for this seminar, and he will be working with one of his core team from past campaigns, Perth resident Andy FEATHERS.
Another mature and highly experience member of the coaching panel is Allan SMITH
, who has sailed in every America's Cup since 1987, when he was with the New Zealand Challenge in Fremantle.
The Warren Jones Youth Regatta is organized by the Western Australian Yachting Foundation, and hosted this year by Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, with the seminar held over the weekend, and racing on the Swan River from Monday through Thursday.
Warren Jones Youth Regatta - www.wayachting.com.au/warrenjones.asp