Australia's best up-and-coming sailors will head to Melbourne later this month where they will compete in Sail Melbourne prior to flying to Sanya, China for the 2017 Youth Sailing World Championships from the 9th to the 16th of December.
Sail Melbourne will act as the perfect training ground for the 2017 Australian Sailing Youth Team, allowing the sailors to come together and spend time as a team before departing for China.
Australia Sailing's Performance Pathway Officer, Tristan Brown said "the main goal of our training camp and Sail Melbourne is for the team to gel and to get to know each other whilst fine tuning their skills. It will be valuable time to grow as a team as they need to be ready to have each other's backs should any adversity present whilst away at the Youth Worlds."
Team lead and Olympic Champion Belinda Stowell said she hopes the sailors enjoy the regatta and continue to progress into the Olympic classes where they will get the chance to race and sail more.
She also expressed that Sail Melbourne will be invaluable to the Youth Team's preparations heading into China.
The 2017 Australian Sailing Youth Team features a number of new faces mixed in with those who have represented Australia previously at the 2016 Youth Worlds in Auckland.
Among those experienced athletes is WAIS sailor, Elyse Ainsworth who was a 2014 Australian Youth Olympic Laser Radial sailor and is a current Australian Sailing Squad member.
Speaking of the Youth Team Ainsworth said "it looks like a fantastic group that we have and a great mix of sailors. I've already done one trip to Japan with half the group and I can't wait to meet the others! I am sure that we will be a really close team and help each other along the way."
Sail Melbourne will see the Laser Radial Olympic fleet and the Laser Radial Invited Class race together to which Elyse said "it's an exciting thing leaving the youth fleet and every senior regatta is an opportunity to improve my skills and race against the very best in Australia and in the world. Tokyo is definitely on my radar and every year is a stepping-stone in my personal development and to be as competitive as possible against the open women and large fleets."
At 18-years of age, 2017 will be Ainsworth's final appearance in the Australian Youth Sailing Team.
As the oldest member of the youth team Elyse is looking forward to sharing her experience with the younger newcomers, her main piece of advice to them being to enjoy the moment, relax and try your very best.
The 14-person team also features a number of other Western Australian athletes in Caelin Winchcombe (Boys Laser Radial), Otto Henry (Boys 420) and Shannon and Jayden Dalton (Nacra 15 Open).
The Australian Sailing Youth Team will arrive in Melbourne on the 28th of November for their final 2017 Youth Sailing World Championship preparations.