Coffs Seas Ideal Training Base For Australian Olympic Sailing Team

Australian 470 sailing team members Monique de Vries, Nia Jerwood, Will Ryan and Mat Belcher at the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club after a training session. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing

 

MEMBERS of Australia’s Olympic sailing team have been hitting the seas at Coffs Harbour and the reason why such elite athletes have been training here is obvious.

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“The conditions here in Coffs Harbour are very close to what they’re like in Tokyo,” the team’s head coach Victor Kovalenko explained.

“Big waves and when we’ll have a race at Enoshima (the Olympic sailing venue) we’ll have big waves and good winds. Exactly what we have here.

“The currents against the wind, all of these elements are a big replica of Tokyo and that’s why we’re here.”

The Coffs Harbour Yacht Club and International Marina have been the base for Australia’s best and last week members of the 470 class in world champion Mat Belcher, Will Ryan, Monique de Vries and Nia Jerwood were sailing here.

Return visits are on the cards in the lead-up to next year’s Games including another week of training beginning on Monday.

Kovalenko is confident his Australian team can collect at least a couple of gold medals in Tokyo.

If the team does so, he said the Yacht Club is in for a big night.

“Our tradition, what will happen if we have Olympic gold medals, we will not forget Coffs Harbour,” he said.

“We will come back to the club, we’ll have a dinner with members and we’ll say ‘Guys, these are your medals, you contributed to this. Thank you for your hospitality, thank you for your big hearts, these are your medals, touch them’.”

 

By Brad GREENSHIELDS

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