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Olympic duo inspires next generation of Lake Mac sailors

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Youngsters at Speers Point Amateur Sailing Club had a morning to remember with two of Australia’s most renowned sailors “dropping in” at the weekend.

Ahead of the upcoming KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix taking place on the iconic Sydney Harbour this month, Olympic silver medallists and Australia SailGP representatives Jason Waterhouse and Nina Curtis caught local members and the community off-guard with their visit on Saturday 4 February.

The pair, aiming to inspire the next generation of sailors – boys and girls, also conducted a training session with the club’s youth sailors, hosted a Q&A and even challenged the young guns in a sprint race, providing quite the spectacle for the large crowd.

Jason Waterhouse and Nina Curtis with the SailGP Championship trophy. Photo: Salty Dingo

Those in attendance were also surprised by the 2.5kg sterling silver and 24-carat gold plated SailGP Championship trophy, created by Thomas Lyte, known for crafting the Webb Ellis Rugby World Cup.

“The support we have received as a team since SailGP launched has been incredible,” Waterhouse said.

“Last year’s race in Sydney, where we came out on top is one of the greatest memories I have.

“It’s important for us to repay this support and, hopefully, showcase the beauty of the competition.”

Photo: Salty Dingo

SailGP’s Inspire global community and education outreach initiative aims to build a sustainable sport and play a leading role in diversifying sailing.

Its goal is to provide equal, life-changing opportunities for young sailors and new career pathways for all without gender, race or socioeconomic background presenting a barrier to entry.

With gender-equity at its heart, Inspire’s Women’s Pathway Program (WPP) ensures the best athletes have equal opportunity to compete on the F50s. 

Photo: Salty Dingo

Curtis joined the Australia SailGP Team in season two as strategist, progressing through the WPP onto the Flying Roo.

The two-time Australian Female Sailor of the Year made history as the first women to win a SailGP event, in Cadiz in 2021, before helping the Aussies clinch the 2022 championship by winning the grand final in San Francisco.

“It was a great experience meeting the young sailors today,” Curtis said.

“No doubt some of them will be jostling for our spots in a few years’ time.

“Clubs like Speers Point are the lifeblood of our sport.

“So, it’s important that we do what we can to both support them with days like today, but also demonstrate how a bit of talent, hard work and belief can lead to incredible experiences as a sailor.”

Photo: Salty Dingo

Defending champion Australia, currently sitting atop the leaderboard, will compete against Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland and the United States at the upcoming Australia event, promising high speed, high-tech and high-drama adrenaline-fuelled racing.

Driver Tom Slingsby’s Australia Team will aim to extend its lead at the top of the table on its way to a potential third straight championship victory.

Tickets for fan experiences at the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney are on sale and selling fast.

For complete event details and to secure your tickets, visit SailGP.com/Sydney.

Photo: Salty Dingo

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