Tasmanian sailors line up for Kiel Woche 2018

Olympic aspirants, Tasmanian high-performance female sailors, Jasmin Galbraith and Chloe Fisher, begin their European campaign in the 49erFX skiff Olympic class in Germany this week.

Joining them at the huge Keiler Woche (Kiel Week) regatta is another young Tasmanian with Olympic aspirations, Jock Calvert, this week ranked as 29th in the world in the single-handed Finn class.

Galbraith from Hobart, and Fisher from Launceston, are the only women’s 49erFX skiff sailors in Tasmania, sailing out of Sandy Bay Sailing Club.

The three Tasmanians are due to start competition at Kiel Week overnight, the women in the exciting women’s 49erFX Olympic skiff, Calvert in the demanding Olympic single-handed Finn class.

After putting in many hours of hard work at home, training at the gym and sailing on the Derwent most days of the week this year, the young women say they are “very excited to be able to put their efforts into practice in the European circuit.”

Their ultimate goal is to represent Australia one day at the Olympic Games, as is the aim Calvert, an off-the-beach member of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

The major focus for Galbraith’s and Fisher, and Calvert’s European campaign will be representing Australia at the World Sailing Championships held in Aarhus, Denmark in July and August.

The women earned a place to complete at this championship event based on their performance and after being allocated one of the limited entry places assigned to Australia.

The World Sailing Championships will count towards qualification for the Olympics, and it will host all 10 Olympic sailing classes with 1,500 competitors from 100 nations and an estimated 400,000 visitors.

Competing in Kiel Week this week in Germany (16 to 24 June) is an exciting opportunity for these young sailors to hone their skills and complete at the highest level at the largest sailing event in the world that typically attracts competitors from 70 nations and up to three million visitors.

Following Kiel Week, Galbraith and Fisher will then head off to Gdynia in Poland to train and compete at the European Championships from 8 to 13 July.

Galbraith and Fisher came together as a youth sailing team in 2015 when they started sailing the fast moving 29er Skiff, where they found great success. Last year, they transitioned into the exciting Women’s Olympic 49erFX Skiff.

The two sailors have both sailed competitively since they were eight years of age and currently train with the Tasmanian Institute of Sport and Australian Sailing, as members of the 49erFX Class Training Squad.

In late 2017, Galbraith and Fisher were the first Tasmanian sailors in over 30 years to podium in a World Youth Sailing Championship. They achieved this as part of the Australian Youth Sailing Team, winning a Bronze Medal in the 29er Skiff class in Sanya, China.

Earlier this year, they won the Tasmanian and Victorian 49erFX State Championships, and came fourth at the Oceanbridge Regatta in New Zealand.

Adding to their achievements, in 2016 they were the Tasmanian Female Sailors of the Year and were recently one of three Finalists in the Tasmanian Young Achievers Awards (Sporting Category) in April 2018.

Jock Calvert, will also be competing on the European summer sailing circuit, starting with the Finn class at Kiel Week, followed by the World Sailing Championships. His hard work is paying off and he has just placed at 29th on the World Sailing world rankings.

Calvert has graduated through Sabots, Lasers and sailboards (including representing Australia at the World Youth Sailing Championships several times) before moving in the Olympic Finn class.

Words:  Liza Fallon/Peter Campbell

Photos:  Australian Sailing/International Finn class

18 June 2018

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