Gold medal for team racers at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival 21/1/07

Great Britain’s youth sailing team topped the podium at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival after decisively winning a gold medal in the sailing event.

Sailors Kate Macgregor from Poole and Imogen Stanley from Oxford along with team-mates Tim Saxton from Baldock and Thame’s Claire Lasko, Ben Saxton from Baldock and Poole’s Matthew Rainback had five days training at the venue, the same used for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, before the three-day sailing competition started on the 18 January.

The British sailors started the event on a strong footing, finishing day one tied for first place. Day two brought strong winds and several broken boats with Great Britain falling out of the top slot and into second place.

GBR Coach Chris Kameen summed up the second day of racing, giving credit to the teams that Great Britain squared up against. “How often do we see football teams play fantastic football throughout a game, dominate the attack and midfield but through dogged and determined defence by the opposition and a breakaway goal lose the match. This was the story for the GBR sailing team on the second day of competition.”

The final day of racing proved to be Great Britain’s finest and with a best of five format the Brits only took four races to out-sail Western Australia, enough to secure first place.

“We didn’t think we would win it, but we didn’t give up.” Claire Lasko from Thame explained. “We kept saying to ourselves it?s not over ’til it’s over.”