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Plotting a course for success: Australian Sailing ‘Futures’ team works toward the 2028 and 2032 Olympics

Published Mon 17 Jun 2024

The future of Australian Sailing’s Olympic talent reconnected for an all-classes camp at the Gold Coast Performance centre from the 7th – 9th May. The purpose of the camp was to work collectively around what it will take to win gold and win it well.

Ash Brunning, the lead of the Futures program commented "The camp was about embedding the guiding campaign principles that have fuelled our combined pursuit of excellence. We seek to empower our Sailing athletes, coaches and support staff with knowledge, tools and campaign skills to win Olympic gold for Australia in 2032 and beyond”.

The camp was hosted under the themes of truth, teamwork, diligent processes and deliberate actions, it brought together 19 talented athletes, across six classes, for a transformative experience.

Over the course of the camp, athletes honed their campaign skills, delved into the nuances of strategy and tactics and considered what they could optimise together with their performance support teams. Ash Wolff, Australian Sailing Team Performance Support Manager said “Athletes experiences of gaining value through performance support were showcased, with a refresh around the national accessible support network, a case study of a recent athlete experience and revisiting vital fundamentals for monitoring training and planning. There was also an update on the key elements of the Mental Performance in Competition program (MPC) to athletes and coaches”.

Athletes also learned about the pursuit of sponsorship and how to go about it effectively from Johnny Rodgers, global sponsorship manager at Zhik. They heard from Australian Sailing’s very own multiple Olympic Champion and Rolex Sailor of the Year Matthew Belcher, on how to embrace world best processes and his approaches to rolling with unexpected issues that may arise on the journey to winning Olympic Gold.

Every aspect of the camp was designed to cultivate the skills and mindset necessary for success in age and stage and later Olympic competition. Affirming the High Performance program’s invaluable one team approach, there were multiple Australian Sailing Team management and performance support staff on-hand to provide direct insights into current campaigns and best practice, while also listening and learning from camp participants.

Ken Lynch, National Performance Pathways Manager was keen to point out, that “having the HP program working together to share key learnings throughout the HP pathway is a vital ingredient in ensuring we maximise our learnings and lever our competitive advantage. Having coaches and staff that span the HP pathway working together with athletes, supports accuracy in their planning and purposeful training, which is a great resource for athletes at this level”.

As the camp closed, athletes and staff departed to their home states with renewed determination, fortified by the bonds forged and the lessons learned. Brooke Wilson, ILCA6 Futures athlete said “The recent ASF camp was a great opportunity for my peers and I to assess where we are at and to refocus on what lies ahead of us, I enjoyed the chance to integrate other athletes, coaches and staff, especially the team building activities”. So armed with a deeper understanding of campaigning, our sailors are poised to plot a course for success on their Olympic journeys ahead.

If you want to find out more about the Australian Sailing Futures team and the wider Performance Pathway, please click here.