Please select your home edition
Edition
Craftinsure 2012

World Champions' big sacrifice for Olympic ambition

by David Sygall on 10 Sep 10 September 2017
Gold for Australia's Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot on day 4 of the Aon Youth Worlds in Auckland © Pedro Martinez / Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Australia's reigning Youth World Champions in the 29er class, Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot, have announced they will forfeit their title defence to concentrate exclusively on pursuing a coveted place on the Australian Sailing Team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Bryant and Wilmot said they had "mixed emotions" about withdrawing from the 2017 Youth Sailing World Championship in Sanya, China in December. However, qualifying for the next Olympic campaign sailing 49erFX skiffs demanded their singular focus.

"We aspired to compete again to attempt to defend our youth title in Sanya, but it's become clear to us that our ultimate goal to represent Australia in Tokyo requires our total time and dedication," the pair told Australian Sailing.

"For the last three years we've aimed high and worked incredibly hard to qualify and represent Australia in the Youth Worlds. It was a goal that shaped every decision we made in our lives. Our Gold Medal, memories and friendships that were created will stay with us for a lifetime."

The Sydney duo's commitment to strive for Olympic representation was applauded by Australian Sailing Performance Director Peter Conde.

"It's no small decision to forgo a Youth World Championship and step into something of the unknown," said Conde, the architect of Australia's sailing success at the past three Olympics.

"But Tash and Annie have indicated that they are willing to put in the very hard work required to reach their goal. I look forward to watching their progress."

Bryant and Wilmot proved the world's best junior 29er sailors when they captured the World Championship in New Zealand last year with a race in hand.

Their departure from the junior ranks opens a place for Tasmanian pair Jasmin Galbraith and Chloe Fisher, who finished second to Bryant and Wilmot at the 2017 Australian Youth Championships. It also leads to mentoring changes, with Richard Scarr joining the Australian Youth Sailing Team as coach and Belinda Stowell-Brett as Team Leader.

"We are grateful for Australian Sailing's understanding in this matter and would like to thank our parents, sponsors, supporters, friends, coaches, trainers and everyone else who has helped us along the way," Bryant and Wilmot said.

"We look forward to sharing our greater challenge ahead with you all."

Related Articles

Sail Melbourne and Sail Sydney key
To 49er and 49er FX plans High-flying 49er team David Gilmour and Joel Turner will use Australia's premier dinghy boat regattas, Sail Sydney and Sail Melbourne, to push the limits of their fledgling partnership after a year of somewhat unexpected success. Posted on 23 Nov
29er class during the Ovington Inlands
44 boats race at Grafham Water On 18th & 19th November 44 boats competed at the 29er Ovington Inland Championships hosted by Grafham Water Sailing Club. Posted on 22 Nov
Sail Sydney presents brothers new challenges
New classes for Jack and Ryan Littlechild Glamour sailing comes to Sydney Harbour next month when some of the best Olympic and Invited Class sailors in the southern hemisphere get off the mark in the next edition of Sail Sydney. Posted on 19 Nov
UK Sport Chair visits British Sailing Team
Dame Katherine Grainger tries sailing at Weymouth Britain's most decorated female Olympic athlete Dame Katherine Grainger visited the British Sailing Team in the home training base of Weymouth and Portland in her role as Chair of UK Sport during this week's Podium squad camp. Posted on 14 Nov
'The Bay' to offer up a range of conditions
At the 2018 Australian Yachting Championships Sandringham Yacht Club stalwart Daniel Edwards is urging sailors from around the country to be part of the 2018 Australian Yachting Championships and experience what he believes is an under-utilised wonderland on Melbourne's doorstep. Posted on 11 Nov
RYA North East Youth Championships
29er class report from Yorkshire Dales On the 4th and 5th of November, the RYA North East Youths were held at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club. We were greeted on the Saturday morning by about 10 knots gusting up to 17 knots, but with bitterly cold winds. Posted on 8 Nov
RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking series
2017 series finishes with a bang in Weymouth The final weekend of racing at the 2017 RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series saw Weymouth and Portland put on a show with sunny and blustery conditions challenging competitors (4-5 November). Posted on 7 Nov
RYA North East Youth Championships overall
A fantastic celebration of youth sailing The RYA NE Youth Championships delivered all that was expected of it and more, with sunshine, a fantastic wind, an ace race management team and, most important of all, over 50 Youth sailors showing the highest levels of sailing skills. Posted on 6 Nov
Zhik to partner with Sail Melbourne
As Official Apparel Partner and Event Supplier Australia's technical sailing apparel producer Zhik has come on board as Official Apparel Partner and Event Supplier of the 2017 Sail Melbourne International regatta (29 November - 3 December 2017). Posted on 3 Nov
Australian Sailing Awards
Showing diverse Strengths America's Cup-winning skipper Glenn Ashby and rising stars Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot were named the nation's top sailors for 2017 at the Australian Sailing Awards in Sydney on Friday night. Posted on 3 Nov