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Vaikobi 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Australian Women Match Racer Katie Spithill ready for Rolex

by Sail-World News Editor on 19 Nov 2000
Katie Spithill Media Pro
An interview with Katie Spithill, the 18 year old daughter of
Pittwater sailing stalwart Arthur Spithill, sister of World top 10
ranked Match racer James Spithill, as she readies for the upcoming
Worlds.

Katie’s family lived in Elvina Bay on Pittwater when she was younger and
she grew up on the water. She followed her brother James into
windsurfing at 6 years old and then began crewing for him on a Manly
Junior. , then moved to a Flying 11. By age 12 Katie was helming a 420
and continued in that class for 3-4 years. She joined the RPAYC Youth
Development program and worked her way through the ranks.

The St.Petersburg contest will be sailed with club owned Sonar’s. Until
recently Katie told us there was not a Sonar in Australia, however New
South Wales Paralympic aspirant Zoltan Pegan had imported a Sonar and
Katie & her crew were able to train with that boat in prior to the
Paralympics.

The Paralympians sailed the Sonar without a Spinnaker, so for Match
racing the configuration is somewhat different.

Katie told us 'We are enjoying the Sonar, it’s a 23 foot boat and quite
easy to handle, but has no hiking straps, so we can only lean out a
little way, so it is not as physically demanding as some other boats.'

Katie's crew is an experienced one. She learnt to sail with Emma Bullough,
Jenni Whalen joined the crew about two years ago and when Katie and the
other two girls won the Grade 1 Match Racing Regatta in Pittwater back
in early September Sarah Robert-Thompson joined the team. The girls had
not sailed before with Sarah, who was a Gold Medallist at the 420 Youth
Worlds but the team is melding nicely.

Katie is very pleased that Dane Sharp the Olympic coach has been working
with the team since the Olympics and is travelling to the States with
them for the Worlds.

On the October 10th ISAF Women’s World Match racing ranking, Katie is
currently listed 24th in the world, however she has only competed in 6
out of the 8 events so far this year.

Katie modestly told us this week, she is ranked below her real standing,
because she’s not competed in all the events. However she is looking
forward to discovering what her World ranking really is at the upcoming
World Championships.

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