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Olympic Webinar Series - Bringing our Olympic Sailors into your homes

by Australian Sailing Team 19 Oct 23:41 BST
Olympic Webinar Series - Bringing our Olympic Sailors into your homes © Australian Sailing Team

Over the past six weeks the heroes of Australia's recent Olympic campaign have been engaging with the sailing community through Australian Sailing's Olympic Webinar Series.

The series gave the sailing community direct access to some of the Australian Olympic Sailing Team, including our Tokyo Gold medalists, their respective coaches as well as insights into the behind-the-scenes of Race Management at the Games.

The series kicked off with the mastermind coach behind Australia's three consecutive Olympic Gold Medals in the Laser class, Michael Blackburn. Blackburn shared plenty of behind-the-scenes insights about his experience coaching Tom Slingsby, Tom Burton and, most recently, Matt Wearn to will Olympic Gold medals. When asked what he thinks separates the best laser sailors, Blackburn responded "It's an additive effect of the little things such as accuracy of steering which contribute to the top Laser sailors maintaining 100% speed capacity for longer."

Australia's Men's 470 Team of Mat Belcher and Will Ryan had plenty to share about their experience claiming Gold at the Tokyo Games. Coached by the legendary Victor Kovalenko, the Rio 2016 silver medalists were more determined than ever to finish on the top of the podium in Tokyo.

Laser Gold Medalist, Matt Wearn shared some insights about his turbulent experience in Tokyo. After a rough start to the regatta, Matt impressively managed to assure the Gold in the final fleet race prior to the medal race. "Standing on the podium with the gold medal was an incredible feeling. 12 years of hard work and sacrifice as well as the delayed Olympics was all worthwhile"

Mara Stransky is only 20 years of age and made her Olympic debut in Tokyo. Dialing in from Bulgaria, she spoke about her experience at the Tokyo Games as well as her plans to re-campaign for the Paris 2024 games. She also had some fantastic advice for up-and-coming sailors, "When you have nothing to lose it's easy to look forward. As soon as you look backwards, it's no good"

The spectator-free nature of the Tokyo Olympic Games meant that fans were forced to tune in from their homes. The sailing community was glued to their TVs and were anxiously watching the online trackers throughout the regatta which provided a welcome distraction from the abnormal circumstances that the world was facing.

The final Olympic Webinar introduced the four Australians who were involved in Race Management at the Games. Andre Blasse and Barry Johnson were Measurers, Hugh Leicester was a Race Officer and Rosemary Collins was on the Jury. They provided a different angle to the experience of the Olympic Games and the sailing community enjoyed hearing about some of the behind-the-scenes decision making that was made during the regatta.

Whilst the current restrictions have meant that many sailors are missing their Twilight sailing, the Olympic Webinar Series was a fantastic way to provide some sailing-related connection across the winter weeks.

All webinars were recorded and can be accessed via the below links:

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