Australian Sports Commission to give more support for Aussie Sailing

Australia’s sailing medallists at the National Training Centre following London 2012
Michelle Kearney
The Australian Sports Commission announced Friday their plan to provide more support for the Australian Sailing Team and Middle Harbour Yacht Club, which have successfully produced numerous World and Olympic champions in sailing competitions.

The Australian Sailing Team and Middle Harbour Yacht Club have received a boost with the announcement of support from the Australian Sports Commission to complete stage two development of the National Training Centre.

Australia’s elite sailors have called Middle Harbour Yacht Club home since the opening of the National Training Centre in September 2011. Having played an important role in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic Games, it is fitting that the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) program based at the National Training Centre has received Olympic Training Centre status from the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).

Middle Harbour Yacht Club and the local sailing community continue to benefit from the improved facilities. Since the opening, the Access Class World Championships for disabled sailors has been conducted from the Middle Harbour Yacht Club, and the junior sailing program has grown, expecting around 350 future sailing champions to become members in the coming year.

Australian Sailing Performance Director Peter Conde said that the continued development of the National Training Centre is important as the team focuses on the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

'The partnership between Middle Harbour Yacht Club and the Australian Sailing Team has resulted in world-class facilities that have enhanced Middle Harbour Yacht Club as a leading club and has improved the daily training environment of the county’s elite sailors,' said Conde. 'The project would not have been possible without the assistance of the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Institute of Sport and we look forward to moving ahead with stage two.

'We are proud that the AOC has conferred Olympic Training Centre recognition on the program and that Australia’s Olympic emblem will be on display outside the centre,' he said.

'Off the back of the Australian Sailing team’s success in London 2012 the AIS is very pleased to support the development of the National Training Centre at Middle Harbour Yacht Club. It is a great partnership initiative and we look forward to providing Australia’s Olympic and Paralympic sailors the very best facilities to support their development and preparation towards Rio 2016 and beyond', said AIS Director, Matt Favier.

The stage two developments will include extending the rigging and storage deck and adjoining floating pontoon, installing a crane for coach boats and rescue boats, improving access for dinghies between the rigging deck and the beach for launching and retrieving and improving access for cars and trailers between the road and rigging deck.

The new additions will allow disabled sailors, including Australia’s Paralympic sailing program greater use of the facility, as launching and retrieving of disabled sailing boats is impossible without the installation of a crane, and accessing the boats once they are in the water is difficult without an adjoining floating pontoon. The crane will also make it possible for coach and rescue boats to be launched directly from the club, eliminating the need to travel to and from boat ramps around the harbour.

Middle Harbour Yacht Club Commodore John McCuaig said the second stage of the National Training Centre development will allow Middle Harbour Yacht Club to position itself as a leading club.

'We are very proud to be the home of the Australian Sailing Team and are grateful for the support from the Australian Sports Commission,' said McCuaig. 'The improved infrastructure will allow the club to conduct additional regattas, including those for disabled sailing, and expand the club’s junior sail training programs. All our members can benefit from the improved facilities and we look forward to being able to better support the disabled sailing community.

Construction is planned for winter 2013 with the facility set to be ready for the 2013/14 summer Season.

For more information on the Australian Sailing Team visit Australian Sailing Team and follow the team on Twitter at Australian Sailing Team Twitter