Nacra Australian Championships come to Noosa
ASPIRING youth world championship skipper Jai Tooley will be on the water at Noosa from Saturday, competing in the Nacra Australian Championships.
The titles will be conducted by Lake Cootharaba Sailing Club with club race official Sue Germain stepping up to the national race officer role.
Up to 75 entries from WA, NSW, South Australia and Queensland are expected to be zipping around the lake in the six-day regatta.
Tooley is travelling from Cairns Yacht Club as he looks for any opportunity to race in a large fleet ahead of the Nacra 15 Australian Youth World Championship selection trials at Lake Macquarie, NSW, at Easter.
"This is my first proper Nacra nationals,” the 16-year-old said.
"It will be good to race against a big fleet as in Cairns, there aren't many other boats to race against.
"It's going to be five days of racing, so we are going to learn heaps.”
He will be racing a Nacra F18 at Lake Cootharaba as he hasn't yet got his hands on a Nacra 15, which only recently was selected by World Sailing as the multihull class for the Youth World Championships.
Queensland's Nacra class secretary Kerry Noyes said the containers of new Nacra 15s had been delayed into Australia.
"They are the new youth boat and the container doesn't get here until the 8th (January) and we finish racing on the 5th, which is very unfortunate,” Noyes said.
Tooley will be racing with his mentor and 2013 Nacra F18 world champion Jamie Leitner, as his regular crewy Jai Miller are not heavy enough to race the F18 at a national championship.
He said he would be looking to talk with and learn from the more experienced sailors in the F18 fleet.
The youth sailor has already been talent-identified by Yachting Queensland.
He has shown exceptional skill development in the four years he has been sailing and in September was named the Queensland Youth Sailor of the Year 2016 and selected in the Queensland Sailing Team.
The other Nacra classes contesting the national championship are 5.8, 4.5, 430 and 350s.
Noyes said visitors would have plenty to see from the parks at Boreen Point and the racing would start each day of the weekend about noon.