Four cadet sailors from the South Australian country town of Port Lincoln are readily preparing for the upcoming International Cadet World Championship, which will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in late December.
The two teams, which includes Alyssa and Mitchell Kelsey in Tacktical and Sam Paynter and Gil Casanova in Full Speed Ahead, have left for Argentina and will look to continue the great success Australia has shown at international level in recent years.
The regatta, which begins in late December, will be held 18 months after the last International Cadet Worlds in Lake Garda, Italy, where another Port Lincoln team of Marty Hood and Jack O’Donnell exceeded expectations to finish ninth in the world.
Marty and Jack qualified as the seventh Australian but trained hard on their home waters of Boston Bay to finish as the fourth Australian in the regatta, which was won by Tasmanians Sam Abel and Hugo Allison.
A few years earlier, Ash Dyer and Georgina Hughes became the first Port Lincoln cadet team to represent the club at a world championship.
A relatively new club to cadet sailing — compared to others around Australia — Port Lincoln has developed a strong love for the double-handed class, which provides junior skippers coming out of Optimists the opportunity to crew or skipper, and sail with a mate.
The first Port Lincoln sailors to join the cadet fleet were Luke Stephens and Rosie Whitehead back in 2004, ahead of the International Cadet nationals and worlds that were hosted by the Adelaide Sailing Club at the end of that year.
The club has promoted the class heavily to its juniors since, reaping the rewards over the years with world championship representation and strong participation at club level.
There is no doubt that the success so far of the two boats heading to Argentina this year will encourage even more young sailors on South Australia’s west coast to jump in a cadet and foster an even greater love for the sport.