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Wednesday June 7, 2017

SPORT

Setting the sails for the world cup

Sports talk

with Jacob Page

By Julia Czerwonatis

In a small Optimist, a single handed sailing boat, Ryan Tait and Daniel Winsley learned to read wind and surf, and how to set their sails. Now, four years later, the boys from Crofton Downs and Paremata are piloting towards the 2017 World Sailing Championships in Australia. The sailors said they were looking forward to representing their country in December this year. “I really love the sport – being out there with heaps of other people is just awesome,” Ryan said. “It’s such a great experience when you master the heavy wind and sail really fast.” Ryan and Daniel used to compete against each other while sailing with the Optimist, in the P class, and the Starling, which are all single handed. For the world cup the former “rivals” become partners, steering a 420, a double handed boat, through the open waters together. Daniel said it was their first competition outside of New Zealand. “We started to count the days.” Selection for this year’s world competition was based on the results of the 2017 National Competition held at Evans Bay Boating Club in March. Daniel who is the skipper sits at the back steering their 420 while crew man Ryan hangs on the trapeze wire to balance the boat. “It can be physically challenging at times. There are days when we sit

Ryan, 15, and Daniel, 17, are training hard for the World Sailing Championships in Australia this year. PHOTO: Supplied

outside in the bitter cold, and you ask yourself why you are doing this. But you have a good training session and you know it’s worth it,” Ryan said. Ryan and Daniel went for a high-performance training clinic in Auckland last weekend, provided by Yachting New Zealand to sailors selected to represent New Zealand in the world competitions. The boys are also being coached by renowned Kiwi sailor Phil Williams, director of the TRIYA Sailing Academy. Parents Irena Winsley, secretary at the Paremata Boating Club, and Greg Tait, who first started to train Ryan and Daniel at the boat club, are proud of their children. “We all have put a lot of effort into their sailing and it’s really rewarding

to see how far they have come,” Greg said. “It was great to watch them grow out of that little plastic boat they started sailing in, and now have them going to the world cup,” Irena added. “The 420 offers great development for sailors in the two-person disciplines – most of the World’s top sailors sailed in this class and easily moved on to succeed in other classes, and enjoy Olympic and big boat careers.” As both Daniel and Ryan are still at school, they can’t take any regular jobs due to school and training commitments. Therefore they are planning a number of fundraising initiatives to cover some training costs, travel, accommodation and boat transport.  For more information go on sites. google.com/view/danielryan.

Oracle’s Jimmy Spithill is what sport contests need. The chirpy Aussie is not wasting any opportunities to stick it to Team New Zealand either on the water or at the press conferences at the America’s Cup in Bermuda. Jimmy has won both races against Team New Zealand and has lambasted them publicly for their tactical errors and even made claims he has an inside source in the Kiwi camp. It’s entertaining and it gives the America’s Cup some colour to go with the spectacular visuals of the racing between these machines competing at more than 75kph. Spithill’s gum flapping is reminiscent of a heavyweight boxer talking trash for that intangible mental advantage. Having said that, he who laughs last laughs best and with Oracle and Team New Zealand clearly the best two teams, it’s likely they will face each other many times yet over the next month. Spithill’s cocky chat is typically Australian and it gets a kiwi back up promptly. It’s smart tactics from cup holders. Also though, the banter proves that Team New Zealand are a threat on the water. Peter Burling is learning on the job and, unlike former helmsman Dean Barker, is a proven winner and will get better over time. However, Spithill’s talk give us the protagonist versus antagonist match up that goes so well together in sport. In these modern times of respect and political correctness, it’s a refreshing approach and a throwback to decades ago.

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Independent Herald 07-06-17  

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Independent Herald 07-06-17