Tuesday 30th August 2013
A nice report posted on the 470 website from Asenathi Jim :
Monday 29th July 2013:
A BIG DAY for our SA Team and Sibu. News from Roger Hudson:
We’re all set here in La Rochelle for the first races of the Junior (u-21) 470 World Championships today.
We decided to compete for this event just over a year ago at the London 2012 Olympics. With the help of SA Sailing who invested in six 470’s for the overall SA 470 project, in September 2012 we put together a squad of 8 u-21 sailors and started developing 470 racing skills in South Africa. The group of potential crews was narrowed down to 2 sailors in March and they contested a 100 race trail over 19 days in June and early July. Sibu Sizatu was selected and he has now spent 2 weeks in La Rochelle preparing for the event with Asenathi & Roger.
Sibu is about as ready as is possible for a young guy who started sailing just 5 years ago and started sailing a 470 less than 12 months ago. But his hard work and more than 100 hard training sessions combined with plenty of gym time with the team have got him ready to stand tall and face the opposition on the start line today.
Next to Sibu is Asenathi Jim who at 21 years old now has 2 years of full time campaigning experience on the Olympic 470 circuit and has seen his world ranking rise from 213 to 12 over this period. Having experienced Olympic sailing at London 2012, Asenathi is a bit like a young talented flyhalf who has played for the Springboks at the Rugby World Cup and is now representing the Baby (u-21) Boks at the Junior World Cup. He has some solid experience and skill in relation to much of the fleet, but team sailing is all about team work and chemistry and he now takes the senior role in a new combination and this will be a significant challenge, as will be the task of competing against the quality of the sailors in this field.
Jordi Xammar from Spain knows how to win, with 2 Gold Medals at the Youth World Championships to his name. Julian Autenrieth is a rising star of the Germany sailing team and a previous Optimist World Champion. Alexandros Kavvas from Greece, the 420 World Champion in 2012. Gal Cohen, the 17 year old Israeli mean machine finished 12th at the 2013 470 open European Championship. Guillaume Pirouelle from France and Angus Galloway from Australia are both Youth Worlds Medalists, Sacha Pelisson the French former-Optmist (u-15) super star, Mike Wood from GBR with a 470 Junior European Championship medal to his name and the list goes on…
So this is not going to be easy, but we have given 100% to preparing for this event in the time we had available and now we are ready to to get on the race track and give our best as a team. Our first goal is to qualify for the Gold Fleet over the first 2 days of the event.
Our greatest thanks to our supporters who have made this mission possible: SA Sailing, Open Box Software, Synergy Income Fund, Southern Charter Wealth Management and the RaceAhead Foundation and all of its contributors. Thanks also to everyone who has sent good wishes to the team. We really appreciate your support.
Asenathi, Sibu & Roger
“We/re in La Rochelle, France preparing for the upcoming u-21 and Open 470 World Championships. The 10 days have gone well, we’ve got our new Mackay 470 here and she looks great and is running very smoothly so far. Asenathi & Sibu raced the 4 day coaches regatta last week – first bit of major international racing for Sibu. I’ve been mostly in the coach boat, just jumping on for one or two training sessions when we can fit them in. It’s a tricky balance in the lead up to these back to back events (the u-21 & Open 470 Worlds) but we are putting the emphasis on getting Sibu accustomed to this racing environment so he is spending a lot of time in the boat at the moment. The guys got plenty out of the racing over the 4 days, with a best place of 2nd and a final finish of 17th out of 30-odd. There was a lot of progress in all aspects of their game. We now have a just under a week to go until the Junior (under-21) Worlds and then just 2 days between the Juniors and the Open 470 Worlds. So it is heads down and training flat out over the coming days as we make final preparations.
(RaceAhead is now tweeting! Hope you will follow our updates and results on Twitter at: @RaceAhead)
All the best
Roger & Asenathi
South African world champion sailors, Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson may have come from very different backgrounds but their passion when it comes to sailing is exactly the same – they live to be powering through the ocean with the wind blowing through their hair.
Join Jeannie D as she meets up with Asenathi and Roger in Simon’s Town to find out more about this fascinating sport!