From the waters of Corio Bay to the English seas off Plymouth, six young Geelong sailors are about to take on fellow young sailors from around the globe in the 2024 Cadet World Championships.
The three two-person teams ranging in age from nine to 16, all members of the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, scooped the pool at the recent National Cadet Championships which were held in Hobart in December, picking up the first, third and fourth place honours.
15-year-old skipper Josh Garner from Leopold teamed up with 13-year-old Jack Benyan from Torquay to take out the prestigious national title.
While 16-year-old skipper Cate McCoy from Clifton Springs partnered with nine-year-old Jack O’Brien from Geelong to capture the third placing and 15-year-old skipper Will Farnell and nine-year-old Louis Davis, both from Geelong took out fourth place.
“It was really fun winning the nationals and we’re all pretty excited about going to England for the worlds,” said Josh. “We know it will be really tough competition, but it will be great!”
RGYC Club Captain Brendan Garner said there would be ten teams – including the three Geelong teams – making up the Australian contingent heading overseas to compete in July.
“Geelong has always had a really strong cadet sailing program and these national wins and now competing in the world championships is really huge for these kids,” he said.
“It really rallies everyone at the club and the life experience of heading overseas and competing against the world’s best will be fabulous for the youngsters.”
Hot favourites for the 2024 title are the incumbent champions from Argentina, with strong competition expected from teams from Poland and the Ukraine.
“We’ll be training really hard between now and July and there will be two Australian team training camps which our guys will be involved in,” said Brendan Garner. “We will certainly be putting in the hard yards to make sure our kids are as prepared as they can be!”