Photography by Australian Sailing
Australian Sailing has opened their Gold Coast Training Centre, in partnership with Southport Yacht Club at Hollywell.
This is the first time the Australian Sailing Team has established a facility outside the National Training Centre in Sydney.
This will be the base for the Australian 470 Men’s and Women’s squads for training and national camps, providing on-site boat storage and allows access to the gym and physical therapy activities at the nearby Runaway Bay Sports Super Centre.
Australian Sailing Performance Director, Peter Conde said the new centre was an important initiative for the Australian Sailing Team.
“We’re extremely excited about what this represents for us and the impact it can have. Not only in bringing Olympic success in the 470 Men for Australia, but also in the huge potential that we’ve got in this great young squad of talented women sailors.
“We’re super-focused on making sure that our 470 Women can also bring success in Tokyo.”
Peter acknowledged the contribution of Mathew Belcher in getting the Centre opened, “Mat’s put in a huge amount of work with the support of the local community and from our partners at the Australian Institute of Sport, Queensland Academy of Sport and Southport Yacht Club, and we thank them all.
Members of the Australian Sailing Team’s 470 Men’s and Women’s Squads were on hand, ahead of their camp.
Dual Olympic medallist Mathew Belcher said the Centre will assist the crews to hone their preparations, “For the 470s, we’ve had a lot of success in the past and we’ve got a great opportunity now with amazing talent. This facility is for them to enjoy and work together to really continue the 470 legacy.”
Mat also praised the support of the local community and partners, along with Southport Yacht Club who he has enjoyed a long association, “Southport Yacht Club has been there from the beginning for me, I learned to sail at this club and I’ve always been a Gold Coast boy.
“Being able to train at home now means I have a little more time to invest in the Club and their performance program so I’m excited to see the 7 to 13 year olds involved, out training and filled with a passion for sailing.”
The new set-up utilises two 2016 Australian Olympic Sailing Team containers with a steel fabric structure to enable the boats to remain fully rigged inside to maximise the training environment. Stage two of the plan is to add a door to the front of the structure, when additional funding is finalised.
Southport Yacht Club General Manager Brett James is looking forward to having the squad based at the Club saying, “It’s great to be able to support the sailors and have them based here. Seeing the commitment of the Australian Sailing team sailors will be an inspiration to all levels of our sailors, youth through to those a little more mature!”