Words of wisdom for young sailors

Olympic gold medallists Jenny Armstrong and Sir Russell Coutts, with members of the Ravensbourne...
Olympic gold medallists Jenny Armstrong and Sir Russell Coutts, with members of the Ravensbourne Boating Club at the Ravensbourne Hall on Saturday. Photo: Gregor Richardson.
Ravensbourne Boating Club was in the presence of greatness on Saturday as two Olympic gold medallists spent time with its members.

Sir Russell Coutts, who won the America’s Cup fives time and gold at the 1984 Olympics, spoke to members of the club during a prize-giving event at the Ravensbourne Hall on Saturday.

They were also joined by former Otago Girls High School pupil Jenny Armstrong, who won gold at the 2000 Olympics representing Australia.

The recent success on the water at the Olympics, with New Zealand winning four medals for sailing, had put the sport back into focus.

"It’s an exciting time for New Zealand sailing," Sir Russell  said.

While the results were great for the country, he told the young sailors results should be unimportant to them at present.

"Don’t worry about your results at this stage," he said.

"It’s all about learning. It’s all about fun.

"It’s very hard because many don’t show their true skills until later on.

"Focus on enjoying yourself and learning as much as you can, don’t worry about results.

"If you truly love it that will come later on."

Ravensbourne Boating Club commodore Warwick Graham said it was quite a coup for the club to be associated with two Olympic gold medallists and he hoped the experience would have an impact on the club’s young sailors.

Sir Russell told the club he would be taking two sailors from the club to a race in Sydney and another two for a race in Auckland in coming months.

timothy.brown@odt.co.nz 

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