The Australian Sailing Team has opened an extended deck at the National Training Centre at Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney, which upgrades the Team’s AIS Training Centre in order to integrate Paralympic training.

The Training Centre, which was officially opened on Friday by Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Director Matt Favier, has been designed to provide Australian Sailing with a facility that meets all the demands of high performance Paralympic sailors as they continue their quest for gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The new deck includes a crane, which will be used to lower boats into the water as well as support wheel chair athletes to access their boats. The upgrade of the National Training Centre facility allows Australia’s Olympic and Paralympic sailors to train out of a joint facility for the first time.

The Australian Sailing Team’s Paralympic team qualified all three Paralympic boat classes for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games at the recent 2014 IFDS World Championships in Canada in August. London 2012 Paralympic Gold Medallists Liesl Tesch and Daniel Fitzgibbon won gold in the Skud-18 and Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden bronze in the Sonar, while Tasmanian Matt Bugg finished fifth in the 2.4mR. The team also won the Nation’s Trophy for the best performing Nation across all Paralympic classes.  It was the first year Australia has won the trophy.

Matt Favier said that the new facility would ensure that Australia’s sailors remain at the top of their game for many years to come.

“This state-of-the-art training centre provides Australia’s top Olympic and Paralympic athletes and coaches with fantastic facilities,” Matt Favier said. “Our sailing team has enjoyed great success across Olympic and Paralympic sailing and the available facilities at this Training Centre will only help the team continue this success in the future.”

The National Training Centre provides a home for both Olympic and Paralympic athletes of the Australian Sailing Team.

“It is great to be training out of one facility and to have Olympic and Paralympic sailing on the same water and from the same facility,” said Paralympic gold medallist and 2014 World Champion Liesl Tesch.

“This is another tool in our arsenal as we head towards the Paralympic Games in just under two year’s time,” she said.  “The facility is easily accessible and offers everything you need for high performance sailing.”

“The National Training Centre is also putting the Australian Sailing Team brand out there to the next generation of World and Paralympic champion Australian sailors,” said Tesch.

The facilities at the National Training Centre (NTC), which was originally opened in 2011, include coach offices, an AV debrief room, computer facilities, undercover boat storage, workshop, and athlete and coach change facilities.  The NTC is also home to Australian Institute of Sport’s Performance Analyst for sailing.

“The National Training Centre facilitates the interaction and engagement between coaches and athletes across our disciplines and is incredibly important on our Road to Rio and into the future,” said Yachting Australia’s Performance Director Peter Conde.

The creation of the Australian Sailing Team’s National Training Centre as well as the extension has been made possible thanks to the support of the Australian Institute of Sport through direct funding and project management.

Middle Harbour Yacht Club has also been integral in the development of the Centre and the Australian Sailing Team is looking forward to a continued close working relationship with the club.

By Australian Sailing
Posted: 20/10/14