Olympic aspirants, Tasmanian high-performance female sailors, Jasmin Galbraith and Chloe Fisher, begin their European campaign in the 49erFX skiff Olympic class in Germany this week.
Joining them at the famous Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) regatta on the Baltic Sea is another young Tasmanian sailing an Olympic class dinghy, Jock Calvert, this week ranked as 29th in the world in the single-handed Finn class.
Galbraith from Hobart, and Fisher from Launceston, are the only women’s 49erFX skiff sailors in Tasmania, sailing out of Sandy Bay Sailing Club.
Overnight, they were due to start competing in Kieler Woche, sailing in the exciting women’s 49erFX Olympic skiff against a fleet of 64 mainly European women sailors.
After putting in many hours of hard work at home, training at the gym and sailing on the Derwent most days of the week this year, the young women say they are “very excited to be able to put their efforts into practice in the European circuit.”
Their ultimate goal is to represent Australia one day at the Olympic Games, as is the aim of Calvert, an off-the-beach member of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.
The major focus of Galbraith and Fisher’s, and Calvert’s European campaign will be to represent Australia at the World Sailing Championships held in Aarhus, Denmark in July and August.
The World Sailing Championships will count towards qualification for the Olympics, and it will host all 10 Olympic sailing classes with 1,500 competitors from 100 nations and an estimated 400,000 visitors.
Galbraith and Fisher came together as a youth sailing team in 2015 when they started sailing the fast moving 29er Skiff, where they found great success. Last year, they transitioned into the exciting Women’s Olympic 49erFX Skiff.
In late 2017, Galbraith and Fisher were the first Tasmanian sailors in over 30 years to podium in a World Youth Sailing Championship, winning the bronze medal in the 29er Skiff class in Sanya, China.
Calvert, who is competing on the second leg of the European summer sailing circuit, has steadily improved his performances in the demanding single-handed men’s Olympic dinghy, underlined by his word ranking of 29 in a highly competitive fleet.
Words: Liza Fallon/Peter Campbell
Photos: Kieler Woche, Australian Sailing, International Finn class