Sailing

Wollmanns embark on Olympic journey

  • Cecilia, left, and Michael will take part in a four-day training camp before competing for the first time in their Nacra 17 boat

Cecilia and Michael Wollmann will step up their preparations for the Nacra 17 World Championships at a training camp in Weymouth, England, this month.

The siblings, who sail out of the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club, are to take part in a four-day training programme at the 2012 Olympic Games sailing venue in their Nacra 17, which has been retrofitted with foils.

“We’ve been able to convert this Nacra to a foiling one and we will be trying it out for the first time,” said Cecilia, who competed at the Rio Olympics in the Laser Radial last summer.

“We’re going to try out the new boat to make sure all the parts are working correctly and learn about it more.”

After getting to grips with their Olympic-class foiling catamaran the pair will compete in the boat for the first time at the Aarhus World Test Event at Ega Marina, Denmark, next month.

“Next year they will have a World Championship in Denmark so this regatta is a test event for next year’s worlds, which go to 50 per cent of Olympic qualification,” Cecilia added.

The event will provide the Wollmanns with an ideal opportunity to size up the competition.

“It will be good to look at how the other top guys are doing and take a peak to see how they are coping with different boats and setting it up and sailing around,” Cecilia said.

This year marks the siblings’ first appearance at the Nacra 17 World Championships to be held in the La Grande Motte, France, in September.

“This is our first Nacra 17 Worlds,” Cecilia said. “We did the Nacra 15 World Championships, which is a smaller boat, in New Zealand last year and this is the senior championships.

“We’re very excited to get back away to train and doing more competitions and it’s going to be exciting to have another person, Mikey, in the boat.”

The regattas are the first steps on a journey the siblings hope will end in qualification for the 2020 Olympics in Toyko.

“That is what it’s leaning towards,” Cecilia said. “This is the first-year regattas and we will see how the summer goes.”

Cecilia, 19, intends to build on the experience she gained sailing multihulls while training with Bermuda’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup squad.

“I think the Red Bull really helped learning more about catamarans, the foiling and getting into that atmosphere,” Cecilia said. “I really like the catamarans and getting into foiling is lots of fun.”

Cecilia is fresh off her maiden ocean crossing having been among the delivery crew that sailed the America’s Cup J Class yacht Ranger to Newport, Rhode Island.

“That was really awesome, just going out to sea and crossing an ocean for the first time,” Cecilia said.

“That was a cool boat and was really awesome. The boat is a little wet because they are close down to the water. But it was a pretty smooth ride.”