Coral sails into Youth Olympics

Tauranga windsurfer Coral Headey is among the trio of rising sailors selected to compete at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

Yachting New Zealand announced the side to represent NZ in windsurfing and single-handed sailing, comprising of Coral, Picton’s Alastair Gifford and Finn Croft, Auckland.

Tauranga windsurfer Coral Headey.

Coral and Finn will compete in the Techno 293 classes, while Alastair will take to the water in the single-handed class.

Just one spot per country is available and those spots were earned through results. The trio won their country qualification spots at their Oceania Championships; held in Manly, North Shore for the Techno 293 and Brisbane for the Byte CII.

They will be supported by legendary New Zealand windsurfer and double Olympic medallist Bruce Kendall, MBE who will travel to China with the group as coach.

“These sailors are currently campaigning in youth classes and this event will provide them with a taste of what the Olympic Games are all about,” says YNZ Talent Development Manager Ian Neely.

“It’s a really great opportunity for them and I know they are very excited.”

Coral, a 15-year-old Tauranga Yacht & Power Boat Club member, has been windsurfing for nearly three years, having started sailing in Optimists at the age of seven-years-old at the Thames Sailing Club.

Through some fantastic support from TYPBC and Bay of Plenty Sailing Academy Trust, Coral has enjoyed success as the Girls National Champion two years in a row, as well as becoming Oceanic Girls’ Champion this year.

The sailors will fly out with the entire New Zealand team to attend the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games on August 12.

Racing begins for the sailors on Lake Jinniu on August 18 before finals on August 23.


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