By HENRY MORABANG
TWO young promising sailors, John Numa and Thomas Willie, left this morning for Adelaide, South Australia, to compete in the Australian National Optimist Sailing championships starting tomorrow.
Both Numa and Willie are members of the elite training squad and had been training for the past year.
They were selected on merit for their consistency and performance over the past 12 months and competed abroad recently.
They are expected to hold their own in internationalraces. However, racing in a big fleet of more than
100 boats will be a huge test for them. The 14-year-old John, son of prominent sailor Graham Numa, represented PNG at this year’s Mini Pacific Games in Rarontonga, Cook Islands.Numa sailed credibly and received a lot of praise, despite being the youngest sailor at the Mini Games.Meanwhile, Willie competed in the West Australian State Titles in Perth last year. He is a very competitive sailor and large fleet racing will not be new to him. The two youngsters will be accompanied by coach Richard McLaren, the president of the PNG Sailing Federation and a senior member of the junior coaching panel.
The team is fully-funded by the Royal Papua Yacht Club through its sailing divisions and the commodore of RPYC, Ron Barton, said he was pleased to assist the young sailors in their quest to achieve their goals.
Barton also said the RPYC were committed to training young sailors under the guidance of a group of dedicated veteran sailors and RPYC patrons led by Tamzin Wardley, Rob Lane, Richard McLaren, John and Graham Numa from the Bootless Bay Sailing School.
The sailors return on Jan 11 and will go straight into training to prepare for the World Youth Laser Sailing championships next April.