Aussie teenager headed for SB20 World Championship in Portugal

Aussie teenager headed for SB20 World Championship in Portugal

Teenage Noosa schoolgirl Morgann Stanton is combining a busy study and sail training schedule in preparation to represent Australia at the 2009 SB3 World championship in Cascais, Portugal later this year.

As expected the modest 16 year old is excited to have been selected to contest her first major International sailing championship with an all female crew jointly sponsored by the Audi Centre Sunshine Coast, Oceanburo and Oxygen Sailing.

However she will continue to focus on achieving high marks in the equally important year 12 exams while braving the cold weather with extensive training and match racing off Mooloolaba before packing her sail-bag to contest the World championship from August 27 to September 4.

Meanwhile Morgann Stanton believed to be the youngest female to represent Australia in a major One-Design championship will continue to perfect her crew role under the guidance of the highly successful Oxygen Sailing Team skipper Rod Jones and Noosa coach Kai Timm.

She will also have the opportunity to develop a stronger bond with her skipper Lauren Calder and crew mates Geelong Laser sailor Louise Watson and Lissa McMillan of Sydney.

All four crewmembers are equally dedicated, with skipper Lauren Calder managing a hectic lifestyle as a mother of two young girls with a career as a Qantas Flight Officer in association with the opportunity to captain the SB3 World championship challenge.

Understandably they have no form guide to make any pre-championship predictions, however Rod Jones and Kai Timm will ensure the Audi Sunshine Girls team are mentally and physically prepared.

‘The training off the home port of Mooloolaba will stand them in good stead to handle the Atlantic ‘rollers’ and the 20 knot sea breeze at Cascais’ Rod Jones said.

They will also receive encouragement and support from the Australian male crew headed by former Queensland State of Origin forward Mike McLean and Australian 505 dinghy sailing specialists Michael Quirk and Jordan Spencer.

McLean who jokingly christened his SB3 WAGOP in short for – we are good on paper – will finalise their World championship preparations by contesting the Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week championship in mid-August before heading to Portugal.

The former Bowen boy has a good understanding of sailing in warm tropical waters and is hoping to translate this into helping skipper Michael Quirk and bowman Jordan Spencer to qualify for the World championship medals rounds in Portugal.

Mike McLean has progressively improved his Australian ranking with the WAGOP racing team winning the Audi Sydney Harbour series plus the Mooloolaba regatta and the Sail Port Stephens trophy.

This combined with the International experience of 505 National champions Michael Quirk and Jordan Spencer is expected to allow the former State of Origin forward a strong chance to achieve a career best result at Airlie Beach before ‘packing down in the scrum’ to score major points in the tough arena of one-design class racing off the Atlantic coast of Portugal