Annabelle Jones

Victorian Youth and Australian Sailing Youth Selection Event 2022

This year Australian Sailing announced the selection regatta for the Australian Sailing Youth Team (ASYT) would be based on results from the 2022 Youth Sail Victoria event. The event is the pinnacle event for our Youth Sailors and what most sailors work towards each year. Due to the travel restrictions, it was a big commitment at short notice.

27 WA sailors went over to compete.

Everyone knew going to Melbourne in April, would have unpredictable conditions and although the weather was great before and after the event, in the racing period, there was one day of below 3 knots which counted as a race, one day not sailable, and two days with gusts over 25 knots. So very challenging.

6 boats out of 36 broke masts in the 29er fleet.

Most boats had at least one capsize trying to cope with the very steep waves.

The event was hosted by Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, with over 180 youth sailors from across the country. The Laser Radial (29 entries) and 29er (36 entries) classes attracted the largest number of sailors from the regatta. We finished 19th overall and 2nd female team. These results granted us selection to the national youth camp.

The top 3 boats from each division were invited to attend the national youth camp that immediately followed the regatta. It involved team building and various enriching components both on and off the water and allowed us to develop our skills and friendships with other Australian youth sailors we otherwise would not have known. We were 2 of the 4 Western Australian sailors who qualified for the 4-day camp.

2022 29er World Championship (Spain)

The event was run at El Balis in Spain which is 1 hour up the coast from Barcelona.

It was fantastic to be able to travel again after 2 years of Covid isolation. For me it was my last chance to compete as a junior in the Open Worlds and my first major youth and open event.

It was the biggest 29er World Championship ever with 239 boats, which were split into six 40 boat fleets over three separate courses.

The winds were generally very light between 5-10 knots with surprisingly choppy seas for that wind strength.

We were part of the Australian 18 boat squad with 4 boats from WA. You always learn a lot when surrounded by talent and this was no exception for me and it was great to work with all the other sailors and coaches from around Australia. I certainly took away some changes and ideas to implement into my future development.


The 29er Class Association had a very well-organised and supportive parent group that engaged a team spirit that brought in support from Australian Sailing and Professional coaches. And of course, WAIS helping out the WA sailors as well.

Europe is very well setup for chartering new boats and coach boats, so that was all covered. With other logistics taken care of we had a week of training to be ready for the racing.

Training – Pre-Regatta Preparation

Our Lead Coach Traks Gorden who is the AS Futures coach for double-handed boats and a professional coach and sailor had some very good pre-regatta drills that got us ready for the major critical parts of the course.

We always finished a session with practice races to consolidate each day’s skills. Training sessions were long, at least 3 hours on the water, to help prepare for the long regatta days to come.

Racing and Results

We found the conditions very challenging and didn’t get the results we thoughts, but learnt a lot.

I have now embarked on a skill development plan and have teamed up with male sailor Vass (Who was also at the Worlds and current State 29er Champion. We are currently campaigning 29er and 470 and planning on travelling to this year in both of these classes.