Baptism of fire in yachting titles


IT will be a case of the old hand guiding the new, when Caitlin Walz and David Mann line up for the 32nd Australian Tasar Championships in Darwin next week.

Walz, a relative newcomer to the sport, will be in one of her first competitive events of this stature while, after 18 years in the sport, Mann knows exactly what to expect.

Walz isn't sure whether to be nervous or excited in her approach to the event.

'I've only been doing it (the sport) for a year, so I don't really know what to expect,' she said.

The rookie is sure to get a baptism of fire with over 130 entries received for the event from different regions of the world including Japan, the United States, Canada and Britain. Walz said the local duo had been training for months perfecting their techniques for both light and strong winds, as they were unsure on what weather to expect in Darwin.

On the other side of the coin, Mann appears to be taking it all in his stride after competing at a number of high profile events including the world titles last year.

'I'll be hoping for a top 30 finish,' Mann said.

With three races a day over the eight days of racing, Mann said he was expecting the event to take its physical toll but believed the preparation would put them in good stead.

When asked if he would take his partner under his wing considering her lack of experience, Mann suggested there would be no need to.

'She'll be right, I think she'll do fine,'' he said. Despite Walz only being in the sport for a year, the team has already enjoyed success after recently being ranked second in Queensland State Titles.

To get to an event like this the sailors have received sponsorship from several local organisations and they would like to thank the Port Curtis Sailing Club, The Gladstone Coffee Club and Central Coast Inspection Services for their assistance.

'Without these organisations we would not be able to get to Darwin and compete in such a high profile event like this,' Walz said.

Walz and Mann will leave for Darwin tomorrow, with action on the water to begin after measurements are taken next Friday.

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