Sailing pair shine in Japan

Carrie Smith and Ella Clark have done well at the Japan national sailing championships. Picture: Martin Kenneally d400638
Carrie Smith and Ella Clark have done well at the Japan national sailing championships. Picture: Martin Kenneally d400638

‘Japan was a great experience. We learnt a lot about their culture, way of living and of course their way of sailing,’ Clark said.

‘We took away many new techniques and styles that we can add to our sailing and it’s quite exciting to come home and try them out here.

‘It’s really tricky because you’re only there for a short amount of time and you’ve got to figure out the sort of patterns and be able to sail like the locals do.

‘We were lucky because we sailed there last year as well so we had a better feel for it.’

Within hours of returning to Perth from Japan, the duo was in Mandurah competing in their annual Easter Regatta where they placed first.

They have also been chosen to represent Australia for the third time at July’s 2013 ISAF Youth World Championships in Cyprus.

‘We just had the national training camp a few weeks ago in Sydney in preparation for when we go away,’ Clark said.

‘The competition is for the top youth male and female boats in lots of different classes.

‘The class that we’re in at the moment is the 420.

‘We’ve been for the past two years and we got a fourth and a second last year and we’re hoping to win it this year, but we’ll see.’

Clark has been sailing since the age of 13 and the school friends now train up to five times a week on water for two to three hours.

The young athletes also do two hours of strengthening and conditioning training in the gym, plus cardio exercises.

‘It was really difficult at first,’ Clark said. ‘It’s really challenging because half the time you don’t know what’s going on so it takes a while to get the feel for it because it’s a really difficult sport. But I work really well together with Carrie. When we start sailing we just complement each other.’