Aiming for cold to gold for Tassie skiff crew

Training on Hobart’s Derwent River in winter when her hands are so cold she can’t feel them is the less glamourous side of the sport for 17 year-old sailor Jasmine Galbraith and her 29er skiff crew Chloe Fisher, who sit in fifth coming into the deciding day of the Sailing World Cup Melbourne Final presented by Land Rover.

Galbraith started sailing age eight with her friends who one by one dropped away. She stuck with it and is about to move out of the youth 29er class and into the adult 49erFX class, the women’s Olympic skiff. For Tokyo 2020 Galbraith and Fisher and many other worthy contenders will be vying for the single country spot.

“We train year-round; we’ve been out in snow and hail, rain and shine,” Galbraith commented. “In winter I wear a surf wetsuit that is super warm and Chloe wears a dry suit. It’s really really cold; you can’t feel your hands.”

From the Melbourne Final Galbraith says it’s inspiring and humbling to sail on the same waters as so many Olympians and world champions, “It’s the ultimate goal to be sailing here”.


Photo - Sport the Libary

On their move to the larger FX in the New Year, Galbraith adds, “It’s pretty much exactly the same, just more space. I’m on trap (trapeze) this time, that’s a bit of a step up. It will be the same tactics, same boat, just a little bit bigger and I’ll need to be fitter.”

Coach Richard Scarr said Galbraith had to decide whether to become an elite athlete or just cruise along in the sport. “Jasmine’s committed to the Olympic dream. She has all the talent and is in a good spot to grow as an athlete. And she’s so coachable, she does everything required. In the gym she’s hitting all the targets, she’s going to be strong enough…. smart enough.” 

Ten Olympic classes plus an Open Kiteboard division began their World Cup Final quests on Tuesday December 6. Some Invited classes began their Port Phillip battle on Friday in the wake of a strong SW front and all 800 plus competitors were on the water on Saturday in 5-10 knots.

Sunday’s forecast is south to south-easterly 10 knots tending south-east to south-westerly 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

The first racing session begins at 11:00 local time for Invited classes and on the Stadium course next to St Kilda Pier the remaining Sailing World Cup Final Medal Races will roll out starting with the Women’s 470 at 12:05 followed by the Men’s 470, Finn, Laser Radial and Laser where Australia’s Matt Wearn will duel with Cyprus’ Pavlos Kontides for the gold medal.

For all invited class results click here.

To watch the Olympic class racing live click here.

By Lisa Ratcliff/SWCF media