Keppel Bay Sailing Club’s Brendan Effeney prepares for the Hobie 16 Youth National Championships.
Keppel Bay Sailing Club’s Brendan Effeney prepares for the Hobie 16 Youth National Championships. Sharyn Oneill So

Effeney onto Hobie 16 nationals

SAILING: Most sports require intense physical training, hours of gym and field exercise, sweating buckets out in the hot summer sun and often inflicting regular injuries.

But there is one sport that requires its competitors to cruise through the soft breeze and whisk over the deep blue ocean - at least that’s how Brendan Effeney sees it.

The 18-year-old sailor has had his hand at football, but it didn’t come close to the thrill of sailing around Australia for different championships.

And now the Keppel Bay Sailing club competitor will head to Perth with sailing partner Nick Sommerfeld, 16, for the Hobie 16 Youth National Championships at Christmas then have a short break before the Open Hobie 16 National Championships, January 1.

And despite his love for the sport Effeney does admit he is up for a tough three days of nine to 12 races to endure before the champion is named.

“It is really full on and takes a bit out of you, you have to be physically fit as well,” he said.

“But we don’t do much training; we just use local competitions as training and warm-ups to big events like nationals.”

When Effeney and Sommerfeld set sail in the nationals, the pair plans to step up and improve after placing third in the last nationals last year.

“My goal is to better last year’s performance and better it also in the open competition,” Effeney said.

“I compete for fun but at the same time it is fun for the win - you don’t want to go all the way over there and not place.”

Effeney and Sommerfeld will have their work cut out for them, but after placing second in the Youth State Championships, they do have confidence.

And Effeney said he has 12 years of experience sailing in the open water behind him.

“I have been sailing for 12 years and we have partnered for three years,” he said.

The Yeppoon Sailing pair leaves for nationals on Boxing Day next week.



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