The Australian Sailing Team is the national representative Team for sailing and comprises some of the leading Olympic and Paralympic Class sailors in the world today. Only athletes with the clear potential to win Olympic and Paralympic medals are involved.
To qualify, sailors must achieve a top 10 placing at the World Championships in their class, or have the potential to do so within two years. Our goal is simple - to be the best team in the world and to win Olympic and Paralympic gold medals.
The Australian Sailing Team draws together our elite Olympic and Paralympic Class athletes into one cohesive and effective group. Our Australian Sailing Squad, State Performance Programs and Australian Sailing Youth Team provide a seamless pathway for young sailors who share our aspirations.
Gold Medal Plan for Tokyo 2020 and beyond
Australia enjoys a very proud history in Olympic and Paralympic Sailing, boasting many medal-winning Olympians and Paralympians.
Following a major review of the Olympic Sailing program after the Athens Games in 2004, where Australian Sailing came away empty-handed, a ‘Gold Medal Plan’ was developed with the aim of returning Australia to our position as a leading Olympic sailing nation.
The Plan aimed to refine the foundations laid over previous years and complete the path to a sustainable medal-winning system from Junior to Youth to Olympic medallist.
Fundamental to this strategy was the creation of the Australian Sailing Team in 2006 as a semi-autonomous entity with a highly professional approach to winning multiple medals in Beijing in 2008 and beyond.
At the 2008 Olympic Games Australia was the No.2 sailing nation, winning two gold medals and one silver medal at the Olympics, as well as one silver and one bronze at the Paralympic Games.
In London four years later, Australia produced its best ever Olympic performance, capturing three gold medals and one silver medal. Australia was the world's best sailing nation and sailing was our nation's most successful Olympic sport. At the 2012 Paralympic Games Australia won one sold medal from the three events.
At the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, Australia won one gold medal and three silver medals, and all-but swept the floor at the Paralympics, winning two gold medals and one silver medal. The exceptional results consolidated the nation's return to the elite of world sailing, providing a lasting legacy for the sport domestically.
Our Team is based in Australia, although our athletes spend up to six months each year campaigning overseas. A dedicated support unit operates within Australian Sailing, which includes successful sailor Iain Murray as Performance Director and longstanding team member Katie Culbert as the Program Manager.
A high-calibre, dedicated coaching line-up is led by multiple gold medal-winning coach in the 470 Class, Victor Kovalenko, along with ex-World Champions Emmett Lazich (Skiffs/Multihull lead), Euan McNicol (49er), Shane Smith (470W) and Jared West (Laser Radial). The coaching staff also includes Olympic medallists Michael Blackburn (Laser), Darren Bundock (Nacra) and Rafael Trujillo (Finn), as well as international sailor Javier Torres (49erFX).