Kirklands make early UK arrival to prepare for Olympic Games

  • The Kirkland brothers will leave for England on Monday to get a feel for local conditions before they compete in the Olympics.

    The Kirkland brothers will leave for England on Monday to get a feel for local conditions before they compete in the Olympics.

Jesse and Zander Kirkland depart for Weymouth, England on Monday to get a feel for the local conditions with which they will be confronted at July’s Olympic Games.

The sailing siblings qualified for the upcoming Games after finishing ninth at this month’s 49er World Championships in Zadar, Croatia.

The Kirklands’ decision to travel to Croatia early to acclimatise to the local conditions ultimately paid off. And they are now hoping that their early arrival in Weymouth will also culminate with success.

“Having the qualification over, we are gearing up for the final push to the Games,” said crewman Zander. “We are hungry to keep getting better, and so the next month of sailing will be another very important tranche of training.

“We will be at the Olympic venue (Weymouth, England) before the Games start and will be doing our best to get acclimatised to the local conditions. We have spent a combined five weeks there in the past few years and can attest to it being pretty exposed and chilly over there.

“That said, no one know really knows what we will actually get because of the active weather pattern associated with the British Isles. We want to be prepared for all conditions and since we have spent the majority of this past spring sailing in moderate, Mediterranean thermal breezes, our focus from here on will be in dialling in our ‘Breeze’ boat handling and speed settings.”

The 20-boat Olympic fleet in England will be similar to the college fleets that the Kirkland brothers have competed in in the past.

“We hope our college sailing background, which put an emphasis on consistency, will help us sail a disciplined regatta,” Zander added. “With the Olympics, we will try and leave all the distractions at the Opening Ceremony, which are two days before we start and just focus on sailing a good sailing event.”

The Kirklands’ number one priority is to “make Bermuda proud”.

“As relative newcomers from a small nation, we hope the pressure will be levied square on the more established teams and we can go out and just worry about our sailing and make Bermuda proud,” Zander said. “As stated in our early prospectuses (circa 2010), our lofty goal remains to qualify for the Medal Race (top ten) on August 8th.”

Olympic 49er sailing gets underway on July 30.

n Contest III made a clean sweep of top honours during the traditional May 24 Fitted Dinghy season opener in St George’s Harbour.

Skipper Somers Kempe and crew (Roger Mello, Will Thompson, Rockal Evans, Dimitri Stevens and Butch Agnew) won the Heritage Trophy, Anniversary Cup and Leon D Fox Cup to claim early season bragging rights.

This year marked the tenth consecutive year Contest III has won the Heritage Trophy.

n Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club (RHADC) will be holding car wash in the club’s parking lot today between 11am and 2pm.

Monies raised from the fundraiser will go towards costs for Team Rhadical to compete at next month’s Scotiabank International Optimist regatta in US Virgin Islands as well as cover medical expenses of veteran sailor Stevie Dickinson.

Dickinson was diagnosed with cancer last year and has undergone treatment since.

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Published May 26, 2012 at 8:44 am (Updated May 26, 2012 at 8:43 am)

Kirklands make early UK arrival to prepare for Olympic Games

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