Wollmanns team up for Bermuda in Auckland
Cecilia and Mikey Wollmann are the first siblings to represent Bermuda at a major sailing regatta in four years.
The Wollmanns join Campbell Patton in representing Bermuda at the Aon Youth Sailing World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand.
Jesse and Zander Kirkland were the last siblings to represent Bermuda, when they took part in the 49er class at the London 2012 Olympics.
The Wollmann siblings are no stranger to the Youth World Championship having competed at the previous one in Malaysia. But, unlike a year ago when they competed individually in the Laser Radial, the Wollmanns have teamed up and are competing together in the double handed Nacra 15 catamaran this time.
“Normally, we have sailed against each other, so it will be fun racing with each other in the same boat,” Mikey said.
Patton, who is making his debut at the championship this year, is competing in the Laser Radial.
“I’m so excited, it’s amazing,” he said. “I haven’t competed in this class in such a prestigious event.”
The Youth Sailing World Championship caps an extraordinary year for the 18-year-old Cecilia. In the past 12 months, she competed at the Rio de Janiero Olympics in the Laser Radial and also made the final cut for Bermuda’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup squad.
She is the only local athlete to have represented Bermuda at senior and junior Olympic levels and believed to be the youngest local sailor to appear at the senior Olympics.
The Olympian will be sailing in unchartered territory in New Zealand having never raced before in multihulls such as the semi-foiling Nacra 15.
“I have done a lot of Laser stuff, so switching into catamarans will be interesting,” Cecilia said.
One thing Cecilia has in her favour, which she intends to make the most of, is the experience gained from training in catamarans with her Red Bull team-mates.
“Being with the Red Bull team has really helped with learning all about catamarans,” she said. “I have been sailing in the Nacra 17 here on the island. We [Red Bull team] have been practising in those when it is windy. But we haven’t really got too much racing scenarios, so that will be fun to do.”
The Youth Sailing World Championships take place until Tuesday and involves nearly 400 sailors from 65 countries competing in nine separate classes off the waters of Waiake Beach. The championships officially began yesterday.