Debutant Lau brimming with confidence
Genevieve Lau started sailing because as an islander it seemed the natural thing to do.
“I would see other people in the harbour sailing around and it was just a big part of living on an island,” Lau said.
At the age of 9, Lau enrolled in summer sailing camps, where she was taught the fundamentals of the sport.
“I think one of my big inspirations was Tom Herbert Evans [the former Royal Bermuda Yacht Club sailing coach], my coach, because he was so fun and everything we did was fun,” she said.
After three years honing her skills in the Optimist dinghy class, Lau progressed to the O’pen Bic dinghy, which she absolutely adores.
“My favourite class is the O’pen Bic because the boats are a lot faster and more fun to sail,” she said.
“The O’pen Bics are a new class in the sailing world and handling them is lot more fun than any of the classic boats.
“Boat handling on the O’pen Bic really keeps you on your toes. You always have to be focused, moving and agile, so it’s a really fun boat to handle because there’s so much you can do.”
Competing in the under-17 age group at the O’pen Bic World Championship in Spain this summer, Lau underlined her potential by placing fourth among the girls and eighteenth in an overall fleet of 137.
She was accompanied by Thomas Evans, the son of her former RBYC coach Herbert-Evans, who placed 115th overall.
“I’m really happy with my fourth at the O’Pen Bic regatta,” said Lau, who attends BHS and is at present on a school exchange in Adelaide. “This regatta was challenging in a lot of different ways and the conditions were very light. It was a really good experience.”
Lau’s display on her international sailing debut exceeded her expectations.
“It was my first international O’pen Bic regatta, so I wasn’t sure how I would do,” the 15-year-old said.
“I was going in with an open mind and just try my best and see how it goes. I wasn’t sure how I was going to end up. I’m really happy with it.”
Lau’s impressive display on her international debut has done her confidence the world of good.
“I know what I am capable of, so it has raised my expectations for future regattas,” she said. “I feel more comfortable because I know I can do it now.”
As for Lau’s future goals in the sport, she said: “I think my future goals would be just to continue sailing and enjoying it, travelling to regattas around the world and meeting people.”
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