Set­ting sail for new chal­lenge

Western Suburbs Weekly - - State Of Union -

CLARE­MONT sailor Mark Spear­man (20), a civil en­gi­neer­ing stu­dent, is in Australia’s three-per­son team for the 2015 Pa­cific Games in Port Moresby in July.

“I’m not re­ally sure about what winds there will be there, so I’m train­ing in var­i­ous con­di­tions here,” Spear­man said.

Last week, the Royal Fresh­wa­ter Bay Yacht Club and Fre­man­tle Sail­ing Club mem­ber trained in the late af­ter­noons on his one­man Laser dinghy at Fre­man­tle.

Spear­man was in­tro­duced to sail­ing by his fa­ther when he was eight, pro­gress­ing through ju­nior classes un­til he spe­cialised in the Laser, which although a sim­ple de­sign pro­duces highly tac­ti­cal races be­cause each com­peti­tor’s craft is so evenly matched.

“I’m do­ing a lot of fit­ness train­ing and a lot of sail­ing to make sure I’m re­ally pre­pared,” he said.

Spear­man pre­vi­ously raced at the 2010 Sin­ga­pore Youth Olympic Games in the Laser Ra­dial class and said that com­pe­ti­tion was good ex­pe­ri­ence for Port Moresby, where he will meet Pa­cific Is­lan­ders among 3000 en­trants from 21 coun­tries com­pet­ing in 28 sports.

The Pa­cific Games are part of cel­e­bra­tions mark­ing PNG’s 40th an­niver­sary of in­de­pen­dence and are the first where Australia and New Zealand will com­pete, af­ter the event, which is held ev­ery four years, started in Fiji in 1963.

More than 40 Aus­tralians will com­pete in sail­ing, rugby sev­ens, weightlift­ing and taek­wondo.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d438524

Sailor Mark Spear­man is train­ing in all con­di­tions lead­ing into the Pa­cific Games in Pa­pua New Guinea next month.

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