Silver sailors

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Race action: Laura Harding and Ella Grimshaw plough through the waves during the world 420 championships off Fremantle. Pictures: Supplied

Laura and Ella with their trophies.

PARKDALE sailor Ella Grimshaw didn’t rest over the holidays, teaming up with friend Laura Harding to take out the silver medal at the International 420 Class 2017-18 World Championships off Fremantle in early January.

Competing against some of the best young sailors in the world in the lead-up national championships in December, the girls steered their boat Sista Blossom to ninth place overall and second among the Australian boats to become the first female crew home.

In the women’s division of the ensuing world championships, they tied in first place with a Western Australian crew but lost on a countback to come second.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Grimshaw, who has been sailing competitively for the past four years and socially since she was five. She is now 17.

Starting in a Minnow, the Mentone girl now has eyes on sailing 49ers, possibly at Brighton.

For the national and world championships, the girls drew on their international sailing experience from races in China earlier in December where they placed 13th overall. “It was a great lead-up,” Grimshaw said.

During the year they also compete with the eight or nine 420s at Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron.

Harding’s mum Lucy said her family was “really proud of both girls”.

“They worked very hard for their success,” she said. “They are very good sports: in one race another crew lost a spinnaker pole and our girls were happy to lend them a spare one.”

For Grimshaw, sailing will go on the backburner when term starts: she is studying Year 12 at Bentleigh Secondary College.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 24 January 2018

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