Hi, I’m Cailen and I am a sailor from a small town called Leigh.
I have the opportunity to sail for New Zealand at the World Championships this July!
Here is my story…
It all started at the Sandpit Yacht Club in an optimist sailing dinghy – I found my passion for sailing. I completed the ‘Learn to Sail’ program but soon after this the club couldn’t offer this any more as no other kids were as keen as me. So, during winter I started racing at Lake Pupuke. Week after week, I was coming last. I was missing the experience and needed more coaching to get better.
However, I still had my dream of going to the Olympics to keep me motivated! My parents struggled to find me coaching all year. They are not sailors, so it was a challenge for them too. We discovered the Manly Sailing Club and the Open Bic Class and I began to work my way up again. Initially, there were kids so far ahead who seemed impossible to reach, but it didn’t take long for me to start catching up to them.
- 3rd in the Under 13’s Division – National Championships (January)
- Winning gold in the Wanganui Open Cup & Under 19’s category
- 2nd overall at the Wellington Open Bic Cup (last month)
Sir Russell Coutts is the commodore of the Manly Sailing club and is heavily involved in coaching. He has made a huge impact on my sailing, helping me on my selection for the World Championships. It would be incredible to represent my country and do New Zealand proud. I have a hugely supportive family, however, the World Championship competition is very expensive. With your support, I would be able to raise funds to put towards accommodation, flights and fees to make this experience possible!