Bellarine sailor named Victoria’s best junior
ONE of the Bellarine’s very own rising stars in the sport of sailing has been officially recognised as the state’s best junior sailor.
Year 7 Christian College (Bellarine) student and member of the Indented Head Sailing Club, Aidan Simmons, was awarded the 2021 Australian Sailing Victoria – Junior Sailor of the Year Award after an exemplary 2020-21 season on the water in his Optimist dinghy boat.
“I am really happy to receive the award,” Aidan said.
“It shows that all of the hard work I put in over the winter has paid off.
“I really enjoy racing against my friends in all of the other boats at all of the competitions and sailing the faster boats, there’s such a wide variety of boats there is always something new to learn.”
Aidan, who lives just 500 metres from his yacht club, won a total of eight regattas with the highlight being the 2021 Australian Optimist National Sailing Championship held in Adelaide back in April, along with three other state titles, two of which were NSW State Titles and one Victorian.
Even more impressive, Aidan is only the second Victorian to have ever won the Australian Optimist National Sailing Championship along with many more accomplishments last season that his school was quick to commend its student on.
“Christian College is extremely proud of Aidan being named the best junior sailor in Victoria and is thrilled to see his sailing skills recognised with this award,” sport coordinator for Christian College (Bellarine) Andrew Tucker said.
“Aidan’s family has done a tremendous job in supporting him and his brother, Callum, to become sailors of such a high calibre at this young age.”
Aidan began sailing at the age of six at his club in Indented Head where his passion quickly grew as did his skills in racing.
He has worked particularly hard over the last five years to improve his sailing skills and over the last 12 months has stepped it up to another level, training even harder during the depths of winter to win the Australian Championship, where Aidan also qualified for the second time for the World Championship team.
That event was to be held in Italy this year in July, but unfortunatly the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans.
While Aidan is grateful for all the support he has received over the years from his parents and coaches, he is perhaps most grateful for his training partner and brother Callum who is also quite the sailor.
“Callum has been a big help,” he said.
“Without him I would not have anyone to test my speed, race or push myself against.”
Aidan is a member of the Barwon Sports Academy and believes the biggest reason for his success to this point is “training like you compete”.