BEIJING Olympian Krystal Weir has her 2012 London Games campaign off to a flyer, leading the Aussie charge at this week’s Sail Melbourne regatta at Sandringham.
The Brighton resident is among five women fighting to represent Australia in the Laser Radial class at the 2012 Games, with just one spot up for grabs.
Weir, 25, said she was determined to make the most of her hometown event. “This is a really important event for me, this could ultimately decide if I go (to London),” Weir said. “Sandringham is my home club, so I’m going to make the most of this event.”
Currently in 14th place after yesterday’s events, Weir is 11 points ahead of her closest Australian competitor.
Weir said she was confident of making the Olympic team, saying she expected to gain valuable qualifying points from this week’s event.
“I’ve been to one Olympics and experienced the hype of it, but now I’m on a mission,” Weir said. “I’ve put my life on hold to campaign for this. “There’s a lot of sacrifices that come with sailing and I’m doing it for the final result.”
World youth champion Gabrielle King is also vying for the team place. King, 20, is returning to the water after a year off because of chronic fatigue syndrome. “The timing of my illness was devastating,” King said. “I’d just done my first overseas trip and started campaigning when it all had to stop.”
King, who is 16th after yesterday’s races, said she was still focused on Olympic selection, despite being in far-from-best form. “It’s an achievement for me just to be back on the water, but I haven’t given up my goal of London yet,” King said.
“It would mean everything for me to make London. That’s where my sights are set. That hasn’t changed.”
Alex South, Ashley Stoddart and Megan De Lang, also want the Games slot. They’re in 27th, 28th and 36th places respectively.
Beijing gold medallist, Malcolm Page, along with skipper Mathew Belcher, are fourth in the men’s 470 class after their three races yesterday.
Sail Melbourne, the first leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, features all 11 Olympic class events, plus some invited international classes.