Kilkenny Junior star wants it all...
How long have we waited for the season hat trick? Douglas Elmes dominated Irish optimist sailing in 2012 having secured an incredible trials-nationals-ranking hat trick wins! He added up other honours with a runner up position at the 470 nationals (on his 2nd time sailing the boat!), a superb 3rd at the UK open nationals and a 50th at the worlds. He is curently racing at the Bermuda invitational junior gold cup.
Douglas is just 14 and started sailing relatively late. Despite never member of the U12 squad (kinda the compulsory passage for successful juniors), he progressed fast with great attitude questionning his coaches and practicing, training and repeating all aspects of boat handling and sail trimming... Douglas became a very fast sailor with a great feel for the boat... It allowed him to focus on strategy and tactics when at away events and very importantly learn from mistakes! Some of these mistakes were huge but never repeated (ie: B'Meer 2012 was the key in understanding R42) which enhanced the rapid progress.
Douglas trained as part of the ISA nationals squad in 2011-2012 and has once more been selected for the coming season as a transition sailor. Member of RCYC, Douglas benefitted from the strengh of a large club.
Many coaches had an impact on his progress but it must be said particular thank should go to Ross Vaughan who was the coach helping Douglas at what can really be pointed out as the turning point at the UK nats 2011. Other coaches are Dennis Paaske (worlds 2012), Soren Laugresen (Palma 2011), George Kenefick and Katie Tingle (RCYC) and myself (ISA squad, nats 2012, RCYC and ongoing advice).
For the little story, I crewed for Douglas at the 470 nationals 2012 to thank him for a great attitude, a great season and being such a great young sailor to coach! And we got 2nd!
Photos courtesy of Paul Keal, Mainsheetimages.com, and Yann Vincent
Junior Gold Cup, Bermuda
Douglas went to the invitational Junior Gold Cup, an optimist event where the best sailors in the world face the top 20 Bermudans. Douglas was invited following his recent success at the Irish nationals... And he added a superb line to his season by winning the event in Style ahead of stiff competition.