Photo credit: Leighton Brayshaw
Last year was the first time in five years that RMIT managed to form a sailing team for a UniGames event. Now, the sailing squad is only getting stronger.
This year’s team is led by team manager Jack Felsenthal and has three student-athletes from RMIT’s Elite Athlete Program.
The program, known as REAP, currently has over 200 student-athletes who are supported by the university in balancing their studies with high-level training and competition.
The Redbacks sailing team placed sixth at last year’s Div 1 UniSport Nationals.
“We learnt a lot about the format and structure having all attended UniGames for the first time last year. With a longer lead-in and a strong team we hope to be on the podium this year,” Jack said.
The format of the sailing competition is different at UniSport Nationals compared to usual sailing events.
“Sailing is typically an individual sport, so everyone in our team usually sails different boats to each other. It is actually quite a unique format for the six of us across three boats to be working together as a team,” Jack explained.
“Sailing is a very tactical sport and, particularly in this format, tactics and strategy need to change all the time with races only being five minutes long. Our pre-race routine is to assess the team we are coming up against and assign roles such as which of our boats should try and win the race and who we should try and target and sail to the back of the fleet. It usually gets pretty messy after the start but it’s nice to have a plan!”
“It usually gets pretty messy after the start but it’s nice to have a plan!”
Jack is in his final year of a Bachelor of Business (International Business) (Applied), so this could be his last chance at a UniGames medal.
“Being my second UniGames, I’m really looking forward to getting into the racing with a better understanding of the format and with a strong team,” Jack said. “But I’m also looking forward to catching up with the people I met last year both from RMIT and other universities.”
“UniGames is a unique opportunity to meet people from different universities across the country. It is also not often you get the ability to represent your university in any capacity.
The culture at RMIT is really strong and it’s great to be a part of a team that is so passionate and supportive.”