Over Christmas and New Years, I travelled along with my crew, Olive to Williamstown Victoria. In Williamstown, we competed in the Australian international cadet national championship where we qualified for the Australian team to sail the next week, in the International Cadet World Championship. Throughout these regattas, we sailed against world-class sailors from all around the world and finished 7th overall in the nationals and 12th in the world championships, both results I am immensely proud of. Our results over the three weeks have earnt us a spot in the Australian Team to compete in Nieuwpoort, Belgium in July later this year.
I have also enjoyed team racing with my school team qualifying for the inter-dominions in New Zealand in 2022. The high standard of sailing that I showed throughout these regattas would not have been possible without the support of the Australian Alopecia Areata Foundation in gifting me an AAAF Gold Sponsorship. The sponsorship has contributed to a considerable amount of the training and entrant fees throughout my sailing over the last year. With the support of AAAF, I was able to travel to Victoria for training camps with the Australian team. The sponsorship also supported other local training and my entry fees into various events throughout the year.
Sailing is a sport in which females and males compete against each other. It requires a lot of preparation and interaction among all competitors. When I started competing at interstate regattas where competitors, officials and family members did not know about my alopecia it was initially quite difficult. You can’t really hide not having any hair in sailing as we get changed together and swim and have events after races. I had to learn that my alopecia would make me feel worse if I missed out on things trying to hide it.
I have raised awareness of alopecia within this sport and will continue to do so. When people see I am comfortable I think it makes them comfortable. Through the generous support of the AAAF, I have been able to further my sailing skills and ability which have given me a tremendous amount of confidence in myself and my appearance.
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