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Helena Sanderson

Date of Birth:
Competition Class(es):
Nacra 15 helm
Qualification name
Assistant LTS Coach (Dinghy)
Expiry date
Helena Sanderson profile 2022

Top three sailing accomplishments:

  • 2020 Nacra 17 World Championships, open under 23 - 3rd
  • 2019 Nacra 17 World Championships, open under 23 - 2nd
  • 2019 Youth Sailing World Championships, Nacra 15 - 6th

Q & A with Helena

How did you get into sailing?
I learnt to sail when I was 7 on Lake Manuwai in the Bay of Islands and immeditely fell in love with sailing and being on the water. I am not from a sailing family but my parents were keen for me to give the sport a go and enrolled me in a LTS course.

What is your favourite thing to eat after a long day on the water?
Pesto pasta

Where is your favourite place to sail?
Bay of Islands.

What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not sailing?
Any sport that involves being outdoors.

Who are your role models?
 Jo Aleh is my role model, I am continually inspired by her drive, work ethic and talent for the sport.

What is the best thing about sailing your youth class boat?
The best thing about sailing the Nacra 15 is the speed and power. I love the fun challenge of sailing the boat in wind and waves.

What do you hope to achieve in sailing in the upcoming year?
I hope to medal at the youth worlds in the Nacra 15. Following this I aim to transistion into an Olympic class and begin campaiging towards 2028.

How will you prepare for the Youth Sailing World Championships and which regattas will you be attending in the lead-up?
We will prepare for the youth worlds by training in NZ, refining our boat handling skills, speed and race strategy. While we won't be able to attend any overseas regattas prior to the youth worlds we aim to do some local regattas for race experience.

What do you hope to achieve in your sailing career?
My career sailing goals include winning an Olympic gold, skippering the America's cup and sailing around the world in The Ocean Race.

What was the proudest moment of your sailing to date, and tell us how you felt?
Skippering the Nacra 17 at 15 years of age at the 2019 open world champs, racing against the best in the world and placing 2nd in the under 23 division. I felt excited and happy for the result but most of all grateful for the learnings from the event.

Teammate: Cam McGlashan

World Sailing Sailor Profile

Helena Sanderson and Cam McGlashan