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Helena Sanderson

Date of Birth:
NZL Sailing Foundation Youth team
Competition Class(es):
Nacra 15 helm
Helena Sanderson

Top three sailing accomplishments:

  • 2018 29er World Championships - making the gold fleet
  • 2018 Sail Sydney, Nacra 15 - 3rd
  • 2017 NZ 29er North Island Champs - 2nd

Q & A with Helena Sanderson

How did you get into sailing?
I learnt to sail at Lake Manuwai in a summer learn to sail programme

What is your favourite thing to eat after a long day on the water?
Banana smoothie

Where is your favourite place to sail?
Bay of Islands because of the clear water and steady breeze that we usually get in the summer time.

What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not sailing?
Hanging out with friends.

Who are your role models?
Liv Mackay because she is really focussed and motivated. She has achieved so much across a range of classes and is really capable and talented at what she does.

What is the best thing about sailing your youth class boat?
I love the speed the boat has when it is set up right and how easy it feels to sail, especially in the breeze when you are in the right groove.

What do you hope to achieve in sailing in the upcoming year?
I would really like to medal at the Youth Worlds

How will you prepare for the Youth Sailing World Championships and which regattas will you be attending in the lead-up?
My partner and I will be training really hard at home over the next couple of months in the lead up to the Youth Worlds. We will also be attending the Aon Youth Clinics and getting some coaching from the Yachting New Zealand coaches. We will be going overseas to attend the Swiss Nacra 15 Nationals before the Youth Worlds and hopefully a Nacra 15 training camp at Lake Garda too.

What do you hope to achieve in your sailing career?
I want to see if I can take sailing as far as I can.

What was the proudest moment of your sailing to date, and tell us how you felt?
Making the crossover from being a light weight crew and not throwing the boat around to learning how to sail the boat in the breeze in the Nacra and putting that to use in racing. It's quite a proud feeling because I know that my training and hard work is for something and it feels really rewarding.

Teammate: Jack Honey

World Sailing Sailor Profile