Year 8 Shore student, James Hopkins has become the Manly Junior State Sailing Champion after succeeding in the recent Lake Macquarie competition.

In December 2017 at Port Kembla James came second by one point in the National Championships which drove his ambition to improve and win the State title. James, who became involved in sailing aged 7 commented: “I was so excited to succeed at this level of sailing but I really enjoy it and sailing is a great sport where you make great friends.”

Sailing a Manly Junior and now skippering a Flying 11, James shared, “it takes a lot of time to improve and each training or race I try and focus on a specific thing to improve upon. I don't move on until it is up to my standard."

James races every Sunday at the Manly 16 foot Skiff Club from September through to April and competes in several regattas throughout the year. His Mum, Sally shared: “It is a lot of sailing, as parents we find it great as it takes all day and he is outside away from computers! You have the opportunity to meet lots of people and form lifelong friendships.”

Teamwork is one of the key elements of sailing multi person boats. This year James' was supported by 7 year old Ash Napper, who has been a great crew with the pair working well together. James has also been supported by his school Shore, working very hard at the school gym before or after school to improve his fitness for his outside school sailing interests. The sport involves responsibility, perseverance, independence, making quick decisions and coping with the outcomes of those decisions - good and bad.

Shore Sportsmaster, Mark Ticehurst commented: “The School is very proud of James’ success. His passion for the sport is obvious and allowing him to chase his goal was a pleasure.”

James’ Dad, John shared: "Sailing is such a great sport for kids. They learn independence, responsibility for themselves and their crew, how to read the water, wind, and waves, all while having fun. James has really developed his sailing ability and mental maturity and resilience to reach his goals.”

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