A new discipline for Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat category has opened the door to Offshore sailors worldwide and with a medal on the line, it is a perfect fit for Sandringham sailors Ian ‘Barney’ Walker and Jade Cole to realise their Olympic Dream.
“There will be no substitute for experience in this new discipline” states Walker – one of Australia’s most decorated Offshore Sailors, having no less than 34 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races (including Three Overall wins and Three Line Honours) under his belt. Barney’s impressive CV doesn’t end there adding 3 Volvo/Whitbread round the world yacht races, involved with 2 Americas Cup’s and 3 Olympic keelboat campaigns in the Star and Soling. The extensive One Design and Offshore racing experience being the ideal combination for the new discipline that will be sailed in One Design keelboats.
Jade Cole is no stranger to One Design racing having just returned from the Farr 40 worlds in Long Beach California and is a past Melges 24 National Champion. However it’s Jade’s passion for Offshore Sailing that drives her Olympic aspirations. “The 4 day and 3 night event will be the longest duration event in the history of the Olympic Games” says Cole, who herself strikes an impressive 8 x Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races with 2 Second Places Overall including being part of the Wild Oats X all Female Professional crew in 2018.
With no less than 4 years until the games Barney and Jade are set on ensuring no valuable time is wasted. With the support of their corporate partners their campaign incorporates Australian and International events including the 2020 Rolex Sydney to Hobart, which will invite 2 Handed Sailors to enter for the first time.
Credit: Lachy Keevers – Cole Walker Offshore Racing