14 Year Old Up and Comer Sets Sights on 2nd Laser Nationals Trophy

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Sat, 04/04/2015 - 13:28

Back to defend his title, a young inspiration Sam Lombaard has been putting in the hours out on the water with the intention of taking top honours again at the SA Laser Nationals taking place offshore of Durban starting on 30 April.

I competed in the KZN Inter-Schools last weekend at Richard’s Bay, I won overall and Michaelhouse won in the senior school level.

Having won the Laser Radial 4.7 division last year, Lombaard has been escaping at every opportunity from boarding school at Michaelhouse to get in training ahead of the prestigious event. “I recently competed in Japan, finishing 21st in the silver fleet, not as well as I had wanted but it was an experience that I hope to build on. I competed in the KZN Inter-Schools last weekend at Richard’s Bay, I won overall and Michaelhouse won in the senior school level.”

At fourteen years old, the fledgling sailor has notched up an impressive CV in his sailing career, “In 2013 I travelled to England to compete in the RS Tera Pro World Champs where I finished second. In the same year I competed in the Topper Worlds in France where I came 24th in the gold fleet.  I have also had the opportunity to compete in regattas in Belgium two years ago, in Italy in 2012 and Denmark in 2011. The experience taught me so much!”

​Hundreds of talented sailors from many countries travel to participate in these major regattas, his coming second in the world in the UK is an awesome achievement.  

“I am extremely lucky to have also travelled extensively to events around South Africa and done extremely well. Last year I won the Laser 4.7 National Champs down in False Bay. In the Dabchick class I came sixth at the 2013 Nationals, but I recently sold my dabbie.”

At the start of his career, “I would say that coming second at the RS Tera Worlds and winning last year at the Laser Nationals would be my highlights. I consider myself really lucky to have been introduced to sailing at a young age with a whole world of opportunities awaiting me.”

Lasers are one of the most physical boats you can sail

“My Dad’s uncle is a former Rear-Commodore of the Point Yacht Club; he taught my Dad how to sail. I only started sailing after I was diagnosed with Osteogenesis Imperfecta which means I have a brittle bones disorder. Dad was researching a sport that I would be able to participate in and came across a Sail Africa sailing programme and thought it would be perfect for me. I advanced through the courses and loved it. The result was a RS Tera as a Christmas present in 2009. You could say from there I was hooked.”

The worldly-wise teenager explains, “To me, Lasers are one of the most physical boats you can sail. And are one of the most tactical boats to sail, there are so many different ways to get speed out of the boat, and they demand ultimate concentration to keep it upright in big breeze.”

Not escaping too far away from the water, Lombaard informs us what his hobbies are, “I really enjoy canoeing, it is different and I like that. I also like to fish. My intentions are to do Dusi next year and the Fish River Canoe Marathon at the end of this year. I do really well in waterpolo and made the KZN team in 2013.”

I would really like to return to Tokyo to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics

The focused sailor has a five year plan, “I would really like to return to Tokyo to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics. But ideally I would love to follow in Australia’s Tom Slingsby’s steps and compete and do well in the Laser class internationally.”

The Olympic hopeful isn’t afraid to jump on big boats as well, “I was extremely fortunate to represent PYC at the biggest keelboat event in our country, the Lipton Challenge in 2012 in Cape Town. I learnt so much from this event.”

Sitting on terrafirma chatting to Lombaard, I enquire if he has any land-based heroes; he proudly says that his folks are his role models in life.

Concluding, he shares, “I really enjoy cooking since my Dad is a chef.”

Let’s hope over the May Day weekend, this bright sailing prospect will be cooking on the water.

Comments

Submitted by Mel (not verified) on

Go boy go You have done us proud

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