Ex-Olympic rower Sarah Cook wins first sailing title

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

New South Wales, Australia (4E Sports) – Just five months after switching sports, former Olympic rower Sarah Cook captured her first national sailing title, winning the women’s 470 dinghy crown Sunday with Beijing gold medalist skipper Elise Rechichi.

“Things are going better than either of us could have hoped,” Rechichi said, according to AAP. “Sarah has a great background in rowing but, to jump into a new sport and do so well, is impressive”.

“We’ve shocked a few people with how we’re going at this stage and are feeling positive with where we’re at,” Rechichi added.

The event was just the third regatta for the pair since teaming up in October.

The pair completed only two out of a possible 10 races at December’s Sail Melbourne world cup on Port Phillip Bay. They also finished second at December’s Sail Sydney regatta.

Meanwhile, London gold medalist Mathew Belcher and crewmate Will Ryan secured the victory in the men’s 470 national competition at Port Stephens.

The duo have won all three regattas since teaming up in November, following the retirement of Belcher’s former crewmate, double gold medalist Malcolm Page.

“It was nice to do more racing together and we feel that we’re communicating well,” Belcher said. “We have a high standard to reach and we both want to get there as quickly as possible.”

The Australia sailing team, which won three gold medals and a silver at the London Games, will spend the week undergoing fitness testing at the Australian Institute of Sport.

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