Sport

Russell races way to silver

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January 23, 2018

Russell Phillips was one of a host of sailors from across Victoria who took to Victoria Park Lake in Shepparton for the Victorian Hansa Class Championships at the weekend.

The fleet of sailboats makes its way around the Victoria Park Lake course.

Russell Denholm.

Christine Elliott and Ben Meade.

Carl Russell and Roy Hill.

Jonah Maloney-Wise and Marsina Martin.

Craig and Sarah Millsom.

Shauna Phillips.

Shepparton’s Carl Russell was just short of taking out the title on his home course at the weekend.

Competing in the Victorian Hansa Class Championships, Russell and his coach Roy Hill finished second in the Hansa 303 doubles division.

While the pair was topped by Sarah Millsom and her coach and brother Craig, Hill said Russell was proud of the result.

‘‘Carl Russell is a wheelchair-bound sailor and I go as his coach,’’ Hill said.

‘‘He was really happy to finish second, it’s the second second (place) he’s got in a Victorian Championship and he did really well as the one local sailor in the fleet against some of the others that compete all over Australia.’’

Hill is also the president of Shepparton Sailability and was rapt with how smooth the event ran at the first time it has been hosted in Shepparton at Victoria Park Lake.

‘‘It was really successful actually, we had a great weekend considering it was so hot,’’ he said.

‘‘There were probably about 35 (competitors), it was quite a bit to get through especially as a lot of the races were slower than we expected because of the weather, but we got in some really good sailing.’’

A mixture of sailors of all abilities competed in the tournament, including young participants as well as those aged above 65.

‘‘There’s a real cross-section of all abilities, but we’re particularly focused on giving disabled people the opportunity to be competitive in a sport, they’re as capable as anyone else out on the water, so it’s an opportunity to get out there and be competitive,’’ Hill said.

‘‘Volunteers from Shepp Sailability were the backbone, they were running the day and did an excellent job.’’

Hill said anybody could become involved as a volunteer at Shepparton Sailability and no sailing experience was needed.

For those interested or wanting more information, go to shepsailing.wixsite.com/shepsailability

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