Family Robinson the World Champs Win the 2015 Mirror Worlds in SA
Michaela (14) and Ryan(18) are a brother sister team from Carletonville JHB, who have sailed since they were babies with their family of 7. They attend the Carleton Jones high school in the grade 9 and grade 12 2015 classes at the school. They mentioned that they are lucky to be in a school where the principle is as passionate about sailing as they are.
Michaela and Ryan started racing since they were 10 years old and initially started racing with older brothers (Ricky and Brennan) who trained them from a young age. They then started racing together and swopped positions as Helm and Crew to help each other learn as much as they could.
They mentioned that some their challenges were ensuring that they get along consistently, because if they don’t, they tend to go slower and the team work is not as great, so they needed to make sure that they are a team and get along. Another challenge was that Michaela was ill but she was strong and really made the most of it.
Some of their highlights included the cool vibe of people, meeting new friends, being able to travel out to Cape Town and being part of the race.
The team are a humble down-to-earth duo who never takes things for granted and were nervous of some of the competitors, 3 competitors who are international champions holding various world cups and another team who sailed a boat called “peanut” who came second. While Ryan and Michaela won the 2013 version in Lough Derg, their siblings had finished in the top five in the previous Worlds in Australia, won by Northern Ireland's Ross Kearney and which is why they were surprised to find that they won.
Ryan has his Protea Colours and Michaela is working hard to get hers in the near future.
Mike (Father) is an ex-Fireball dinghy sailor says you don't have to have all the latest gear in order to win a Worlds.
Michaela was also the youngest sailor to win in Ireland and this is the first time a team has ever had 2 consecutive wins. In January 2014 the family competed in the Cape to Rio. We are sure the dynamic duo will continue to make South Africa proud in future sailing events.
Courtesy Trevor Wilkins