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Sailing sisters to compete in 470 Youth World Championships

Two Murray's Bay sisters are setting sail on their biggest adventure yet - the 470 Youth World Championships in Japan.

Sailing twins Brianna and Courtney Reynolds-Smith, 17, will compete in their first big international event since moving into the 470 class.

The pair moved from the 420 youth class into the 470 class at the start of 2017, after feeling they were being held back in the smaller boats.

The regatta, held in August in Enoshima, will be good competition experience for the pair who are working towards a Tokyo 2020 Olympic campaign.

"We are really well prepared and we have had a lot of advice from a lot of really talented people, so we know exactly what to expect," Brianna said.

Assisting the two year 13 students from Westlake Girls High School in their sailing career are Olympic medallists Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, who sold the girls their gold medal-winning boat from the 2012 London Olympics

The twins had initially bought an older boat to get them off the ground but it became clear they were in need of an upgrade when the Reynolds-Smith's mast snapped in two at sea.

After their return from being stranded 200 metres offshore, Aleh told them they really needed to take her Olympic class yacht, after months of nagging.

"I'd say it was one of the fastest boats in the world after the Rio campaign, so we know we have got good kit," said Brianna.

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"We have eliminated everything that might hold us back from doing really well," added Courtney.

‚ÄčIn order to prepare for their upcoming competition, the two followed a rigorous training schedule and diet.

When the girls were not putting in the hours on the water alongside the men's 470 crew of Daniel Willcox and Paul Snow-Hansen, they were up early to go to the gym.

The girls said they got up at 6am every day so that they could improve their strength, a key advantage to any sailing team, they said.

However, the ultimate goal was not to reach the Olympics, it was to be the very best they could be.

"I want to get to the point where I know I've reached my full potential. I don't want to stop until I've reached that and, if that is at the Olympics, great," Courtney said.

From Stuff.co.nz

Brianna and Courtney Reynolds-Smith from Murrays Bay, Auckland say they feel privileged to race all over the world.

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