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Emilie Agnew (19) has been helping coach young sailors in preparation for upcoming sailing regattas. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Emilie Agnew’s love of sailing has brought her back to Caroline Bay this summer.

The 19-year-old, who has been studying biomedical science at the University of Auckland, has come home for the holidays and is passing on her sailing expertise.

Her return to Timaru was welcomed by members of the Timaru Yacht and Powerboat Club, including junior representative Rob Berger.

“One thing non-university town clubs struggle with is ongoing internal support because of the brain drain .. so we’re really grateful for the few like Emilie who come back and help out.”

Miss Agnew started sailing when she was 13, “for fun”.

“.. I really enjoyed it and so progressed into the P-class and then Starling. Alongside that I was part of my school sailing team, sailing the 420,” she said.

“I have competed in many regattas around the country in these boats, greatly improving my skill level at each one.”

She credited her coach, Bruce Lund, who inspired her to work hard and achieve her goals.

Now she was paying it forward by coaching other budding young sailors.

To do that, she cruises in a motor boat alongside about five P-class sailors at a time, providing instructions for a range of drills and advice on how to improve their technique.

“It’s all about being able to carry out every manoeuvre just that little bit better and so I’ve just been giving them tips on how to achieve this in order to improve their racing performance.”

Miss Agnew’s goal this summer is to see Timaru’s sailors do well at this year’s regattas, including the Tanner Cup in Auckland from January 5-7.

South Canterbury will be represented by Aylwen Berger and Nicos Shearer, both 13.

The Tauranga Cup, in which a range of Timaru club members will compete, will take place from January 8-10.

“Hopefully all their hard work pays off.”

Miss Agnew enjoys watching the sailors progress.

“I like teaching them .. I like to feel as though I am making a difference to their lives. I’m also very happy being out on the water all day in the sun, making the most of summer.”