Eleven years on, the young Australian skipper is determined to give everything when she competes in the Women’s Match Racing event at the Perth 2011 ISAF World Sailing Championships.
“I hated it apparently,” Price says with a smile, recalling the story her first sailing coach never tires of recounting every time she bumps into him. “I was bawling my eyes out, hated it, couldn’t stand it and was just crying and saying ‘I want to get off.’”
“The next day I chipped my tooth, so that learn to sail camp was pretty memorable.”
While the tears quickly dried and the broken tooth is long gone, sailing has very much become Olivia Price’s life.
Price is skippering one of the two Australian boats competing in the Women’s Match Racing event, with the six sailors also vying for qualification and Australian sailing team selection ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
At 19, Price is also one of the younger women at the helm on the match racing circuit. Along with crew Nina Curtis, 23, and Lucinda Whitty, 22, the three Australians also make up one of the youngest teams competing on the Women’s Match Racing circuit.
While some might find competing against older and more seasoned professionals daunting, Price is happy to be considered a baby in the sport.
“I really enjoy being one of the youngest kids,” she said. “We like being a young team.”
With the three sailing together in match racing events only since June, Price is particularly proud of what they have achieved so far.
“We’ve only been together a short while so the fact that we can be up with all these front runners already and can show them that the young kids do actually have a chance is really cool.”
Currently ranked 19th in the world, Price and her crew will have their work cut out for them at Perth 2011, but with the chance to represent their country and to compete at an Olympic Games within possible reach, the young Australian sailors are not lacking in motivation with their sights set firmly on the medal dais in London.
“That’s the ultimate goal, to win a gold medal at the Olympics,” Price said. “Everything you do is just aimed towards that goal. We keep reminding ourselves what we’re here for.
“To represent Australia would just be amazing. I always dreamed of going to an Olympic Games but I never thought it would be this realistic.”
The Perth 2011 Women’s Match Racing event opens the Worlds on Saturday, 3 December.
(From the Perth 2011 website: www.Perth2011.com