Evie Saunders is a sailor who was awarded a Tier 2 Scholarship within the 2024 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program.
Evie is an ILCA 6 Sailor with an ambition to become an Olympic and World Champion. She commenced sailing in dinghies at the age of eight in the Manly Yacht Club Juniors Program. Having grown up in Sydney, Evie has always loved the water from a very young age, making sailing the best sport for her.
Progressing and growing quickly meant that by the age of 12, Evie was able to handle a Laser 4.7 (ILCA 4), remarkably young for this class of boat. Her determination soon took her to second place (U16) at the ILCA4 Youth World Championships in 2019, at just 13 years of age.
This put gold in Evie’s eyes and at 14 years of age, Evie competed at the 2020 ILCA 6 Open Women’s World Championships alongside World Champions and Olympic medallists. When the COVID 19 pandemic hit, Evie set about using the time to build her sailing skills and strength with many days spent training on her own on Sydney Harbour.
Bristling with enthusiasm to do well once regattas commenced, Evie continued to train. Finally, in late 2021, with all junior events cancelled, leaving little opportunity for competition, Evie travelled to Oman to compete in the Open Women’s World Championships, where she placed 44th overall, including a 7th in one race. Since then, Evie has set her sights on making the most of all local, interstate, and international regattas. She aims to be successful at the youth level while also preparing herself for the challenge of the Open competition.
In 2022, Evie won a silver medal at the ISAF Youth World Championships in The Hague – she was the only Australian medallist at these championships. This was the first time in 14 years that an Australian girl had medalled at the Youth World Championships in ILCA 6 and puts in perspective Evie’s potential for the future.
Her dedication and talent are recognised by the fact that she has been a scholarship holder at NSWIS for the past four years and a member of the Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) program for the past three years.
Evie has shifted her focus to competing in senior events as her goal for the Olympic Gold at the 2028 LA Olympics approaches. She will be competing at her 5th Senior World Championships in Argentina in January as she continues to climb through the open rankings (current international ranking – 47th).
Off the water, Evie is finishing her studies at school intending to develop a career in science and engineering, ideally in the sailing industry.
“I have an amazing but jam-packed calendar of sailing planned next year, so it is really exciting to be involved with SAHOF as a scholarship recipient for 2024 as I seek to gain more experience towards my goal of Olympic Gold. It is nice to see that SAHOF has recognised my recent success and can see the potential I have in sailing” – Evie Saunders on being selected as a 2024 Tier 2 Scholarship Holder
Honours & Achievements
- 2023: Keil Week, 3rd Place and Evie’s First Major Result in the Senior Fleet
- 2023: Allianz World Cup, 6th Place and Evie Qualified for her First Medal Race at her First World Cup
- 2023: Australian National Championships, 1st Place for the U19s and the U21s, and Finished 9th Overall in the Senior Fleet
- 2022: QLD ILCA 6 States, 1st Place
- 2022: Allianz Youth World Championships, 2nd Place and the first Australian Female to Medal in this Event in 14 Years