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Will Cooley is a sailor who was awarded a Tier 3 Scholarship within the 2021 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program.

Will is a Youth world champion who was born in Sydney in 2002. He began sailing at the Vaucluse 12FT Amateur Sailing Club in 2012 and has enjoyed success in virtually every age group in the Nacra boat class. He now competes for Hunters Hill Sailing Club and Kurnell Catamaran Club.

The most outstanding achievement on Will’s sailing resume is the gold he won at the World Youth Sailing Championships in 2019 in Poland, the same year that he was named Australian Youth Sailor of the Year and New South Wales Institute of Sport Junior Athlete of the Year.

The world championship gold followed multiple state titles at junior level as well as victories in the Nacra 15 class at national junior level and national open level in 2018 and 2019. He also represented Australia in 2018 and 2019 in races in Poland and the USA, and competed at the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina in 2018.

Before winning the world championship, Will collected a silver medal in the Nacra 15 class at the Sailing World Championships in 2018, and was appointed a Youth Olympic Change Maker in 2019 by the International Olympic Committee.

Will has his sights set on becoming a professional sailor and a medalist in Paris 2024, and plans to complete a degree in naval architecture and maritime engineering. He would also like to nurture young talent and participate in SailGP events as a competitor and engineer.

It is an honour to be a SAHOF Scholarship holder. The Scholarship helps me take a step closer towards my goal for selection in the Australian Sailing Team for Paris 2024 Olympic Games selection. The SAHOF scholarship is both a privilege and an inspiration to receive.” – Will Cooley on being selected as a 2021 Tier 3 Scholarship Holder.

Awards, Honours & Achievements

  • 2018: Youth Olympics, Argentina – Representative
  • 2019: Youth Olympic Change Maker (IOC)
  • 2018: Nacra 15 Sailing World Championship, Barcelona – 2nd (U16)
  • 2019 & 2018: Two-time Nacra 15 Australian Open Champion
  • 2019 & 2018: Two-time Nacra 15 Australian Youth Champion
  • 2019 & 2018: Two-time Australian Youth Sailing Team Representative, Poland, and USA
  • 2019 & 2018: Two-time Nacra 15 State Champion
  • 2019: Youth Sailing World Championship, Poland – 1st
  • 2019: Australian Youth Sailor of the Year
  • 2019: New South Wales Institute of Sport, Junior Athlete of the Year
  • 2021: Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship Holder – Tier 3

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