First Hong Kong sailor to compete since 1996
Last month, we introduced you to several ICOYC Olympians representing their home countries and home clubs. From Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, we bring you the story of Stephanie Norton, who has also qualified to compete in the Laser Radial class.
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club member Stephanie Norton will be flying the flag for Hong Kong at the Tokyo Olympics competing in the Laser Radial class. Stephanie made history by securing the first-ever female singlehanded dinghy class slot for Hong Kong. The qualification came after the successful running of the much-postponed Mussanah Open held in Oman, the final Olympic qualifying event for Asia and Africa.
“I’m half Chinese and I’ve lived in Hong Kong my whole life. It is super-amazing to be able to represent Hong Kong in an international event,” said Stephanie, adding that it feels unreal and that she’s a little nervous to be competing in her first Olympics.
Watch an interview with Stephanie Norton HERE.
Stephanie’s father is RHKYC Rear Commodore Sailing, David Norton. With his encouragement, Stephanie started sailing at the age of 8, first in Optimists and soon moving on to the Laser 4.7 squad and now the Laser Radial. She joined the Hong Kong Sports Institute in 2018 and became a full-time sailor after finishing high school.
“Without any intensive racing last year, it’s hard to tell what to expect at the Games,” said Stephanie.
Apart from crediting Stephanie herself for her outstanding performance, credit should also be given to Head Coach Jamie Boag and the rest of the team at the Hong Kong Sports Institute. This qualification sees the return of a Hong Kong sailor to the Olympic stage for the first time since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, when the current Hong Kong MNA President, Cheung Mei Han and her crew Tung Chun Mei, represented Hong Kong in the Women’s 470 class; Chan Yuk Wah and Andrew Service competed in the Men’s 470.
Members of Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club are beyond excited to cheer on Stephanie!
Racing starts 24 July for the Women’s Laser Radial, Men’s Laser and Men’s and Women’s Windsurfer, and runs through 31 July.
Olympics Racing Schedule: https://www.nbcolympics.com/sailing