Eighteen-year-old sailing sensation Evie Saunders has won two gold medals on Day 6 at the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

The NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship athlete won gold in the ILCA-6 class and also took home gold in the teams event with Ellen Sampson.

Saunders entered the medal race with a slender lead over Fijian Sophia Morgan – knowing she would need to finish within one position of the Fijian to win gold. Turning the medal race into a one on one match race, tactically matching the Fijian, saw Evie finish within the target one position to take the overall points win.

“I’m super happy with it,” Evie said. “To win the individual and the team event with Ellen, two golds, I’m just so happy.

“This is my first big international win, it’s so amazing. All my hard work and training has paid off.

“Coming into today I knew it was a battle between Fiji and myself for gold – it became a very tactical, one on one boat handling battle and my plan worked out well.

“At the finish line, I was so close with Fiji, I knew my plan and I knew that I executed it. It took a minute to sink in but once I came over to the coach boat with Ellen and (coach) Annie I knew it was real. It’s such a great feeling.”

Australia has won two gold, a silver and a bronze medal after a week of sailing at Iumi Water Park, with the young sailing team revelling in the international regatta opportunity. Saunders sealed two gold medals while Sailboarder Lachlan Vize won silver, also taking home bronze with teammate Jarrod Jones in the teams event.

Article and image courtesy of the AOC

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