‘Sunny’ Olympic sailors holding back the floods
TWO Olympic sailors have a new role after London 2012 … boosting a Huddersfield company in the USA.
Florida brother and sister Paige and Zach Railey – who are both world-class sailors – were so impressed with FloodSax sandless sandbags they have now set up a company called High Water Flood Group in their home state to sell them.
The self-inflating FloodSax are the brainchild of Golcar-based entrepreneur Richard Bailey, managing director of Environmental Defence Systems – and they proved themselves in action during Hurricane Sandy in the USA at the end of last October.
Both 25-year-old Paige and Zach, 28, took part in the London 2012 Olympics with Paige finishing 8th and Zach 12th.
Paige said: “My father is a very well-known insurance agent in the USA. When I was competing at the Olympics he was talking to a British man about the product – actually during my finals race. My dad became very excited about FloodSax and it went on from there.
“Now both Zach and I are concentrating on selling FloodSax and then we’ll turn our attention to preparing for the Olympics in Rio, Brazil, in 2016.’’
Paige said both she and Zach were disappointed with their final placings in the 2012 Olympics.
“England was extremely pleasant but the only problem was it was freezing cold on the water,’’ she said.
“It’s certainly hard for Floridians to sail in the cold!’’
Paige sails in the Laser Radial class which was won in Weymouth by China’s Xu Lijia with Britain’s Alison Young in fifth place. Paige is a four times world sailing champion and is the first female and the youngest ever person to win the International Sailing Federation Rolex World Sailor of the Year award.
Zach races in the Finn class which was won by British sailor Ben Ainslie. Zach won Olympic Silver Medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics with Ben again winning gold.
Paige said: “We began sailing because the family dentist recommended that my mother take Zach to a learn to sail programme. It was literally so she could get a break and get rid of the kids for a bit.
“We both fell in love with sailing the minute we sailed our first boat. We both strive for excellence and know what it means to sacrifice and work hard. We both put our whole effort into something to be successful at it. We have now changed our focus from sailing to FloodSax.