Lake Macquarie sailor Kyle Langford has won the America's Cup, recently claimed the inaugural SailGP series for Australia and will contest his second Sydney to Hobart next month.
However, the 30-year-old sailor was presented with a completely new challenge last Friday when he returned to Coal Point Primary School for the first time since graduating almost two decades ago.
"I haven't spent a lot of time with a bunch of five to 12 year olds before so it's pretty daunting, but it was awesome to see their enthusiasm for sailing and the trophy," Langford said.
Current Coal Point students were able to see the spoils of Langford's latest success - a 2.5 kilogram sterling silver and 24-carat gold plated SailGP Championship trophy - up close on November 8 as part of the SailGP Championship trophy tour.
"I wanted to repay that support by taking the trophy home to celebrate with the community that has played a crucial role in shaping who I am and that supported my childhood dreams of sailing professionally," Langford said of the school visit.
Langford hosted a talk with Coal Point students, sharing the successes and challenges he has experienced as an athlete, and his journey to become a part of the Australia SailGP team.
"It was surreal to be sharing my story with the young people in the hall where I also once sat as a student," he said.
"I hope that by sharing my own story as a local kid, who once sailed in Lake Macquarie and is now representing Australia in SailGP, that I will inspire some of the students to head down to their local sailing club and give the sport a try.
"It's so important that we encourage the next generation to get involved in sailing and continue the strong legacy of sailing in Australia, which is what we hope to achieve from our regional trophy tour."
The Australia SailGP team wing trimmer has signed up once more with team green and gold to defend the title in season two, which opens in Sydney on February 28 and 29, and he hopes the concept is here to stay.
"This is the only international sailing competition, which is at the peak of technology where you're actually representing your country," he said. "I think that makes it a massive drawcard."
Langford, who bases himself in Sweden, lives a largely nomadic lifestyle these days pursuing a career in sailing after starting out as a child on the waters around Coal Point, Toronto and Wangi Wangi.
Langford leaves the country this week but returns for a ride on Comanche in this year's Sydney to Hobart from December 26. Outside an expanded SailGP campaign in 2020, he has also confirmed a spot in the round-the-world Ocean Race for 2021-22.