Emma Wilson

Wilson windsurfs to early Youth Worlds gold

Written by RYA | 19 December 2016

Emma Wilson claims Youth World Championship gold with a race to spare

Christchurch windsurfer Emma Wilson has won 2016 AON Youth Sailing World Championships RS:X gold with a day to spare in Auckland, New Zealand.

The 17-year old, who won silver at the 2015 event, dominated the girls’ windsurfing class and led from start to finish to hold such a points advantage at the close of racing on Monday that her lead cannot be overhauled on the final day on Tuesday.

The Youth Sailing World Championships, for the world’s leading sailors aged 19 and under, is a proven talent indicator and past notable British Youth Worlds champions include Olympic gold medallists Ben Ainslie, Sarah Ayton and Giles Scott.

Last month Wilson, who trains out of the OTC at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, finished fifth at the RS:X class Youth World Championships in Cyprus. She admits that experience spurred her to glory in New Zealand.

Wilson said: “For Youth sailors this is the pinnacle and it’s pretty cool to have won it with a race still to come. It’s crazy to think about some of the people who have won this before. I can’t begin to start thinking about myself as someone like them!

“I went into this event so determined. At the RS:X Worlds in Cyprus I was third all week and lost it in the medal race so I had so much determination not to let that happen again here. “

Israel’s Katy Spychakov had dominated the class Worlds and I went into this event knowing the Russian and Peruvian sailors were really good too. But I couldn’t get too caught up in what they were doing, I just had to focus each day on what I could do and let everything else take care of itself.

“I just never gave up during the whole regatta and never believed a race was over until it was. I always believed I could catch up if I wasn’t having a good race and that determination is what has won me this. I’m really pleased; it doesn’t feel real.”

Wilson wrapped up the Youth Worlds title in style, crossing the line first in Monday’s final race – race 12 of the RS:X class’ 13-race series - to secure the gold. It was her sixth race win of the event, underlining her consistency and authority throughout.

The 46th AON Youth Sailing World Championships come to a close on Tuesday, with one final race for all classes before the medals are presented. Wilson wants to go out with a bang even though no one can take her gold medal away from her.

She added: “My strength has been my consistency over the week. Sunday and Saturday it was my conditions; 12-15 knots and I was going so fast downwind so when I might not have been doing so well in a race I knew I could catch up downwind. That gave me a lot of confidence.

“I went into Monday knowing a good performance meant I could wrap up gold a day early. It gusty and the first two races were about making sure there was no a big separation with the fleet and to keep it safe. In the last race I got a good start and won the race so it was really nice to cross the line first knowing that secured the title too. That’s the moment you want.

“My approach for last day is now to take it like every other race and just give it my best shot. I can’t believe it’s happened!”

More than 380 sailors from 65 nations have been doing battle across nine classes in Auckland. Five days of racing started on Friday.

Wilson still could have cause for double celebration as Britain also currently leads the race for the overall Nations Trophy. Crispin Beaumont and Tom Darling could make it double golden glory for the Brits as they go into the final boys’ 29er race just four points behind France’s Gwendal Nael and Lilian Mercier.

You can see the full results on the Youth Worlds website, and follow the team on the British Youth Sailing Team Facebook and Twitter @RYAYouthRacing.

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