by Daniel Smith
At the 2004 ISAF Youth Worlds in Gdynia, Poland Great Britain’s Nick Thompson won Laser Radial Boys gold and set him on the route he follows today.
2004 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships. Gydinia, Poland Laser Boys Gold GBR
After the 2004 ISAF Youth Worlds Thompson worked his way through the ranks to become World #1 in the Laser in 2011 and was unlucky not to be selected for the London 2012 Olympic Games after securing his third Laser Worlds podium finish at the 2011 ISAF Worlds in Perth, Australia.
Thompson looks back on the 2004 ISAF Youth Worlds with fond memories of the tough week of racing, 'It was a good fun event,' said Thompson. 'It was good to race at a high level at such a young age with a lot of international competitors. It opens the door and gives you opportunities for the future but shows you how tough it is when you’re racing against guys who are the best in their country as well.'
The Briton raced against London 2012 Olympians Tonci Stipanovic (CRO), Simon Groteluschen (GER), Deniss Karpak (EST), Mustafa Cakir (TUR), Rutger van Schaardenburg (NED) and Pavlos Kontides (CYP) in the Laser Radials Boys fleet in Poland and set them all the on the path they now follow.
'In a way it is a mini Olympics. Everybody is there staying in the same venue and same location with all the different classes which is quite rare because quite often the Lasers will sail with the Lasers, the Finns will be with the Finns and so on. But at the youth level everyone gets together and it is a great atmosphere and a good fun event.'
Fifty six Radial Boys will take to the start line on 15 July aiming to follow in the footsteps of previous Radial winners such as Thompson and the Brit offered some words of advice, 'Just have fun and enjoy yourself. Remember you’re still young and there’s plenty of time to move forward in the future.'
Racing at the 2013 Sail First ISAF Youth Worlds commences on 15 July through to 19 July in eight classes.