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RS-X Youth World Championships - Emma Wilson clinches World title

by Matt Carter on 28 Oct 2014
Emma Wilson on the Podium - 2014 RS:X Youth World Championship RYA
The British Youth Sailing Team’s Emma Wilson clinched an emphatic World title at the 2014 RS:X Youth World Championships in Clearwater, Florida, on Saturday (25 October).

The 15-year-old from Christchurch, Dorset, sailed a solid series from the offset and entered Saturday’s medal race showdown with a narrow two point cushion at the top of the leaderboard.

With a solid 14 knots of breeze and glorious sunshine, Wilson showed poise beyond her years to win the medal race in extraordinary fashion to claim both the Under 19 and Under 17 World title. Imogen Sills finished the medal race in second, sixth overall, making it an impressive one-two for the British team on the final day of racing.

'It feels pretty special, I wasn't expecting to win overall against all the older girls, it's crazy,' enthused Wilson.

'Going in to the final medal race I was only two points ahead of second and third place which meant whoever won the medal race won overall. I just tried to keep calm and not get distracted. My plan for the race was to get a good start, use my speed and work as hard as possible until the end.

'Winning the medal race had to be the best part of the competition. I had a good start and just didn't look back. When I did look back at the first mark, I couldn't see anyone, I thought I had done something wrong! I ended up winning the medal race by quite a distance which was so cool! When I crossed the line I was so happy and then Imogen [Sills] came second in the race so that made it pretty special as well.

She added: 'The conditions were very marginal at the start of the week with about 0-7 knots which was very physical. I just gave everything I had and hoped it would go my way. By day four and five the wind picked up to about 12-15 knots which was so fun, especially in 25 degrees.'

The Bournemouth Collegiate School pupil, who was one of the youngest competitors at the event and racing against an under 19 fleet, finished 12 points clear of Berenice Mege from France, while Italy’s reigning World champion Marta Maggetti took the bronze.

Wilson continued: 'It was probably the toughest competition I have ever done! I've been racing in the under 19 fleet for nearly two years and the girls are so strong. I never thought I would beat them this time last year! Going in to the event I wanted to make the medal race and anymore was a bonus, but to be honest I always want to win in whatever I do.'

In the boy’s fleet, British windsurfers Robert York finished 13th, while Dan Wilson, older brother to Emma, finished 17th overall.

Leo McCallin, British Youth Sailing Team RS:X Windsurfing coach, commented: 'I am very happy with the team’s performance at the RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater, Florida. It was a tough regatta with a range of conditions spread over 13 races. Emma [Wilson] put together an outstanding series to put herself top of a tight leaderboard going into the medal race. Emma's hard work and dedication to training shone through in the final deciding race, where she dominated from start to finish culminating in the biggest lead I have ever seen in a competitive race!'

For more information from the 2014 RS:X Youth World Championships, visit the event website.

For more information on the RYA Youth Racing programme please click here.

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