Ellie Meopham might have returned from the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships empty handed but she insists last month’s trip to Cyprus was far from a wasted one.
The 18-year-old, fourth in the girls’ Laser Radial fleet at the 2012 regatta in Dublin, had to settle for a finish of five places lower in ninth after 11 races.
And Meopham insists that, while she might have been some way off battling for medals, her Cypriot adventure will stand her in good stead to ensure lightning doesn’t strike twice in the future.
“It was a pretty consistent wind in the final race, from the boys’ race we learnt that you had to go right because there was a massive tidal radiant across the course and so what you needed to do was get a good start, tack onto port and have a good lane,” said Meopham.
“So that was my strategy from the beginning, I went out and executed the start perfectly, however there was a general recall, which was good as my start wasn’t great.
“The second start was much better, I followed the same strategy but the wind dropped off, built back up from the top left and, me being bottom right, I was the last one to get the wind so the fleet sailed over me.
“I was happy with the race though, I had my plan and a logic behind my plan it was just disappointing the wind went a different way.
“I learnt a lot though the whole week, I had fun and I am looking forward to taking the experience away and working on the things I need to improve on.”
Gold in the girls’ Laser Radial fleet went to Norway’s Line Flem Host, who only finished outside the top five during the entire regatta in one of her 13 races.
And Meopham admits that rubbing shoulders with the great and the good the world has to offer is only going to make her a better sailor.
“Being at the event was such a great experience, you can’t really describe it – there was such a great vibe, both on and off the water,” she added.
“It was also really friendly, which you wouldn’t have necessarily have expected from such a high-intensity competition.
“So to be there and see how everyone competes was great and I can’t wait to take what I have learned forward.”
© Sportsbeat 2013