Saskia Sills insists she now knows the true meaning of the phrase ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ after illness wrecked her ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships this month.
Windsurfer Sills arrived in Cyprus as the one to beat as the 17-year-old looked to defend her 2012 RS:X girls’ title in Limassol.
However Sills was facing an uphill battle before the competition even got underway as she landed feeling under the weather and was unable to practice properly.
And, despite giving her all, Sills couldn’t quite force her way onto the podium, a final race finish of eighth meaning she ended the five-day competition in sixth overall.
Sills’ brave effort didn’t go unrewarded however as she managed to twice finish in the top three from her 13 races – even winning the eighth edition.
And, although her remarkable run of podium finishes came to a halt in Limassol, Sills believes she can still be proud of what she achieved given the circumstances.
“It was a really tough week of racing for me,” said Sills. “I hadn’t been feeling great and was quite poorly at the beginning of the week so struggled at times to keep the results consistent.
“I haven’t finished off the podium at a regatta since 2010, so I’m really disappointed to be honest but everyone needs it every once in a while.
“And this has definitely made me hungrier and more determined to come back next year and give it another go.
“I still learnt a lot competing in such a strong, competitive youth fleet during the week so I’m actually feeling happy about the event.”
Sills doesn’t have to wait long to enact some revenge on her rivals with October’s RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championships fast approaching.
And the 17-year-old windsurfer admits she will be keeping her fingers crossed for a clean bill of health between now and then.
“I’ve got a lot to go away and work on between now and our class worlds later this year but I’m feeling good,” she added.
“I did pretty well considering the circumstances so hopefully I can stay healthy for the worlds and get back on the podium.”
© Sportsbeat 2013