Alison Young bowed out of the 2018 Sailing World Championships with Laser Radial medal race victory on Friday – and a vow to come back stronger at the first Tokyo 2020 test event.
Young, who represented Great Britain at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, saved her best until last, picking up her first race win of the regatta in Aarhus, Denmark, in strong breeze.
The 31-year-old from Wolverhampton began the week hoping to recreate her success in 2016 when she became the first British woman ever to claim gold at an Olympic class world championships.
But despite finishing on form, the result wasn’t enough to fire her onto the podium and she ended the regatta in seventh overall.
“The final medal race was pretty interesting – there was a pretty big right shift and I thought the race might actually be abandoned, but I executed my strategy well and won the race,” said Young, who led from start to finish.
“It’s a nice way to finish up the regatta but I haven’t had the best week – seventh isn’t a good result and it’s not what I came here to do, but I’ll now step back, get a clear picture of where we go from here and move forwards.”
Young will enjoy a couple of weeks of rest and recuperation before heading to Japan for the first test event for the Tokyo 2020 Games held at the Olympic venue Enoshima.
“There’s been some things that I’ve been pleased with but I’ve now got some huge opportunities to address,” she added. “We will start to do that once we get a bit of focus and clarity about what exactly we need to address.”
Young’s final placing earns Great Britain a place in the Laser Radial competition at Tokyo 2020.
So far British sailors have qualified the nation in the Finn, men’s and women’s 470, Laser and Laser Radial and 49er FX classes.
Elliot Hanson went into the Laser Standard medal race looking to defend or improve on his third-place standing but his bid for a first senior world championship medal suffered a blow when he was penalised early on.
The on-water judges ruled that Hanson had illegally rocked his boat on the second leg to gain more speed, and the imposed penalty turn relegated him to the back of the ten-boat fleet.
Despite a valiant attempt at a fight-back Hanson crossed the line in tenth, finishing fifth overall.
“I’ve had a successful week but it was a bit of a bittersweet ending,” said the 24-year-old from Macclesfied, who only returned to racing in May following ankle surgery.
“I slightly underperformed in the medal race, missed the first shift and then in those conditions I really struggled to get back into it.
“I think that in a few days’ time when everything’s settled down I’ll look back and be quite proud of the way I sailed. I wasn’t even sure that I’d make it to this event after my surgery in February so to come away with a fifth at the world championships makes me quite proud.”
Racing starts at 1pm UK time and can be watched live at www.britishsailingteam.com.