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AFLOAT: Qualifier a learning curve for Emma Stevenson
OSMINGTON teenager Emma Stevenson travelled east along the coast to compete at the fifth Laser World and European Qualifier competition.
It was the Laser Radial sailor's first experience of sailing on the east coast and last weekend's event at Whitstable saw a mix of weather conditions.
The conditions were sunny and bright on Saturday but with very light winds, strong tidal movements and the added hazards of Oyster beds and sandbanks.
There were two races for both fleets but speeds were generally slow. On day two there was torrential rain, poor visibility and wind averaging 16 knots.
After a delayed start, both fleets managed to get in two races with the second race having three laps.
Stevenson said: “It was a privilege competing with excellent sailors such as Jon Emmett and some of the Olympic development squad members, who had just returned from Brazil, and many of the youth squad.”
Overall she was pleased with her performance, achieving two 33rd places in the lighter winds but 26th and 28th in the stronger conditions on Sunday, when she was more familiar with the environment.
Stevenson added: “I really want to improve and get consistent positions within the top 20.”
The 16-year-old aims to observe and learn from others as well as participate in the Laser Association events.
The next qualifier, the sixth of the competition, will be held in Plymouth in a couple of weeks’ time.
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