ALISON Young is putting notions of a world title repeat to the back of her mind as she prepares for the Laser Radial World Championship which kicks off in Medemblik, the Netherlands, today.

The Portland-based 30-year-old became the first British woman to win a World Championship in a solo Olympic dinghy class on the waters of Vallarta, Mexico, last year.

While Young says being defending champion has given extra impetus to this edition’s build-up, she knows it will count for little when she takes to the startline alongside 99 rivals from 41 nations when competition starts on the IJsselmeer this week.

“Winning the Worlds last year adds an extra bit of bite to this year’s regatta, but from Monday that’s irrelevant,” the sailor said.

“I hope I can put in a performance that my support team and I can be proud of.  I’m not going to be trying to come second, I will be trying to execute the best performance I can and it’ll either be good enough to get a result or not.”

The two-time Olympian had an injury-marred start to this post-Olympic year, with a best 2017 performance to date coming at the World Cup event in Hyeres where she finished fourth.  

She’s determined to put on a good show and remain in the mix in the closely-fought women’s single-handed fleet, where the title contenders will include home hopeful and Olympic Champion Marit Bouwmeester and Belgian world number one Evi Van Acker.  Japan’s Manami Doi won the Delta Lloyd Regatta at the same venue in May.

“In reality my season so far has been poor, I haven’t been racing at my best, but I will be fighting hard every second of every race and if I string together enough of the right components then I’m sure I can be competitive,” said a resolute Young.

“It’s Medemblik, it’s going to be shifty and choppy, we’ll have some light wind races and some windy races. The fleet is competitive so I expect the racing to be tight.

“I’ll need to keep focused and be prepared to chip away and scrap for every place.”

British Sailing Team talents Georgina Povall, Ellie Cumpsty and Clementine Thompson will also be flying the flag at the Laser Radial Worlds in Medemblik.