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21 July 2005, 05:07 pm
APP Sailor Alyson MYERS
Alyson MYERS
Alyson MYERS is flying the flag for the Bahamas in Busan

APP At The ISAF Youth Worlds
Busan, Korea

Along with Thomas PHILLIPS, Alyson MYERS is the Bahamas' first ever representative at the ISAF Youth Worlds.
In her first major Championship the 16 year old has posted some impressive results and is gaining invaluable experience in the Laser Radial fleet.

MYERS started sailing at the age of six and five years later began racing in a sunfish at a school sailing camp on Nassau. Her affection for the sport was instant and has spread to her family who are now all following the example of the 16 year old.

MYERS is now a member of the Royal Nassau Sailing Club and regularly sails in a Snipe, a Laser and a Sunfish. MYERS cannot recall a definitive moment when she realize she had a real talent for the sport, as she says, 'I never really discovered that I was quite good at it, more like I just really enjoyed it, so I was always out on the water and constantly practicing.'

MYERS has received funding from the ISAF Athlete Participation Programme to attend the Championship and for the 16 year old travelling to Busan is giving her the opportunity to taken in a vast range of new experiences. Although she has competed in Sunfish competitors before this is her first ever international regatta and her first time competing against so many other sailors. 'This is the biggest heat I have ever been in,' she says, 'it's pretty crowded, there are only about six lasers in Nassau, I love sailing against a bunch of other people I've met a lot of new people and picked up some new techniques.'

As well as the experience and lessons she is learning from other sailors, MYERS has had the benefit of onsite coaching from Jim SALTONSTLL (GBR). 'He had filmed us sailing and was giving us helpful advice and tips. Jim is very knowledgeable and has helped us quite a bit. Some of the techniques we were using were outdated and he let us know what else to do. For example, our traveller tension in light air was incorrect. We had been sailing with a loose traveller but what is needed in light air is a tight traveler. Personally, I am learning a lot and meeting many new people.'

Although MYERS is lying 31st and last in the Laser Radial fleet, her scorecard has been peppered with some excellent results which have shown she has already learnt a lot from her experiences here. Recalling the first day of racing, she says, 'The starting line was the most crowded and stressful starting line I have ever experienced. We had about three general recalls all together today for my fleet. The way the currents were flowing really made it difficult to get a good start. The first race I placed 30th. In the second race I was 31st. In the third race I placed 22nd. I was ecstatic after the third race. I had beaten eight boats.' In the opening race on race day two, MYERS went on to better that result, keeping her cool after a number of sailors went OCS to record a finish of 20, her best of the Championship so far.

For MYERS the hard work she did to prepare for the Championship has paid off. 'I was sailing as much as possible, I taught optimist at the camp as an instructor, after work at 1500 I would go out on my Laser. I was on the water all day four or five days a week.' With one race remaining tomorrow she will be aiming to put all the lessons she has learnt into practice before returning to the Bahamas and working on her next sailing goals. For now she is happy sailing with her companions back home, who she sites as her sailing heroes, 'My hero? I have to say people I sail with constantly in Snipes, Robert DUNKELY and another fellow called Jimmy LOW, he also sails Snipes and Stars.'

And her ultimate aim is no different to any young sailor, 'I want to make it to the Olympics one day.'

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