Lara Schechter is competing on behalf of Paraguay in her first major regatta at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Istanbul.
Fifteen year old Lara is the only competitor representing Paraguay and came to Istanbul as part of the ISAF Athlete Participation Programme (APP) that supports young sailors to enable them to experience racing against some of the finest youth sailors in the world.
Lara learnt to sail on Lake Ypacarai Yacht Club on Lake Ypacarai in Asuncion, the capital of Paraquay. She started sailing about a year ago but has only been sailing the Laser singlehander for six months.
"I sail Lasers and Super Cats in Asuncion but the fleets are very small, maximum twelve boats."
"This is my first time sailing in the ISAF Youth World Championships, I am using it as a learning experience, I'm quite relaxed about sailing in a big fleet. "I am learning from the coaches, they are very good. Other nations' sailors are also helping me."
Although she has only been sailing the Laser a few months what are Lara's goals from the event?
"My goal would be mid fleet but I am here to learn from the experience. I would like to beat the girls from South Africa and St Lucia who I have good battles with."
Lara is very impressed with Istanbul and the people here,
"Istanbul is beautiful, the people here are incredibly nice, the weather is amazing. I was seriously surprised how nice the people are."
So has she had chance to do any sightseeing?
"Yes my family came before the championship and did a tour of the city to see the sights including the Sofia Mosque."
"There is nothing I don't like about Istanbul, I love everything, I think I could live here!"
So what other sports does she enjoy?
"I used to do horse back riding which in Paraguay is normal because there are big farms but here it is like the sport of kings! I also like soccer but I didn't see the World Cup final, I fell asleep, I was tired."
Today is the second day of racing at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship and all competitors are held ashore waiting for the breeze to fill in. When the AP is lowered what is Lara's main aim for the day?
"Just to have fun"
Lara sets a great example for a young girl of her age in a foreign country sailing for the first time in a major regatta and will take back some fond memories of her experiences here in Istanbul
For more details on the 2010 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship visit: www.isafyouthworlds.com
Link to the Volvo Youth Worlds Facebook site: www.facebook.com/pages/Volvo-Youth-Worlds/93806273347