US SAILING's Team Alphagraphics squad member Erika Reineke has been sailing full time with the senior squad since January 2011 after making the jump up from youth sailing.
The American won a bronze medal at the 2010 Volvo ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey before winning gold at Laser Radial Youth Worlds shorltly after in Largs, Scotland. And with the 17 year old still eligible to sail at the 2011 ISAF Youth Worlds in Zadar, Croatia
she has high hopes.
"I plan to bring home the gold medal for the United States," Reineke
said. "Last year I brought home the bronze and this time I want to go all the way."
The step up from youth to senior sailing is a big jump for any individual, but the ISAF Youth Worlds provides a solid platform for young sailors to gain first hand experience of a large sailing regatta.
Reineke added, "The ISAF Youth Worlds taught me that consistency is rewarded in the end. In youth competition a lot of kids are up and down in results but in the ISAF Sailing World Cup events you need to be more consistent and that will give you the gold."
Many competitors go on to great things after competing at ISAF Youth Worlds. Robert Scheidt
(BRA) sailed in the 1991 edition in Largs, Scotland winning gold in the Laser. Just five years later he was on the top of the podium at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Sailing Competition
receiving a Laser gold medal. And now, as a four time Olympic medallist, he is one of the most decorated sailors around.
Going further back Alessandra Sensini
(ITA) won bronze in the Girl's Mistral at the 1987 ISAF Youth Worlds in Botony Bay, Australia. And like Scheidt, she has been ever present on the Olympic Sailing Podium since 1996 claiming two bronze medals, one silver and a gold.
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With many ISAF Youth Worlds competitors moving on to bigger and greater things Reineke has room to be optimistic with her aim to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Click here to watch a full interview with Erika Reineke (USA) and find out what she had to say on the sailing conditions at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, the venue of the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, her progression from youth to senior sailing and what she hopes to achieve.
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