Windsurfing Youth World Champion: Islay Watson

Scotland and its media tend to focus in on a few sports but Scotland’s young athletes have excelled at  the 2018 Youth Sailing World Championships.

Islay Watson a Scottish windsurfer  has  won the Youth World Championships in a five-day regatta in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Islay Watson 2

Credit Paul Wyeth RYA

Islay Watson 18, who is from Aviemore, did not even realise her victory until she got back to shore.

She said:

“When I got back to the shore people kept coming up to me and congratulating me. When I realised what had happened I was so excited!”

Her first phone call was to her parents and sister Erin – the RS:X youth national champion – back at home in Aviemore.

“My parents were straight on the phone and they were extremely excited, as was my sister Erin . In fact she was probably more excited than me!”

The Youth World Championships is considered the pinnacle of youth racing, and competitors often go on to launch Olympic campaigns.

Islay Watson said:

Islay Watson. Credit Paul Wyeth RYA

Islay Watson. Credit Paul Wyeth RYA

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but I’m feeling pretty good right now! It was a pretty amazing week – totally different to anything I’d done before, and I learned so much just from being there.”

Despite only arriving back home today, Islay only has a few days to rest before taking on her next challenge – the world championships for the Techno Plus windsurfer class.

“I’ve got a pretty busy summer still ahead of me,” she said.

“I’m heading home for a week then going to Latvia for the Techno Plus worlds then straight from there to Poland for the Europeans. It’s going to be non-stop for a little longer yet.”

Her gold was followed up by Hampshire pair Vita Heathcote and Milly Boyle, who won silver in the girls’ 420 class.

Fellow Scottish windsurfer Isaac Lines, the boys’ RS:X national champion, finished 11th overall at the Youth Worlds while Fife’s Ewan Wilson, sailing the 29er dinghy, came home in ninth.

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