Ali off to Brazil for world championships
WINDSURING - YOUNG Clevedon windsurfer Ali Masters is gearing up for the biggest week of his short competitive career as he prepares to represent Great Britain at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships in Brazil.
YOUNG Clevedon windsurfer Ali Masters is gearing up for the biggest week of his short competitive career as he prepares to represent Great Britain at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships in Brazil.
Masters (17) flew to South America ahead of the championships which get under way next Thursday, where he will represent RYA Volvo Team GBR in the boys' RS:X 8.5 windsurf event.
Around 280 of the world's top Olympic hopefuls of the future will converge on Buzios, some 100 miles north of Rio, for the 10-day regatta with multiple Olympic gold medallists Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy, Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb among the many high-profile Brits who have represented their country at the prestigious Under-19 event.
Masters, who attends Clevedon Community School, won selection for RYA Volvo Team GBR following his silver-medal winning performance at the RYA Volvo Youth national championships and trials in April.
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The Bristol Corinthian YC youngster, a training partner for Beijing bronze medallist Bryony Shaw in the build-up to last year's Olympics, is no stranger to international competition having twice landed junior world championship titles on the Bic Techno board. He also won RS:X Youth European championship silver last year.
Having warmed up for the ISAF Youth world's by making his senior debut on the 9.5 board at the RS:X Europeans in Israel last month, where he finished a respectable 31st, Masters can't wait to get to Brazil.
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He said: "This is something I have wanted to do for a long time and I'm really looking forward to trying to give it my best shot and make an impression on the rest of the world. Ultimately I'd really want to win the event but finishing in the top three is the goal.
"I've done a reasonable bit of training with both Bryony and Nick Dempsey (2004 Athens bronze medallist) and they have shown me how I really need to train and the attitude I need to get the performances I want at the big events. It's just really cool to have that flag behind you and being with lots of other really talented sailors representing your country."
Masters, who says his fitness and board speed is his greatest sailing strength, makes up part of a 10-strong British ISAF Youth worlds contingent.
RYA Youth racing manager Duncan Truswell, one of three RYA support staff accompanying the sailors to Buzios, said: "The ISAF Youth worlds is quite a different event to what the sailors are used to because it's delivered in a multiclass Olympic format on a very large scale.
"Most importantly is that we go there, enjoy it and learn as much as we can from the experience and there is no better regatta for young sailors to learn at really.
"We have got some very young sailors who will be going for the experience and some sailors going very much for the outcome. It is our aim to provide a whole team environment that's supportive, honest and open and which we hope will be the right environment for all the sailors to achieve whatever it is they are capable of."
In Brazil RYA Volvo Team GBR will be supported by Musto.