Young sailor in a class of her own

Let’s face it – 2020 has been tough. But in amongst the lockdowns and Alert Levels, there have been some amazing success stories. Greta Pilkington is one of them.

The Year 13 sailor attended four regattas January and February – one of the few sailing classes to complete their World Championship this year due to Covid-19.

Greta attended three Australian National regattas in the Laser Radial Class, followed by the Laser Radial Women’s Worlds. As Melbourne was hosting the Laser Worlds in February, they had scheduled all their National Championships prior at the same venue. Because of this arrangement, the top 50 in the world were based there over the summer period.

Greta was part of a New Zealand youth and women’s team attending these regatta. This was her very first international Laser Radial Regatta and she was accepted to attend the Words based on her current NZL ranking. The World Regatta was a qualifier for the Tokyo games 2020 and many countries were still trialing and determining selection based on performances. Needless to say, Greta was sailing against the best of the best in the world!

To provide a sense of perspective, Marit Bouwmeester (NED) who went on to win the Laser Radial Worlds in February this year, won her first World Title in 2006 when Greta was just three-years-old. Shas since competed in over 130 international regattas since 2006 and is currently ranked #4 in the world.

Greta says she was super excited to be on the same start line as these women. She learnt a lot and loved the experience, despite the wind and sea state making the conditions extremely tough.

Greta is currently training for the NZ Youth Trials in early Oct. Although the Youth Worlds have been cancelled New Zealand is still proceeding with Trials to continue to improve the quality of the sailors and sailing in NZ.

Her results at these regattas were:

Regatta 1: Australian Laser Nationals  – 1st– 7th Jan 2020, Sandringham Yacht Club,  (SYC)  Melbourne, Australia. Result 15th /63  Silver Fleet – 78/126 OA.

Australian Laser Youth Nationals  2020 – 9th – 14th Jan 2020, Blairgowrie Yacht Club, Sorrento, Melbourne, Australia. Result 20th /40  – 4th top girl in the regatta.

Sail Melbourne – 16th – 21st Jan 2020, Sandringham Yacht Club,  (SYC)  Melbourne, Australia. Result 26th Silver Fleet – 53 /85 OA.

ILCA Laser Radial Women’s Worlds Championship 2020 – 17th – 28th Feb 2020, Sandringham Yacht Club,  (SYC)  Melbourne, Australia. Result: 89th  / 105 sailors OA.

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