Australian Sailing Development Squad sailor Ashley Stoddart has finished second in a highly competitive fleet at the 2009 Laser Radial Youth World Championship in Karatsu, Japan.
The Brisbane sailor was also crowned Under 17 Girls World Champion and came home just three points behind French competitor Mathilde de Kerangat in the overall standings.
It capped off a hectic few weeks for Stoddart who competed in three major international regattas on two continents which included a sixth placing in the Laser Radial class at the Volvo ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship and victory in the silver fleet at the Laser Radial Senior World Championship.
“Well after today I have no regrets,” said Stoddart. “I put my best effort in during the regatta and I'm very pleased with the way I sailed and the achievements and skills I have acquired over the last month or so.”
“It does feel a bit weird though, my trip is nearly over, but it has been a lot of fun and a great experience!”
“I'm thrilled to have come second in the Laser Radial Youth Women's World Championship and to be the Under 17 World Champion.”
Fellow Australian and ASDS sailor Alexandra South had a tough final day of the regatta, and after going into the last two races in third place she had a DNF and black flag to finish in seventh overall.
South gained a lot of experience from the regatta and was rewarded with second place behind Stoddart in the Under 17 Girls division.
The Australian sailors were joined in Japan by coach Sarah Blanck, with the two-time Olympian providing valuable advice and guidance to team.
“It's been an extremely tough regatta for the Youths, consistently a big breeze which when combined with the tough swell and wave conditions made it was a pretty long week for them,” said Blanck.
“The final day was much lighter, about 10-12knots, and it mixed the results up a lot. Even though the wind had dropped, it was still the same as every other day for the last three weeks in Japan. It was a right hand course, which made starting crucial.”
“It was a tough day for the youth boys, and unfortunately they dropped quite a few places. They all have sailed well though throughout the Worlds and all happy to be taking home with them a great experience, and have learnt a lot,” said Blanck.
“Ashley Stoddart had another consistent day, and it came down to the last race of the World Championships,” she said.
Ashlie Lane finished 29th in the girls fleet and sixth in the Under 17 division while in the boys gold fleet Christopher Jones finished 13th, ahead of Ki-raphael Sulkowski in 25th and Elliott Noye in 42nd.
In the boys silver fleet Rohan Langford was 12th, one position ahead of Joe McMillan in 13th with Angus Barton in 15th. Liam Bennett finished the regatta in 46th position.