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17 year-old Student to Sail in the ISAF World Games in Marseille

     Emily Hill is a 17-year-old student that lives in Miami who has just earned a position on the US Sailing National Team. Emily will represent the team at the 2002 ISAF World Sailing Games to be held June 29-July 10 in Marseille, France. The World Sailing Games is only open to the top two sailors in each boat category and Emily managed to beat some of the best women in the sport to qualify for a spot on the team. We caught up with Emily on a rainy day in March 2002 and asked her some questions about what it's like to be competing in Sailing on an international level.

What motivated you to begin sailing?

 Well, my dad used to sail a lot with me as a kid. Just for fun, because he loves the water. My family used to go on boat trips to Captiva and Sanibel Island. I really liked doing that, so I took a beginning sailing course to get knowledge of the water, and then from there I wanted to get into real sailing so I took the Opti course at Miami Yacht Club and just took it from there. I started sailing at Miami Yacht Club when I was in 4th grade, when I was about 10. I started sailing Optis (Optimist dinghies) and entered into the Optimist dinghy racing. Now I am sailing out of Coral Reef Yacht Club, and I sail Laser Radials, Europes and 420, 429 ers but I focus on Laser Radials right now.

Now I am on the team that is going to be representing the USA at the International Sailing Federation World Games. They name a qualifier early on in the year, then they hold a regatta. They have to place the top sailor in the regatta, within the requirements.

What is the most important thing you need to focus on when you are out sailing?

When it is for sport, I have to focus on being aggressive and keeping the boat going as fast as it can, pushing it all the way to the limit. When its for pleasure, just enjoying the water and the sun. Youíre boat is kind of like a car, and you work on it, and you make it as fast as it can go. You are completely in control of where you go. Youíre trying to go as fast as you can, and of course, youíre on the water so itís beautiful.

What is the prize that you could possibly win at the World Games?

Itís kind of set up just like the Olympics, thereís a gold, a silver and a bronze.

If you win the gold, the silver or even the bronze, what do you think would be the next step for you?

Well, the Laser Radial isnít a womenís Olympic Class so I can sail it and race it as a youth sailor, but if wanted to go to the next step which probably would be the Olympics or something like that, I would start working with the Europe. I sail a Europe, but I donít train seriously and I havenít really considered trying to go to the Olympics yet.

What are some of the boats that you would consider sailing in to be able to be in the Olympics?

For women thereís only three boats. Thereís the single handed boat, which is the Europe, which is kind of like a radial, only a lot more technical. Then thereís the 470 which is a two-person boat, like the big brother of the 420, and then thereís the Yngling, which is a three person boat.

What other sports do you like besides sailing?

I play soccer and volleyball.

How has sailing helped you in other areas of your life?

You have to be in good shape to sail the boats that I sail [as a sport]. Thatís helped me in playing sports & stuff at school. It also helps at problem solving. For example, if someone is going to the right [of your boat], whatís going to be the fastest way to the mark, if thereís a current going this way and thereís a channel halfway through our course? And just the process of getting the sail in, and going to lots of sailing events helps you with everyday planning and everything.

How has it helped your studies at school?

Being on the water a lot, you pick up a lot of stuff that is unique to boats, the ocean, and currents, you could say. In science when we do friction stuff with pulleys and levers. When youíre working on a boat with a three to one pulley, if you put a pulley on it will be easier to pull, and if you take a pulley off, it will be a lot harder.

Whatís your favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject in school is History.

Whatís your least favorite subject? Math

Do you have a special diet that you follow?

Well I used to work out with a trainer, and then I got sick for a while, so I took off. I am have been working out three days a week, but Iím going to put that up a little more. I just eat a lot of protein, and stay away from cokes and fats. Itís hard though, you know? Especially now that I have qualified, Iíve been a lot stricter.

Whatís a typical day like for you?

On the weekdays I usually sail three days a week and work out two. On weekdays I go to school until 3:20 pm and then my sister and I drive to sailing at Coral Reef Yacht Club. We sail until it gets dark. We usually come in in the dark. We de-rig and hurry home, and then we do homework and stuff like that. On the weekends, I usually go sailing around 9 oíclock, either sailing on a different type of boat, or work on my boat. At 11 oíclock we rig, because we sail the Radials every afternoon. Iím out from 11 to 5 pm., then we de-rig and I am home by 6 pm, and itís the same thing on Sunday.    

     Among the 100 nations expected to be represented at the World Sailing Games, the U.S. will send two entries in the Formula Windsurfer (men and women), 470 (men and women), Laser (men), Laser Radial (women), Hobie 16 (men and women), J/22 (women) and J/80 (men).



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