Youth European Gold for GYC Sport Member Anja von Allmen!
For the reigning junior world champion in the Laser 4.7, the start of the Junior European Championship went anything but as expected: Anja von Allmen (GYC/ RCO / DRCS) pretty much failed at the start of the first three races. In the other races, the now 17-year-old from the Bernese Oberland always placed herself in the top 5 at the Laser 4.7 Junior European Championship in Vilamoura, Portugal, and thanks to this consistency, she confidently secured the European Championship title!
Sovereign victory thanks to a brilliant race to catch up
“The first two days we got off to a bad start,” confirms Anja's trainer Damir Nakrst. As the reigning junior world champion, Anja put herself under too much pressure. The fact that she did not give up despite this bad start, but ultimately sailed confidently to EM gold is due to the fact that she is a fighter by nature: “When Anja realized that it was actually not a big deal, she could no longer be stopped and literally overran her opponents, ”said the coach with Korean roots.
Another success in the Palmarès of the Spiez sailing hope
With this title, Anja von Allmen adds another success to her already impressive Palmarès. The high school student and reigning Swiss champion in Laser 4.7 recently won the overall European Cup ranking for women and was honoured for this a week ago in Vilamoura. Anja von Allmen is now switching to the Laser Radial and intends to take part in the Radial Youth EM in Hyères at the end of October.
In the following interview with Anja von Allmen, which we had after her return to Switzerland, you can read what the woman from Spiez thinks about her victory.
Swiss Sailing: Anja, first of all, congratulations on this new triumph almost exactly one year after winning the gold medal at the Junior World Championships in Laser 4.7. What was your first thought after crossing the finish line?
Anja: I saw Damir holding the Swiss flag in the air and just thought: Wow! I did it! I really did it!
Did you improve after two difficult first days? How did you do that?
I put a lot of pressure on myself. After all, I was world champion in Laser 4.7, then I had to win in Vilamoura too! But frankly, this attitude didn't really help me. I always got off to a bad start in the first three races and didn't follow my original plan. To be honest, I had already given up a little on the inside ... I thought that the medal places were already out of reach, so I didn't think much about the result anymore. Lo and behold, I finally got off to a good start in the 4th race, kept the plan - and won it. At that moment my self-confidence returned, from then on Damir and I decided not to take any more risks at the start. It has been shown that when I start well, i.e. at speed, was automatically in the Top10 and thanks to my downwind technique mostly even in the Top5 ...
The sailing season this year went differently than planned for everyone. To what extent was the preparation for the EM special?
We trained in lockdown for two (with Emilie Tschanz) on Lake Thun, but on the Radial. During the summer vacation we then had two weeks of preparation on Lake Neuchâtel and thus for once in Switzerland and not, as usual, on the sea. We were also unable to sail a regatta to check our level in the fleet. The international comparison was therefore completely missing. That means we had no idea what to expect in Vilamoura, i.e. how strong the competition would be. For a long time we didn't know whether the EM would take place at all. This uncertainty, i.e. not knowing what to prepare for, was especially difficult mentally. Also because this is my last regatta on the Laser 4.7. Was….
And what was the biggest challenge for you in Vilamoura?
We Swiss were fortunate that we were able to sail a lot compared to others before the European Championship. But we still didn't know what to expect at the EM; the EM itself was, as it were, our position determination for the EM. I started with high expectations and couldn't implement them from the start. This pressure, which I put on myself during all the preparation and the first few days, was definitely a challenge!
What's next in terms of sailing?
A lot is still open. It continues on the Laser Radial, from now on ... Hopefully we can sail the Radial Youth EM in Hyères at the end of October . But that probably is also determined by Covid-19 ...
Same as Swiss Sailing – the Gstaad Yacht Club will keep fingers crossed for Anja von Allmen, and wish her all the best for the further course of her sailing career!
Text Provided by: Diana Fäh Mosimann (Swiss Sailing)