The rising star of the British team, Young is talk of the town in Weymouth among British supporters
She says her pet hate is faffing but no one quite expected Alison Young who has had the most amazing year in the Laser Radials, to take the bull by the horns with such aplomb the moment she dipped her toe in the Olympic arena.
Some of you may think Ali is a fly by night flash in the pan because we have not heard that much about her in this Olympic cycle. But you could not be more wrong!
For ages, she was in the shadow of Charlotte Dobson who started out as the fave to get the nod for London 2012 but as time went by, it became obvious that Ali wanted it more. Much more as it turned out.
We heard that the 25 year old brainbox, who took a first in civil engineering at Southampton University, was putting in tons of hours at the gym and had even taken to racing around Portland on a unicycle that she bought on ebay for £30 to strengthen her core. Now that’s what I call dedication.
Reports came through, mainly from her coaches that she was utterly determined and totally focused which coincided with results that showed she was making steady gains, starting with the ISAF World Championships in Perth last December.
This, significantly was the first time in 2011 she had beaten Charlotte Dobson, with whom she was battling for the Team GB place at London 2012.
The ninths and sevenths of 2011 turned into fourths in 2012, including a fourth at the ISAF Worlds in May, which was when the selectors finally became convinced that their 6′ rookie, who started out racing Oppies and Toppers on Trimpley Reservoir in the Midlands, had the X-factor.
OK so I’m holding my hands up here because up until I actually saw her race at Sail for Gold, I had pretty much ruled out a Laser Radial medal but now I know a bit more about how hard she works and how her entire life is geared towards winning an Olympic medal ,my mind is completely changed.
One wonders whether she has changed the minds too of Evi Van Acker of Belgium and Marit Bouwmeister of the Nederlands who between them have had the Laser Radial titles sown up over the past two years.
The conditions in Weymouth, strong 16 knot winds gusting 20 knots, suit the bigger Ali and even bigger Annalise Murphy better, which explains why the second and third race saw the two of them prevail with Annalise continuing her amazing clean sweep of victories over four races.
It is too early to call but after four races, Ali is lying in fourth place overall, the two seconds having lifted her five places from Monday.
There are six races and the medal race remaining so expect to see Ali design a serious system, like any decent civil engineer might, for a gold winning mechanism.