Nfld. & Labrador

Long may your big jib draw: St. John's teen competing in international sailing race

Livi Allen, 16, of St. John's is in Kingston, Ontario this week, competing against 180 athletes from 35 different countries.

Sailing has brought Livi Allen all over Canada and into the United States

Livi Allen has been sailing for five years. (Submitted)

What do you do with a teenaged sailor?

Send her to Kingston, Ontario to compete in the Laser 4.7 Youth World Championships of course.

That's exactly where 16-year-old Livi Allen of St. John's is this week, competing against 180 athletes from 35 different countries. Allen is the only sailor in the competition representing Newfoundland and Labrador.  

"In the summer I train every day for five to seven hours," Allen told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.

"In the fall and spring, I train on weekends. In the winter, I go to Miami to train there for a few weeks." 

Allen says she would like to sail full-time for a career. (Submitted)

A Laser 4.7 is a type of small, single person sailboat.

Sunday marked the beginning of the regatta, but lack of wind kept Allen's bracket of sailors on land.

Within one year of sailing I already started competing, loving it straightaway.​​​​​- Livi Allen

Long term plans

Allen has been competing for five years. 

"I just love the feeling of being on the water, the waves and the wind, it's so exciting for me," she said.

"Within one year of sailing I already started competing, loving it straightaway."

Allen is the only Newfoundlander in the 2019 ILCA Laser 4.7 Youth World Championships. (Submitted)

So much love, in fact, that Allen said she wants to sail into the future, adding she would love to sail as a career.

But, she said, it's a difficult thing to do in Newfoundland with very short sailing seasons.

"It involves a lot of travelling. So, we'll see," she said.

"In the summers, we have regattas almost every weekend."

So far this year Allen has been in five competitive sailing events which took place in Nova Scotia and Ontario. 

The Laser 4.7 Youth World Championships will run until Friday.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Jonny Hodder

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