LAUNCESTON sailor Emma Barton finished third in the girl's section of the Laser Radial class at the Australian youth sailing championships held on Hobart's River Derwent last week.
It was a career-best result for the 16-year-old Tamar and Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania member and another step in her pathway towards one day representing Australia at an Olympic Games.
Barton started sailing aged seven at the Tamar Yacht Club with her brother Angus and fell in love with the sport.
She started in sabots, progressed to Laser 4.7 and then the larger Laser Radial class when she turned 13.
``The Laser Radial is the women's Olympic class and there were about 50 yachts competing at the nationals,'' Barton said.
``I was hoping to be up the top and I'm very happy with my result and it was very close between the top three girls after 12 races.''
Barton finished sixth at the last national championships in Queensland and qualified to represent Australia at the world Laser 4.7 championships in San Francisco last September, where she also finished third.
``It was amazing representing Australia and sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge every day,'' she said. She has qualified for the next Laser Radial world championships to be held later this year in Hungary and will compete if she can fit in with her year 12 studies.
Barton attends boarding school at Fahan School in Hobart and is coached by Tasmanian high performance coach Richard Scarr.
``Competing at an Olympic Games one day is definitely my number one ambition,'' she said.