Lily Young feels like she’s flying into the European Championships despite narrowly missing out on the Olympics.

Young was unable to earn Olympic selection in the Formula Kite class, with European champion Ellie Aldridge getting the nod for Paris 2024.

This is despite Young winning bronze at last year’s World Championships and finishing fourth at European level.

The south coast star will have to wait until at least LA 2028 to make her Olympic debut but is zeroing in on the next best thing: becoming world champion in Hyeres, France next month.

“It feels weird coming third in the world and not going to the Olympics,” admitted Young. “I know that I’m better than 80% of the sailors who are going to the Olympics.

“But that’s what you sign up for, in our sport only one can go and if you’re not the best of the best, there is the risk that you won’t.

“I got over it pretty quickly, because I can still win a World Championship. Worlds are almost harder than the Olympics because absolutely everyone is there, there is no limit per nation.

“I’ve been able to reset to helping Ellie towards her goals for the Games and we’ve got a really nice balance. I’m super motivated to keep progressing because I know I can still improve the colour of my medal.”

Young is part of the strongest Formula Kite women squad in the world, one of four British sailors who finished in the top 10 at last year’s Worlds in the new Olympic boat class.

“We can basically recreate the standard of racing of Olympic finals in our training group,” she said. “We also have the youth lads who come and sail with us as well.

“We decided this winter just to sail as a British squad and keep all of our information to ourselves without having to share with other nations.”

Young and team will get their first indication as to how winter training, spent mainly in Mexico and Fuerteventura, has progressed at the Europeans in Mar Menor, Spain.

“It’s quite a good check-in event for us,” said Young. “My main focus is Worlds but I’m excited to see how we match up against other countries.

“We are the only nation who have selected for the Olympics so it’s going to be pretty hectic with lots of Olympic places up for grabs. It’s going to be really interesting.

“We’ll be a lot more calm than the other countries and hopefully we can use that to our advantage.”

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