New Zealand wins Gold Medal at Volvo ISAF World Worlds

Sam Meech representing New Zealand wins Race 1 and has gone onto to take th Gold Medal in the Boys Laser Radial class at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2009 in Buzios, Brazil

Although the protocol bound 2009 Volvo ISAF Youth Worlds are not yet completed, New Zealander Sam Meech is assured of winning a Gold Medal in the Boys Laser Radial class.

Three races were sailed overnight (NZT) in Buzios, Brazil in a 12kts breeze which built into a beautiful 15-16kt sea breeze.

Meech finished sixth in the first race sailed, then scored two wins to ease out to a massive 33point lead over the second placed competitor. With only one race left in the regatta, with four races on the full card, Meech cannot be beaten for the Gold medal and does not need to sail in the final race.

Protocols laid down by the International Sailing Federation have worked against the new Zealand competitors, who generally had a good penultimate day in the regatta, and one with its best breeze (when racing was actually held).

In the 420 Girls event, Alexandra Maloney and Bianca Barbarich-Bacher scored two wins and a second in the three races sailed to haul themselves through the points table and into fifth place overall, just five points outside the bronze medal. With one race left in the regatta, but four remaining, they have to beat the two crews ahead of them by five places to take the bronze medal.

ISAF Protocols governing the event prevented racing being held on the rest day, when a day had already been lost due to strong winds. The following day (Wednesday) racing was again lost because there was too little wind. On the final day Protocols again come into play prescribing that only one race may be sailed if there are four or less remaining in the regatta. There are four races remaining.

In the Volvo Trophy for overall team performance, New Zealand lies in fifth overall, a creditable result given the constraints of the regatta.

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