by Zoe Hawkins
Sam Meech (NZL) 4th overall in Boys Laser after Day 4 of the ISAF Volvo Youth Worlds. Meech will again represent NZ in the Laser Radial class
Yachting New Zealand has announced the team that will represent New Zealand at the 39th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships in Buzios, Brazil, in July this year.
Often described as a forerunner to Olympic success, the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships is an event in which New Zealand has a successful record, securing second place overall on the nations ranking list in 2008, and third overall in 2007.
Sailing in the Boys Double Handed Dinghy are Logan Dunning-Beck and Ben Goodwin. Goodwin has already represented New Zealand twice at the ISAF Youth Worlds, in both the Hobie 16 and the 29er. This is his first year at this event in a 420, a class that is a natural predecessor to the Olympic 470, in which New Zealand is traditionally very strong.
Alexandra Maloney and Bianca Barbarich-Bacher have teamed up for the Girls Double Handed Dinghy division. As top female sailor in the 2007 Optimist World Championships, and third overall, Alexandra has already succeeded on the world stage, and with Bianca has proven a very worthy opponent to some of the country’s most successful junior and senior sailors. In 2008 they narrowly missed achieving a bronze medal in the 29er class at the ISAF Worlds in Denmark and Brazil will be an opportunity for them to prove their point.
Sam Meech will have an opportunity to improve on the Bronze medal he won at the same event last year in the Boys Single Handed Division. There is a slight twist however; this year he will compete in the Laser Radial instead of the Standard rigged version of this craft. His counterpart in the Girl’s event is Rachel Basevi, with Ben Mackay in the Boys Windsurfer, and Lucy Driver in the Girls Windsurfer event.
James Turner and Marcus Hansen will compete in the Hobie 16 class.
'This year’s team consists of a credible group of young sailors, who I feel will do themselves proud at the ISAF Youth Worlds,' said Yachting New Zealand’s High Performance & Youth Director, Marty Watson.
'We will field sailors in every division, and this shows great depth of talent,' says Watson. 'I hope that all will emerge from the event triumphant, but my first wish is that their experiences are positive and will lead to them following their dreams in the sport of sailing.'
Winners from all youth class national championship events were considered for selection for the 2009 NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team.
The 2009 NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team is supported by the NZL Yachting Trust, ASB and Line 7, three organisations that have supported sailing stars past and present over many years.