New Zealand has won gold and bronze and placed third in the Nations Trophy at the 2013 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships just finished in Cyprus. All five kiwi crews finished in the top six making it an excellent year for the NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team at this pinnacle youth regatta.
'We are both just absolutely wrapped not only for the teams that have won medals but with the whole team who have performed so well,' say Ian Neely and Jim Maloney, who have provided team coaching and support in Cyprus.
'It has been a great team to take away and all these young sailors will remember this event forever. Both of us are looking forward to the upcoming international events and then to coming home and starting the next phase.'
SL16 winners Isaac McHardie (Hamilton Yacht Club/RAYC) and Micah Wilkinson (Ngaroto Sailing Club/RAYC) had their well deserved moment on the top of the podium while the New Zealand national anthem provided the soundtrack and the New Zealand flag was hoisted.
Dominant across the initial four days of racing the young kiwis in the SL16 catamaran, who both started their sailing in the Waikato, opened well and simply continued to widen the gap on their rivals as the regatta progressed. At the end of the penultimate day they had done enough to secure New Zealand’s first ever gold medal in a multihull division at the ISAF Youth Worlds.
Markus Somerville (16 years old) and Jack Simpson (17 years old) both from the Wakatere Boating Club in Auckland secured a bronze medal for New Zealand today narrowly missing silver in the 29 strong 29er skiff class.
Going into the final race in second the kiwis had the Swedes very close on points behind. In today’s final race Markus and Jack finished 15th, while their rivals were fifth and the kiwis took the bronze medal just two points behind.
Markus and Jack sailed exceptionally well in Australia last summer, winning the 29er Australian National Championship, then returning to New Zealand to convincingly win both the New Zealand 29er National Championships and the 29er event at 2013 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland. In April they won the 29er division of the RYA Youth National Championships in Scotland.
'The event was awesome and having the opportunity to sing our national anthem was the cherry on top. We really value the support of our sponsors who made this opportunity possible and have given us memories for a life-time,' said Micah Wilkinson and Markus Somerville.
The next best placed of the NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team was Sam Barnett and Zak Merton who have finished the regatta in fifth place in the Boy’s 420 class. They finished fifth in the last race of the regatta sailed today in Cyprus.
Sam and Zak are club-mates at the Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club who joined forces in the double-handed 420 dinghy in the middle of 2012.
Andrew McKenzie (Kohimarama Yacht Club) ended the regatta on a high note winning today’s final race in the hotly contested boy’s Laser Radial. With today’s result he has finished sixth overall.
Andrew is one of New Zealand’s rising stars in single handed dinghy sailing, with some significant achievements to date including second place (tied points with the winner) at the 2012 Laser Radial Youth World Championships, sailed in Brisbane.
Olivia Mackay and Abby Goodwin (Napier Sailing Club) have also placed sixth overall in the Girl’s 420 rounding out a terrific team performance. Placed seventh going into today a sixth on the water in the final race of the regatta the girls lifted their final standing to sixth in the fleet of 27 boats each sailed by a different nation.
The teams’ performance across all races has contributed to an excellent result of third country in the Nations Trophy behind Italy and Australia in first and second respectively.
The ISAF Youth World Championships is arguably the most important youth sailing event of the year and the pinnacle of youth sailing in general. History shows that often the winners of this competition become future Olympic medallists and form the crews of America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and all the most challenging global sailing disciplines.
Since the inaugural ISAF Youth World Championships in 1971 New Zealand has now amassed a total of 44 medals including 16 gold medals, 16 silver and 12 bronze. Sir Russell Coutts, Chris Dickson, Dean Barker, Stu Bannatyne, Tom Ashley and Jo Aleh are just some of the New Zealanders to have medalled across the history of the event
2013 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team final results
1st Isaac McHardie (Hamilton Yacht Club/RAYC) and Micah Wilkinson (Ngaroto Sailing Club/RAYC) – SL16 Multihull
3rd Markus Somerville and Jack Simpson (Wakatere Boating Club) – 29er
6th Andrew McKenzie (Kohimarama Yacht Club) – Laser Radial
5th Sam Barnett and Zak Merton (Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club) – Boy’s 420
6th Olivia Mackay and Abby Goodwin (Napier Sailing Club) – Girl’s 420
Nations Trophy Final Results:
3rd New Zealand
Ian Neely, Jim Maloney and Karin Adelinger
by Jodie Bakewell-White
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10:39 PM Fri 19 Jul 2013GMT
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