Tuesday, 6 May 2008

New Zealand's Team for 2008 ISAF Youth Worlds

by Jodie Bakewell-White

Yachting New Zealand is pleased to announce the 2008 NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team. This team of ten sailors will travel to Arhus, Denmark in July, to represent New Zealand at the ISAF Youth World Championships.

The 2008 ISAF Youth World Championships, sponsored by Volvo, is set to be one of the biggest ever with 59 nations and 250 sailors already signed up to compete in Denmark from 10-19 July.

The New Zealand team includes:

Laser Boys: Sam Meech (Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club)
Laser Radial Girls: Cushla Hume-Merry (Evans Bay Yacht & Motorboat Club)
RS:X Windsurfing Boys: Josh Nixon (Takapuna Boating Club/Royal Akarana Yacht Club)
RS:X Windsurfing Girls: Jazmine Lynch (Takapuna Boating Club)
29er Boys: Paul Snow-Hansen (Wakatere Boating Club) & Ben Goodwin (Napier Sailing Club)
29er Girls: Alexandra Maloney (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) & Bianca Barbarich-Bacher (Murrays Bay Sailing Cub)
Multihull: Francisco Lardies (Glendowie Boating Club) & David Hazard (Sandspit Yacht Club)

This is a team of extremely talented young sailors, four of whom have the experience of having been in the team in previous years.

Not only will the New Zealand sailors be looking for medals in their respective classes, they will also be looking for a good performance in the Volvo Trophy presented to the best performing nation. In 2007 the New Zealand team was the third nation behind Australia and Denmark.

Paul Snow-Hansen helmed the double-handed 29er to a silver medal performance in 2007 at the ISAF Youth World Championships in Weymouth and is back this year with Ben Goodwin of Napier as his crew. Goodwin was also a team member in 2007 competing then in the Hobie 16 and finishing 6th overall.

For Wellington Laser Radial sailor, Cushla Hume-Merry, this will be her third year in the national youth team having represented New Zealand in both 2006 and 2007. A recent highlight for Hume-Merry was her performance at the Laser Radial Class Youth World Championship sailed here in Auckland in March of this year. She won silver, narrowly missing the girls title after a close fought battle with Australia’s Gabrielle King in which they finished level on points.

Josh Nixon is the fourth member of the 2008 team that has Youth Worlds experience under his belt. Nixon, who is a training partner of Olympian Tom Ashley, was in Kingston, Canada in 2007 for the Youth Worlds where he finished 7th overall.

The girls 29er pairing is one to watch. Helm, Alexandra Maloney was top female at the 2007 Optimist World Championships finishing third overall in the enormous 250 boat fleet. Now sailing with Bianca Barbarich-Bacher as crew, who has some solid international campaigning in her sailing career, the pair has edged out talented Wellington sisters Sarah and Emma Berry for the girls double-handed spot this year.

Sam Meech won out in the selection race for the Laser spot after a tight battle with Andy Maloney and Jason Saunders in the trial events. For Meech, from Tauranga, this will be his first ISAF Youth World Championships.

Francisco Lardies and David Hazard will represent New Zealand in the multihull fleet in Arhus, Denmark. This year the boat being used is the Sirena SL16 and not the Hobie 16 as more commonly chosen by previous host nations of this event.

The NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team sponsors include:
NZL Yachting Trust
New Zealand Academy of Sport
Line 7

ISAF Youth Worlds

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