Thursday, 18 April 2013

ISAF Youth Worlds : Nine Sailors Named to Represent New Zealand in Cyprus

29er representatives Markus Somerville and Jack Simpson in action at 2013 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland. Image copyright Yachting New Zealand.

by Jodie Bakewell-White

Nine sailors have been named in the 2013 NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team to represent New Zealand at the prestigious ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships.

Limmasol, Cyprus will play host to this year’s regatta which gathers together national teams from around the world and runs from 13-20 July 2013.

The NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team includes…
Andrew McKenzie (Kohimarama Yacht Club) – Laser
Isaac McHardie (Hamilton Yacht Club) – SL16 Multihull helm
Micah Wilkinson (Ngaroto Sailing Club) – SL16 Multihull crew
Sam Barnett  (Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club) – Boy’s 420 helm
Zak Merton (Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club) – Boy’s 420 crew
Olivia Mackay (Napier Sailing Club) – Girl’s 420 helm
Abby Goodwin (Napier Sailing Club) – Girl’s 420 crew
Markus Som erville (Wakatere Boating Club) – 29er helm
Jack Simpson (Wakatere Boating Club) – 29er crew

Team support: Ian Neely, Jim Maloney, Karin Adelinger and Ed Smyth

Ian Neely, Yachting New Zealand’s Talent Development Manager confirms that this group represents the best of the best in New Zealand Youth Sailing right now, and he is excited about their prospects.

“To be selected for the NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team is tough,” says Neely. “These sailors really have to prove to the selection panel that they have what it takes to do well in Cyprus, and the nine sailors who have been named for 2013 have worked hard to earn this honour.”

But the hard work isn’t all over yet Neely continues; “Each of these crews is now in preparation and training mode over the next couple of months so they are in the best position possible to do well in Cyprus. Training schedules and build-up regattas are tailored to suit each crew and they will be supported by great coaches in the lead-up and at the ISAF Youth Worlds regatta. There is plenty of learning to be done and room for improvement yet.”

Three of the nine sailors named are from Auckland with others hailing from Tauranga – a well known breeding ground of sailing talent, as well as Napier, Hamilton and Ngaroto. To be eligible sailors must be under the age of 19 years on the last day of 2013 with the kiwi group ranging in age from 15 years, Isaac McHardie being the youngest, through to 17 years, Andrew McKenzie the oldest.

Two have represented New Zealand at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships previously including Andrew McKenzie, placing 16th in the Laser in 2012 and Jack Simpson finishing sixth in the 29er in 2011.

Nearly all have competed internationally previously either at junior or youth level, a factor that will stand them in good stead when they face the top competition that the ISAF Youth World Championships offers.

Notably this year’s 29er crew Jack Simpson and Markus Somerville have recently been to Largs, Scotland to gain experience at the RYA Youth National Championships, the kiwi boys coming away with the victory in their class.

Laser representative Andrew McKenzie is currently preparing in Hyeres, France where he will compete in the open Laser fleet at the up-coming ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres Regatta against the world’s best Olympic campaigners.

Racing is scheduled to start at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in Limassol, Cyprus on Monday 15th July with sailor registration and practice racing over the weekend leading up to kick off. Competition continues from Monday through until Friday 19th July with a total of twelve races possible if conditions allow.

Yachting New Zealand