ISAF Youth Worlds: NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team win Gold on Day 4

New Zealand SL 16 crew 2013 ISAF Youth Worlds - Cyprus, Day 4

With one day to go New Zealand is assured of a gold medal at the 2013 Sail First ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships now drawing to a close in Cyprus with Isaac McHardie (Hamilton Yacht Club/RAYC) and Micah Wilkinson (Ngaroto Sailing Club/RAYC) now unbeatable in the SL16 multihull.

Across the other four classes where the 2013 NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team feature, our sailors remain in the top seven places with Markus Somerville and Jack Simpson (Wakatere Boating Club) now in second place and eyeing a podium finish in the 29er skiff. Just one day remains with only one race on the schedule to determine the final placings.

'This is New Zealand’s first medal in the catamaran in the history of the event, we are stoked for the guys,' says Ian Neely, YNZ Talent Development Manager. 'With one more day to go, the whole team plans to finish this regatta with the same professional approach that they entered this regatta, we are going to finish strong.'

Isaac and Micah will be back on the water tomorrow but with a 6, 1, 4 from today they have opened a 15 point margin over the chasing Australian crew, and the kiwis now have the gold in the bag. They are understandably excited.

'We just needed to keep the Aussies behind us in most of the races, and be consistent top five and we did that so we’re very happy,' says Micah describing what needed to be done on the water today. 'Awesome, so proud, so happy to be representing New Zealand and winning, and beating the Aussies,' he adds.

The young kiwis plan to enjoy tomorrow’s final race of the regatta; 'We’ll make the most of it and just go sailing with the boys I guess.'

Pairing up at the start of the season 16 year-old Isaac and 17 year-old Micah have gone from strength to strength demonstrating massive performance gains as they build their partnership, despite an injury set-back early in the summer when Micah broke his arm.

Isaac McHardie and Michah Wilkinson, New Zealand SL 16 crew 2013 ISAF Youth Worlds - Cyprus, Day 4

Recently they sailed the SL16 World Championships as a lead-up regatta where they finished sixth overall and clearly gained some valuable experience in the multihull class. Following the ISAF Youth Worlds they will go on to compete at the 29er World Championships on in Arhus, Denmark.

Markus Somerville and Jack Simpson (Wakatere Boating Club) are in a strong position to secure a medal for New Zealand in the 29er skiff with another good day on the water today returning a sixth, a seventh and a fourth. They have overtaken the Swedish crew to grab second overall going into the final day but just one point separates the Kiwis and the Swedes making for a high pressure last race.

France’s Rual and Amoros are out in front with a seemingly unassailable lead.

New Zealand’s 420 boy’s pair of Sam Barnett and Zak Merton (Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club) are in fifth place overall just one point adrift of the Japanese crew in fourth.

Andrew McKenzie (Kohimarama Yacht Club) is in sixth overall in the 56 strong boy’s Laser radial fleet at the end of the penultimate day of racing.

And 420 girl’s Olivia Mackay and Abby Goodwin (Napier Sailing Club) are lying seventh in the 27 boat fleet.

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.

Tomorrow is the final day of the regatta with prize-giving and the closing ceremony to follow racing.

New Zealand 29er crew 2013 ISAF Youth Worlds - Cyprus, Day 4

2013 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team standings after Day 4

1st Isaac McHardie (Hamilton Yacht Club/RAYC) and Micah Wilkinson (Ngaroto Sailing Club/RAYC) – SL16 Multihull
2nd 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
7th Olivia Mackay and Abby Goodwin (Napier Sailing Club) – Girl’s 420


Nations Trophy current standings:
1st Italy
2nd Spain
3rd New Zealand

Team support
Ian Neely, Jim Maloney and Karin Adelinger

The regatta schedule:

Saturday 13th July: Registration and equipment allocation
Sunday 14th July: Training day and practice racing
Monday 15th – Friday 19th July: Competition Racing (no rest day)