Kiwi crews medal in two Australian 420 Championships

Sam Barnett and Zak Meron from NZL, sitting in third place - 420 Australian Championships

Recently five New Zealand 420 crews competed at the Australian 420 Nationals and the Australian Youth Championship held at the Sorrento Sailing and Couta Boat Club on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne.

The regattas were sailed back to back,starting on 28 December and finishing 10 January. The regattas are both selection events for teams hoping to represent Australia at the ISAF Youth Worlds. The NZers were fortunate to get some valuable race experience in the bigger Australian fleets and found the conditions provided some excellent learning opportunities.

The five New Zealand crews included - Sam Barnett/ Zak Merton, Liv Mackay/Abby Goodwin, Eliza Wilkinson/Kate Stewart, Emma Stenhouse/ Brittany Wornall and Taylor Balogh/Cameron Moss.

Australian 420 National Championships

At the 420 Nationals there were forty three boats from across Australia,Hong Kong and NZ competing.

Sam and Zak got off to a good start with a win in the opening race.

The second race was abandoned when a forecast wind change took place and fifty knots hit the race course with the result that many boats sustained broken masts and ripped sails. Fortunately the storm was short lived so racing got underway the following day.

There were a variety of hot and cold conditions, with the wind generally a shifty southerly of 15-20 knots over the next four racing days. All girl teams Eliza Wilkinson/ Kate Stewart and Brittany Wornall/ Emma Stenhouse also found form during the regatta each posting wins and top five finishes. Eliza and Kate scooped a trophy as winners of race five.

New crew of Taylor Balogh and Cameron Moss had a top race result of fourth. Sam and Zak posted another win and finished the twelve race regatta in third place overall, second youth and top international team.

Finishing positions:

3rd Sam Barnett/Zak Merton TYPBC
9th Brittany Wornall/ Emma Stenhouse MPYC/NPCL
13th Eliza Wilkinson/ Kate Stewart KYC/WBC
16th Cameron Moss/ Taylor Balogh MBSC/NPCL

Dana Tavener with Catherine Pagett on Jet, just behind New Zealand's Cameron Moss and Taylor Balogh. - 420 Australian Championships

2014 Australian Youth Championship

The next regatta - the Australian Youth Championship incorporated Laser 4.7 and Laser Radial, 29er, Techno, Hobie 16 and 420.

Over four days in the ten race series (37 boats). Liv Mackay and Abby Goodwin won race 4 comprehensively and were third girls team overall. Emma Stenhouse teamed up with Eliza Wilkinson as Kate Stewart was busy competing at the P Class Tanner and Tauranga Cups (where she won the Tauranga Cup) and they adapted well, finishing top five in their first race together.

Sam and Zak sailed consistently with all their scores in the top ten, posting a first and second place to take out third place overall and first boys team, which earned them a gold medal as the two fleets are separated for prize giving!

The Sorrento club were very welcoming to the somewhat large contingent of NZ invaders, who are all now better prepared for their own upcoming trials.

Final positions

3rd Sam Barnett/Zak Merton TYPBC
8th Liv Mackay/ Abby Goodwin NSC
13th Eliza Wilkinson/ Emma Stenhouse KYC/NPCL
16th Cameron Moss/ Taylor Balogh MBSC/NPCL