NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team: Bronze Medal for NZL in the 29er

NZ SL-16 crew - 2014 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship
© Neuza Aires Pereira | ISAF Youth Worlds
The NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team has ended the 2014 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships with a bronze medal and two more top eight performances.

The regatta, which challenged sailors with light and tricky conditions at times, concluded in Tavira, Portugal on Saturday.

Standing on the podium for New Zealand this year are Markus Somerville (Wakatere Boating Club) and Isaac McHardie (Wakatere Boating Club and Hamilton Yacht Club) who, despite the tricky conditions, have sailed consistently well across all five days of the regatta to secure the bronze medal in the 29er skiff class.

'We’re happy, and relieved, to be on the podium tonight,' says Markus Somerville.

In the 30-strong fleet the pair this year gathered no less than nine top six race finishes across the 13 race series. They shared the podium with France, who took the gold and USA who took the silver.

Both Somerville and McHardie now have two ISAF Youth Worlds medals in their trophy cupboard each having won a medal in 2013 as well. (McHardie in the multihull and Somerville in the 29er)

SL16 multihull pair Micah Wilkinson (Ngaroto Sailing Club) and Jack Rogers (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) finished strongly today to climb into fifth overall for a top five finish to the regatta.

After an average first day in the 57-strong boy’s Laser radial fleet Trent Rippey improved his race results and his overall standing as the regatta unfolded and this continued through the final day. The Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club representative has finished eighth overall.

NZ SL-16 crew - 2014 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship
© Neuza Aires Pereira | ISAF Youth Worlds

Murray’s Bay Sailing Club windsurfer, Patrick Haybittle has come away from his first ISAF Youth worlds experience in 17th. He says, 'It’s been and excellent event and great learning curve. It has been frustratingly light, but great competition.'

Also on debut at the ISAF Youth Worlds was girls’ windsurfer Xanthe Bowater (Naval Point Club Lyttelton/Takapuna Boating Club) who returned consistent results throughout to end the series in 16th place.

Ali Nightingale, from Canterbury’s Charteris Bay Yacht Club has ended the regatta in 23rd. She says; 'I’ve learned heaps from my first ISAF Youth Worlds regatta, and I’m really looking forward to the upcoming Radial Youth Class World Champs in Poland next week.'

In the boy’s double-handed 420 classes Sam Barnett and Zak Merton, both from the Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club wrapped up the regatta in 17th overall and will go on to compete in their class world championships from here.

Sam Barnett says; 'It’s been a really tough week for us and we learned a lot which can only help us in the future. We are looking forward to the 420 Open Worlds in Travemunde next week where we’ll be striving for a better result.'

In the girl’s 420 Olivia Mackay and Abby Goodwin (Napier Sailing Club) placed 18th overall ending the regatta on a high note with their best race of the regatta crossing the line in third.

Team Manager Ian Neely echoes the sailor’s comments, 'It was a tough event in conditions we rarely sail in. The sailors all persevered and learned a lot about how to sail in the soft breezes.'

'It is fantastic for Isaac and Markus to win bronze and great to see many of the team performing so well at the end.'

New Zealand was 10th in the standings for the Nation’s Trophy, which was this year awarded to Spain.

NZ Girls 420 crew - 2014 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship
© Neuza Aires Pereira | ISAF Youth Worlds

2014 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships, Tavira, Portugal New Zealand’s final results

3rd 29er Skiff Markus Somerville and Isaac McHardie
5th Multihull SL16 Micah Wilkinson and Jack Rogers
8th Laser Radial Male Trent Rippey
23rd Laser Radial Female Ali Nightingale
17th RS:X Male Patrick Haybittle
16th RS:X Female Xanthe Bowater
17th Boy’s 420 Sam Barnett and Zak Merton
18th Girl’s 420 Olivia Mackay and Abby Goodwin

Nations Trophy: 10th nation

Click here for full results