Yachting New Zealand has selected the NZ Youth Sailing Team to compete in the Volvo World Youth Sailing Championships in France at the beginning of July.
The contest was sailed in light conditions, with 11 races sailed in the series (9 for Mistral)> The New Zealand team selected is: Geoff Woolley & Scott Wilkinson (420 Men), Shelley Bassett & Karen Lambert (420 Women), Michael Bullot (Laser), Kate O'Brien (Laser Radial), Thomas Ashley (Mistral Men) and Anna Eason (Mistral Women)
The NZ Youth Team will now being an intensive training programme as a team over the next three months working towards the World Championships in July.
YNZ Chief Executive Simon Wickham commented, "Its fantastic that the four girls in the team have again won the right to represent NZ, after all competing at the World Youth Sailing Championships, last year. I think we have a great team, and I'm looking forward to seeing some fantastic results".
Kohimarama (AKL) sailors Geoff Woolley and Scott Wilkinson sailed a fantastic series to take the 420 Class title without having to sail the last race. They won New Zealand selection from Mike Bassett & Jake Bartrom. The girls crew of Shelley Bassett & Karen Lambert also won NZ selection, finishing 2nd overall behind Woolley & Wilkinson. Their combined experience at the World Youth Sailing Championships last December, was superb preparation for this event. The battle for second and third overall came down to the last race, where sibling rivalry was at the forefront between Shelley and Mike Bassett. The girls crew of Bassett & Lambert won the final race from Bassett & Bartrom.
Murrays Bay (AKL) sailor Michael Bullot won the Laser class (and NZ selection) without having to sail the last race, but went out and won it anyway. Michael, is a relative newcomer to the Laser class, but with the help from Class coach Peter Fox, he has mastered the skills in a short time.
Kohimarama's (AKL) Kate O'Brien also won NZ selection without having to sail the last Laser Radial race. O'Brien competed at the World Youth Sailing Championships in Sydney last year so will be looking forward to improving on her result this year. Torbay's Luke Judge won the Laser Radial class by a substantial margin winning 7 out of the 11 races. O'Brien was second with Nick Bastow in third.
Thomas Ashley won 8 out of 9 races in the Mistral series to win with a large margin behind James Eason. Ashley, who has been training full time since last November showed he was a step above the rest of the fleet in the light, shifty conditions. Anna Eason won the women's fleet only one point ahead of Anita Purdie. The Mistral fleet didn't manage to get in the last two races of the series, as the wind died away, making it impossible for them to race.
Scott Kennedy & Brad Thom won the 29er class after winning on countback. It came down to the last race between Kennedy & Thom and Koji Kamiya & Anthony Fry where Kennedy and Thom finished just one place ahead to take out the Championships. Rachel O'Brien & Kelly Riechelmann sailed a great last race, winning the race to finish third overall.