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Two Medals and Second Overall Team at Youth Worlds

New Zealand has won two bronze medals and finished second in the Volvo Trophy battle for overall team performance at the 2008 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships just concluded in Denmark.

Medals came for Sam Meech in the Laser and Cushla Hume-Merry in the Laser Radial with two 4th placings in the double-handed classes.

“Although we are disappointed that we didn't win the Volvo Trophy we are pleased to have finished second. It has been a tight battle with the Aussies throughout the regatta,” says Marty Watson, Yachting New Zealand High Performance and Youth Director.

“The team’s first priority today was to secure medals. Sam and Cushla have done themselves proud, and of course we are all very proud of them as well. For some sailors in the team the regatta has had its disappointments, but on whole I think the team has represented themselves and their country well,” says Watson.

The decider for the Laser bronze came down to last night’s final race. In an exciting on water battle Sam Meech from Tauranga managed to work his way into a controlling position over his Danish counterpart. The Danish sailor was unfortunate to then receive his second yellow flag for the regatta, forcing him out of the race, and leaving Meech to take the bronze medal.

“I didn’t have the best first beat, but I managed to pick up the Danish sailor fairly early on in the race” Meech said. “I was within a couple of places of him which was all I needed to do” he added.

“I didn’t actually see the jury give him the flag… just one minute he was there and all of a sudden he was gone”

In the Laser Radial fleet Cushla Hume-Merry from Wellington was sitting in 3rd overall going into the final race. On the water her hopes of advancing into second place for the silver were lost when Spain’s Olympic and ISAF Youth Worlds representative jumped ahead at the start. Hume-Merry managed to keep back a challenge from the Canadian Girl, keeping a close lock on her through heavy traffic, to finish ahead by one place and a comfortable points lead for 3rd place overall in the regatta.

Hume Merry said when she returned to the beach, “I am just so happy to be a youth world’s medalist at last.”

This is her third year at this event in the single handed women’s division, and her most successful to date.

Both kiwi 29er crews in the girl’s and boy’s divisions finished in 4th place overall. Despite just missing out on the medals their performances were significant in assisting the team’s overall effort to finish second behind Great Britain in the top team battle.

On the girl’s 29er course Alexandra Maloney and Bianca Barbarich-Bacher did all they could to lift their standing, and fought hard to finish 4th on the line in today’s race. This result lifted them to 4th overall in their first 29er regatta together.

Also sailing their first 29er regatta together Paul Snow Hansen and Ben Goodwin managed a 4th place overall after another strong result overnight. “Ben and I felt more and more comfortable together as the regatta went on,” Snow-Hansen said, “We are pretty happy with the way we sailed towards the end.”

Josh Nixon in the Boy’s RS:X windsurfing showed obvious disappointment with his result, finishing in 8th overall, but remained philosophical about the regatta.

“Of course I am disappointed,” Nixon said, “it is never a great way to start a regatta, using up all your drops before you get a chance to start a race. I have trained hard for this event and I know I can do better than my results show.”

The competitors will be awarded their medals and trophies at the Closing Ceremony at the Musikhuset in Århus, Denmark tonight, bringing the 2008 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships to a close. Next year’s event will be held in Buzios, Brazil on 9-18 July 2009.

2008 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships
New Zealand’s Final Results

3rd - Sam Meech (Laser)
3rd - Cushla Hume-Merry (Laser Radial)
4th - Paul Snow-Hansen & Ben Goodwin (Boys 29er)
4th - Alexandra Maloney & Bianca Barbarich-Bacher
7th - Francisco Lardies & David Hazard (Multihull)
8th - Josh Nixon (Boys RS:X)
8th - Jazmine Lynch (Girls RS:X)

Volvo Team Trophy Results

1st Great Britain
2nd New Zealand
3rd Australia

For full results visit the regatta website through the link below.

The NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team is sponsored by the following…
NZL Yachting Trust
New Zealand Academy of Sport
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