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Our next pair of Olympic medallists?

YACHTING NEW ZEALAND NAMES FULL TEAM OF KIWI YACHTIES FOR YOUTH WORLD CHAMPS Auckland: America's Cup star and women's 470 Olympic silver medallist Leslie Egnot was part of the YNZ Selection Panel that named the full team of eight young sailors to represent New Zealand at the Volvo ISAF World Youth Sailing Championships in Sydney later in the year.The Yachting New Zealand Youth Selection Trials (28 Sept - 1 Oct) were sailed at Murrays Bay Sailing Club over the weekend as part of the Barker's Men's Clothing WinCham 2000 regatta.The full New Zealand Youth Team was announced by Chairman of the Selection Panel & YNZ Board Chairman Alan Dickinson:ANDREW MURDOCH (18yrs, Kerikeri) - single-handed boysKATE O'BRIEN (16yrs, Kohimarama) - single-handed girlsMIKE BASSETT (17yrs, Torbay) - double-handed boys& MARK KENNEDY (17yrs, Kohi) - double-handed boysSHELLEY BASSETT (15yrs, Torbay) - double-handed girls& KAREN LAMBERT 16yrs, Kerikeri) - double-handed girlsJAMES WELLS (18yrs, Bucklands Beach) - boardsailing boysANNA EASON (15yrs, Bucklands Beach) - boardsailing girlsANDREW MURDOCH, bronze medallist at last year's Youth Worlds in Finland, had to fight hard for his place in this year's team, having to survive a three-way battle between Chris Kitchen (Torbay) and Robbie McMillan (Plimmerton). A protest by Murdoch and McMillan over a collision incident in the penultimate race saw both sailors eventually disqualified from the race, closing the points gap right up. Murdoch snatched the team spot by a mere three points.KATE O'BRIEN won her team place in a convincing manner, with an enviable scorecard of nine 1sts and two 2nds. Kate is a relative newcomer to the single-handed Laser Radial class, coming from a successful campaign in the 29ers, finishing 2nd girls crew at the recent 29er World championships in Italy.JAMES WELLS might be the next Aaron McIntosh, easily securing the boy's boardsailing spot in the team with eight race wins and and three 2nds, ahead of his close rival Matthew McCormick. Wells, a previous recipient of the St John's Rotary CORK Scholarship, finished 9th at this year's Mistral Youth World Championships sailed in Greece.ANNA EASON will sail for New Zealand in the girl's boardsailing division, having won the Selection Trial regatta and the YNZ National Youth Champs earlier this year. Aged 15 years, she has been sailing Mistrals for almost two years, and is the youngest member of the New Zealand youth team.SHELLEY BASSETT & KAREN LAMBERT have only been sailing together for the last two months, and have worked extremely hard to get their combinations right going into this competition. Bassett is an experienced 29er sailor while Lambert earned her stripes in teams racing, and was a member of the New Zealand team that won the teams racing world champs in Ireland last year.MIKE BASSETT & MARK KENNEDY are both very experienced sailors in their own right. The pair started sailing together in the Laser II, then swapping last year to the 29er, winning the inaugural South Pacific Championships. In July of this year they collected the 29er world crown after winning the world champs in Lake Garda. Kennedy is also an ex-P Class Champion, winning both the Tanner and Tauranga Cup contests in 1998.Both Lambert and Murdoch left Auckland at dawn this morning bound for Brisbane to defend Kerikeri High School's Inter-Dominion Teams Racing Championship title.The team will now spend the next three months undergoing intense training leading up to the World Champs that will be sailed off Sydney's Manly Beach (28 December - 6 January 2001)Says Selection Panel Chairman Alan Dickinson, ""I am confident we have selected a truly world class team for the 2000 youth world championship. We have eight of New Zealand's most talented competitive sailors andboardsailors, all of whom have demonstrated the skills and potential to represent New Zealand at this year's event. I am particularly pleased that the team includes representatives in all the girl's divisions."New Zealand's track record of success at this event is a roll call of the country's most respected America's Cup and Olympic class sailors - Chris Dickson (1978, 79 & 80), Russell Coutts (1981), Dean Barker (1990), Jon Paul Tobin (1995), Daniel Slater (1994), Sarah Macky (1997) and most recently, Matthew Davies & Kevin Borrows (1998), Andrew Murdoch (1999) and Sara Winther (1999).

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