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Released 2 April 2002:


Yachting New Zealand is delighted to announce the selection of the members of the 2002 Yachting New Zealand Youth Team.

The 2002 Yachting New Zealand Youth Team will represent New Zealand at the 2002 ISAF World Youth Championships to be sailed in Halifax, Canada in July of this year.

Official Selectors, Peter Lester – High Performance Manager with Yachting New Zealand, and John Clinton – Yachting New Zealand’s Future Champion’s Academy Coach, appointed the 2002 Yachting New Zealand Youth Team on results from the recent Youth Nationals Regatta sailed at Taupo over Easter Weekend and performances to date.

Peter Lester said ‘the selection process for the 2002 Yachting New Zealand Youth Team was made easier by the wonderfully high calibre of our youth sailors’.

Yachting New Zealand is confident the 2002 Yachting New Zealand Youth Team is possibly the strongest New Zealand Youth Team fielded to date. Six of the eight member Team were also members of the much applauded 2001 Team. The 2001 Team won silver over representation from 46 countries.

For a second time the ‘Girls’ Single Handed’ representative is 18 year old Kate O’Brien of Kohimarama Yacht Club. Kate will sail a Byte in the World Championship competition but won entry to the Team in her outstanding first season performance in the Europe Dinghy.

Michael Bullot of Murrays Bay Sailing Club is the Team’s ‘Boys’ Single Handed’ sailor. Michael sails a Laser, and has a most impressive record in both local and international competition. Like Kate, Michael is also 18 years old and in the Team for a second time.

The ‘Women’s Board’ representative is 17 year old Anna Eason of Buckland’s Beach Yacht Club. Anna has performed admirably at a number of events. At only 17, Anna has already represented New Zealand in the 2001 Youth Team and eligible for selection again for next year’s team.

Thomas Ashley of Devonport is the Team’s ‘Men’s Board’ representative. Thomas had a most impressive result at the selection trials. Thomas won the Youth Nationals title, and was placed third in the open aged OlympicSail division of the Regatta.

Geoff Woolley and Mark Overington sailing their 29er are the ‘Men’s Double Handed’ representatives. Geoff, from Kohimarama Yacht Club, and Mark, from Murrays Bay Sailing Club, have combined their respective talents only recently – and for a most impressive result. Both Geoff and Mark were members of the 2001 Team but sailed as part of other combinations.

Fresh to the 2002 Yachting New Zealand Youth Team are Rachel O’Brien and Kelly Riechelmann of Kohimarama Yacht Club as the Team’s ‘Women’s Double Handed’ representatives. At only 16 and 17 respectively, their entry to this prestigious Team is an awesome achievement. Rachel is the younger sister of fellow Team member and seasoned campaigner Kate O’Brien.

The 2002 ISAF World Youth Championships includes competition as individuals in each class discipline, and then the combined results of team members is aggregated for competition for the overall Team trophy.

Yachting New Zealand believes the 2002 Yachting New Zealand Youth Team will capitalise on their 2001 international experiences, and achieve outstanding results at the World Championships in Canada.

The Team has their sights firmly set on ousting five times World Youth Champions France, and continuing the tradition of beating both Australia and Britain.

Yachting New Zealand congratulates the members of the 2002 Yachting New Zealand Youth Team on their selection, and wishes them the best of winds for the coming European and North American season.


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