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ISAF Youth World Championships - Pre Release

ISAF Youth World Championships - Pre Release

Date Released: 7 July , 2004
From: Jodie Perkins


A team of 10 New Zealand representatives are in Poland to compete at the ISAF World Youth Sailing Championships. Over 250 youth sailors from 53 countries will be battling it out at the regatta where four disciplines are contested.

The Yachting New Zealand Youth Sailing Team will compete at the ISAF World Youth Sailing Championships where racing commences on July 10 in Gdynia, Poland. The regatta brings together the World’s best under 19 year old sailors for a ten day event which is widely viewed as the Youth equivalent of the Olympic Games.

The 2004 Yachting New Zealand Youth Sailing Team consists of:

420 Girls - Olivia Powrie / Sarah Bilkey
420 Boys - Alastair Thompson / Scott Illingworth
Laser - Blair McLay
Laser Radial - Jo Aleh
Mistral Girls - Hayley Thom
Mistral Boys - Antonio Cozzolino
Hobie 16 Open - Michael Thorpe / Rosie Sargisson


Paul Page - Manager
Ian Neely - Coach
Phil Keen - Coach

Team Background:

Olivia Powrie and Sarah Bilkey, both from the Kohimarama Yacht Club in Auckland are sailing the double-handed 420 class. The girls have just brought in an impressive second placing in the Warnemunder Woche 2004 Regatta which concluded overnight on Monday, against some strong competition. Olivia and Sarah competed at the 2003 ISAF World Youth Sailing Championships in Madeira, Portugal and at the Open 420 World Championships in Melbourne in January. This international experience gives them a good idea of just what is required to finish in the top three at this event.

Alastair Thompson and Scott Illingworth from Torbay Sailing Club compete in the Boys 420 class, with Alastair returning from the 2003 team. Last year Alastair crewed the 420 while this year he takes the helm. Team Manager and Yachting New Zealand’s National Coach Paul Page sees both 420 teams as strong medal contenders.

“Last year we went to Madeira confident that we had a strong team and this year we are going back with even more experience on the international stage. It does help,” says Page.

Blair McLay (Torbay Sailing Club) and Jo Aleh (Kohimarama Yacht Club, Auckland) won their selection trials in the single handed disciplines. Jo Aleh is the fourth member of the team that attended the 2003 World Youth Champs.

Representing New Zealand in the Mistral boardsailing class are Hayley Thom (Kohimarama Yacht Club) and Antonio Cozzolino (Mistral Owners Association). Though both are newcomers to the ISAF World Youth Champs they are not new to international competition.

“Both boardsailors have had previous international experience, competing at the Open Youth World Championships in Mexico last year. This will be beneficial to them at this event where they are competing against other top youth sailors from around the world,” comments Yachting New Zealand’s National Programmes Coordinator, Julie Worth.

Michael Thorpe and Rosie Sargisson from Kohimarama Yacht Club are relative new-comers to the Multihull discipline sailing the Hobie 16 class. Despite only joining the class at the beginning of this year they have shown great ability quickly learning the differences from their previous sailing experiences, predominantly in the single handed junior classes.

“These boats can be a handful while sailing at high speeds downwind using both trapezes. Michael and Rosie have great potential, and with the level of commitment and training they have been putting in, they are on the right path already.” says Julie Worth.

The challenging Hobie class is being used for the second time at the ISAF World Youth Championships.

Yachting New Zealand will be keeping you up-to-date with results as competition gets underway.


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